The first place to look for lyrics, is in the liner notes of every CD which includes the song.
To find recordings of a specific song, type the title into the "SEARCH MELE.COM" box in the upper right corner of this page -- and then choose "Song Title" on the page which follows.
The sites below are sources for lyrics (some also provide translation and chords)
No composer is required to provide a song's lyrics (or translation) on demand. Some composers -- especially composers of Hawaiian mele -- may prefer to keep that information private, thus ensuring that the song will always honor the composer's original intent. So don't be surprised if you cannot find lyrics to a song -- especially if it's Hawaiian.
Pa'a ka waha, nana ka maka; hana ka lima.
This was the traditional method for learning Hawaiian songs, as one sat near a musician as s/he played. Songs and tunings were passed down through generations of families -- from kupuna (elder) to keiki (child).
Hawaiian songs were rarely (if ever) put in writing, not even the lyrics. Very few musicians in Hawai`i could read music, so this was how the songs were perpetuated. Even today, many of the "top" musicians in Hawai`i do not read sheet music...they learn the old way, or from listening to a particular song over and over (on tape or CD) and playing along until they feel ready to play the song in public.
Hawaiian music fans outside the islands -- in their eagerness to learn the lyrics and translations of their favorite songs -- are often dismayed to find that they may also have to learn "the old way".
Looking for sheet music? Call Harry's Music on O`ahu: 808-735-2866; online check Sheet Music Plus