Sweet Leilani

"Sweet Leilani"
Single by Bing Crosby
B-side "Blue Hawaii"
Released 1937
Format 78 rpm
Recorded February 22, 1937[1]
Genre Hawaiian / Popular
Label Decca Records 1175
Writer(s) Harry Owens

With Lani McIntyre and His Hawaiians

"Sweet Leilani" is a song featured in the 1937 film, Waikiki Wedding. It won the Academy Award for Best Original Song,[2] and Bing Crosby's record became one of the biggest hits of 1937.[3][4]

Harry Owens wrote the song on October 20, 1934 for his daughter Leilani, who was born the previous day. Leilani is a popular Hawaiian name, meaning "heavenly garland of flowers" (not "heavenly flower"). It also has a figurative meaning: Small Hawaiian children were carried on their parents' shoulders like a lei (garland), so the name took on the meaning "heavenly child."

Prior to Waikiki Wedding, the song had been recorded by Sol Hoʻopiʻi under the title "Leilani" as the B-side of "Hawaiian Honeymoon" (Brunswick Records 55085).[5][6]

Harry Owens and his Royal Hawaiians performed "Sweet Leilani" in the 1938 film Cocoanut Grove starring Fred MacMurray.[7]

Other versions

"Sweet Leilani" became a standard of popular and Hawaiian music, easy listening, and to some extent jazz; and has occasionally been performed by country and rock artists. The following list is not intended to be exhaustive:


and also Bing Crosby covered Sweet Leilani

Selected compilations


  1. Decca 1000–1500 Numerical Listing 1175
  2. Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 134. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  3. Songs from the Year 1937
  4. Allmusic "Sweet Leilani" Bing Crosby with music sample
  5. Brunswick 55000 series – The Online 78 rpm Discographical Project 55085
  6. Hulapages: The Covers: 1930–39 1936, "Leilani."
  7. Internet Movie Database: Cocoanut Grove
  8. Capitol Album Discography, Part 1: The 78-rpm Albums: 1 to 149 A-4
  9. Capitol Album Discography, Part 2: The 10" Albums: 150 to 299 H-166
  10. Allmusic "Sweet Leilani" Harry Owens with music sample
  11. Allmusic Ring Around Rosie/Hollywood's Best Rosemary Clooney Review with music sample
  12. Allmusic Eddie Fisher Sings Academy Award Winning Songs/Sings Irving Berlin/Broadway Classics Review with music sample
  13. Allmusic South Sea Island Magic/In the Mystic East Frank Chacksfield Review with music sample
  14. http://www.bsnpubs.com/capitol/previews/600-2999.pdf Capitol Records Discography, Continued T 808, p. 14.
  15. Allmusic Aloha The King Sisters with music sample
  16. Allmusic "Sweet Leilani" Marty Robbins with music sample
  17. Allmusic Hawaiian Sunset: The Sounds of Arthur Lyman with music sample
  18. Discogs André Kostelanetz Lure of Paradise
  19. Allmusic The Lure of France/The Lure of Paradise André Kostelanetz with music sample
  20. Discogs Les Paul & Mary Ford – Lovers' Luau
  21. Allmusic Lover's Luau Les Paul & Mary Ford Review with music sample
  22. Discogs Billy Vaughn And His Orchestra – Blue Hawaii
  23. Allmusic Sail Along Silv'ry Moon/Blue Hawaii Billy Vaughn Review with music sample
  24. Allmusic To You Sweetheart, Aloha Andy Williams Review with music sample
  25. Discogs 101 Strings – In a Hawaiian Paradise
  26. Allmusic Romantic Songs of the Sea 101 Strings Orchestra Review with music sample
  27. Discogs Nelson Riddle – Love Tide
  28. Allmusic Sea of Dreams/Love Tide Nelson Riddle with music sample
  29. Percy Faith – Original Albums, American Serenade
  30. Allmusic "Sweet Leilani" Percy Faith with music sample
  31. Burl Ives – Discography: On the Beach at Waikiki with music sample
  32. Allmusic A Little Bitty Tear: The Nashville Years 1961–1965 Burl Ives Review with music sample Disc 5, Track 19.
  33. Allmusic Blue Hawaii Roberto Delgado Review
  34. Allmusic The Academy Award Songs Henry Mancini Review with music sample
  35. RCA Victor Discography LSP-6013
  36. Allmusic Ray Conniff's Hawaiian Album with chart and music sample
  37. Albums by The Waikikis: Pearly Shells from Hawaii – Rate Your Music
  38. Discogs Don Ho – Hawaii's Greatest Hits
  39. Allmusic Hawaii's Greatest Hits Don Ho with music sample
  40. Allmusic Waikiki's Greatest Hits, Now! Roland Cazimero with music sample
  41. Allmusic Baja Sessions Chris Isaak Review with chart and music sample
  42. Allmusic Sweet Leilani Dennis Pavao
  43. Allmusic Dream Dancing in Hawaii Ray Anthony with music sample
  44. Allmusic Hawaiian Classics Daniel Ho with music sample
  45. Allmusic This Is What I Do Sonny Rollins Review with music sample
  46. Allmusic Tropic Rhapsody Teresa Bright with music sample
  47. Allmusic Country Music's Yodelling Cowboy Crooner, Vol. 2 Elton Britt with music sample
  48. Allmusic Bachelor in Paradise: The Best of Martin Denny Review with charts
  49. Allmusic Singing in the Rain Cliff Edwards with music sample
  50. Allmusic The Essential Benny Goodman Review with music sample
  51. Allmusic Four Platters and One Lovely Dish The Platters with music sample Disc 7, Track 24.
  52. Allmusic 1936–1939 Don Redman Review with music sample
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