"Sweet Leilani" is a song featured in the 1937 film, Waikiki Wedding. It won the Academy Award for Best Original Song, and Bing Crosby's record became one of the biggest hits of 1937.
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).
Harry Owens and his Royal Hawaiians performed "Sweet Leilani" in the 1938 film Cocoanut Grove starring Fred MacMurray
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