Recent Gospel Songs

Isa Lei (Fijian Farewell Song)

Isa Isa vulagi lasa dina
Nomu lako au na rarawa kina
Cava beka ko a mai cakava,
Nomu lako au na sega ni lasa.

Chorus:

Isa Lei, na noqu rarawa,
Ni ko sana vodo e na mataka
Bau nanuma, na nodatou lasa,
Mai Suva nanuma tiko ga.

(Chorus)

Vanua rogo na nomuni vanua,
Kena ca ni levu tu na ua,
Lomaqu voli me’u bau butuka
Tovolea ke balavu na bula.

(Chorus)

Domoni dina na nomu yanuyanu,
Kena kau wale na salusalu,
Mocelolo, bua, na kukuwalu,
Lagakali, aba na rosi damu

(Chorus)

English Translation

Isa, isa vulagi lasa dina Isa, Isa you are my only treasure
Nomu lako au na rarawa kina Must you leave me, so lonely and forsaken?
Cava beka ko a mai cakava As the roses will miss the sun at dawn,
Nomu lako au na sega ni lasa. Every moment my heart for you is yearning.
Isa Lei, na noqu rarawa Isa Lei, the purple shadow falling,
Ni so sa na vodo e na mataka Sad the morrow will dawn upon my sorrow,
Bau nanama, na nadatou lasa Oh forget not, when you’re far away
Mai Suva nanuma tiko ga. Precious moments at Suva
Vanua rogo na nomuni vanua Isa, Isa my heart was filled with pleasure
Kena ca ni levu tu na ua From the moment I heard your tender heart greeting
Lomaqu voli me’u bau butuka Mid the sunshine, we spent the hours together,
Tovolea ke balavu na bula Now so swiftly those happy hours are fleeting.
Domoni dina na nomu yanuyanu Over the ocean your island home is calling
Kena kau wale na salusalu Happy country where roses bloom and splender,
Mocelolo, Bua, na Kukuwalu Oh if I could but journey there beside you
Lagakali, Maba na rosi damu. Then forever my heart would sing in rapture.

Do You Know Anything About The Composer of This Song or its History -Post it below.

 

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19 comments to Isa Lei (Fijian Farewell Song)

  • I am trying to locate the sheet music for the Fijian Farewell song, suitable for Keyboard or Guitar

  • Wiliame Gucake Nayacatabu

    THis song was composed by the late Turaga Bale na Tui Nayau Ratu Tevita Uluilakeba.He is the father of the late Turaga Tui Nayau and Fiji’s First Prime Minister , Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara. He composed the song at Tubou , Lakeba way back in 1916. The song was meant for Adi Litia Tavanavanua, when she visited Lakeba in 1916.
    This can be clearly seen as we look at the lyrics of this famous farewell song.

  • Joshua Alpert

    This is fantastic! Does anybody know where I can find English translations to other Fijian songs?

  • Lani Finau

    When I grew up I heard Isa lei is my grandmother’s song from Ratu Tevita from Fiji. My grandmother is Tupou his the only daughter of Hon. Vaha’i from Fo’ui, Tonga. Late Hon. Ve’ehala & Laitia Fifita fuent speak Fijian went to school in Fiji told me that Isa Lei is Tupou’s song & the Fijian use it for Farewel song. We have a family reunion on my grandmother’s side we went to the Palace & King Tupou IV told us when we went that Fijian Farewel song is Tupou’s song some of my uncle & aunties surprise but I told them I knew it long time ago.I heard my grandmother used to come to Fiji and Ratu Tevita fell in love with her. She was beautiful. It’s a beautiful song I always love to hear it. Vinaka

  • Aithne Potts

    Bula Lani, I searched the lyrics of this song as I loved it so much when I was in Fiji back in 1989 and 1991. I want to learn to sing it in Fijian. Thank you so much for sharing your story….so interesting! Vinaka vaka levu!

  • Wazza

    Chords are simple…. For guitar C F G Em

  • admin

    Thanks to you all for commenting.

    Vinaka

  • Mel

    Isa Lei is the Fiji version of a Tongan love song used to court the then Princess Salote (later Queen Salote). It was written in 1915 and was heard by a visiting Fijian Sgt. From there the Fijians adopted it to a farewell song. But they kept the Tongan melody.

  • Losana

    The real lyrics should be “Mai Lakeba nanuma tikoga” and not “Mai Suva nanuma tikoga”

  • Vinaka Vakalevu.
    Can still remember the Fijian words.
    My two children were born in CWM Hospital in the early sixties.
    Some old photos in Fiji on my website that you might enjoy.
    Nine years of happy friendships.

  • Jay Narayan

    Isa lei ko Viti meda vou nanuma tu
    Meda vuli mada ka solia noda gu

  • Jay Narayan

    Can anyone please let me have wordings of this song – Based on John Brown’s Body etc tune.

  • Julumkana

    What is the meaning of Isa ?

  • Julumkana

    You can fnd the chords for this song n Ultimate Guitar, google search Isa Lei chords.
    https://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/m/misc_unsigned_bands/isa_lei_-_traditional_fijian_crd.htm

  • Clive

    Best version I know is by Bula Fiji.

  • Kaigabu KAMNANAYA

    When the Fijian Methodist Missionaries in the lakes late Ratu who served at Vakuta Island of Trobriand group of island, Mile Bay Province, Papua New Guinea later dies due illness and buried at Oyabiya Mission grave, near Losuia Government station – taught the Trobriand seekers with a number hymns in Fiji language. The lyrics of Isale was used to compose a hymn in Kiriwina (Kilivila) language with the first line; ‘TUTA TUTA BIGALA TALILAGI, YEISU LABIGA BIGABWEILA…’

    For me I know the tune through my local language hymn as cited above but later I learned the Fijian language when I was in primary school on Kitava Isand (Trobriand Islands) some 51 years ago in 1966 or 1967

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