Sensitive viewers will almost ‘lose-it’ when Kamakawiwo’ole intimately expresses his views on death, and how, death having visited many members of his family, and knowing that death could take him at any time, he implores anyone who will listen not to cry for him, but rather, plant a small tree, and watch it grow, in his memory. That death was at his door, yet he could smile and enjoy Life to the fullest extent, is the gift that he gave his fans. His music about love and life and the present continues to teach and calm. In “White Sandy Beach of Hawai’i”, IZ plays his ukulele and sings “I saw you in my dream, we were walking hand in hand, on a white sandy beach of Hawaii.” Tender is the way he strums the strings, and the instrument is so small in his massive presence. It’s just IZ and the guitar, on a beautiful beach that is beautiful everyday, and so to, this music never loses it’s charm or it’s healing power. A listener can enjoy the track and feel the pressure dissipate, or the same listener can allow the words to sink in and have themselves a good cry session. This is not to say that the song is overly melancholy – but there is a beautiful sadness here that reminds us of the importance of those connections that we all have, to our family, to our friends, and to the land. IZ expresses nothing but gratefulness, happy enough to be visited by loved ones and taking walks with them on the metaphorical beach of his dreams. The white sands exist in real life, but it in his dreams where the memories are brought to life, and the natural wonders support the love and good times of humans who lived to the fullest when they were here, and are continually remembered by the living, until someone remembers them, and so on. The deeper meanings of the piece persist in conjunction with the feel good vibes. IZ uses the song as therapy for his own loss, and seems to thank the sacred place where the water meets the sand; “The sound of the ocean, soothes my restless soul, the sound of the ocean, rocks me all night long.”

Written by @taylor

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