Tongan Love Song All Things Considered, March 27, 2003 · More than 20 years ago, recording engineer David Fanshawe set out on an adventure -- to record the music of the South Pacific. He traveled the South Pacific islands with a rucksack, 200 rolls of tape, 35mm film and a stereo tape recorder. One of his first stops was a drinking club in the island nation of Tonga. The drink of choice was kava, prepared from the root of a shrub called the pepper plant. On that night in 1978, Fanshawe recorded a traditional love song called "Faikava,"sung by the villagers of Holonga on the island of Vava'U in the Tongan archipelago. "You can hear Kava being poured by a girl garlanded with sweet smelling white flowers," Fanshawe says. Below, a translation of "Faikava": The dear lily flower is staying behind, but we would be weeping remembering the appearance. You can please yourself and a select a sweetheart -- or somebody who would be your equal, and who might have known you better. My dear Maile (leaves), I wish that you could read my mind as this romance will drive me crazy. Alas, poor me. Alas. I don't know. How could I be? How could I be? Fanshawe's recordings, called South Pacific: Island Music, are available on the Nonesuch Explorer Series.