The Rock sings Samoan song at grandparents’ graves
Seiuli Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and his mother Ata Johnson made a recent visit to the graves of their departed loved ones, the late High Chief Peter Fanene Leifi Maivia and Ofelia (Lia) Fuataga Maivia.
A two-minute and 22-second video shows the Hollywood star's mother strumming the ukulele and her son seated next to her as they sang three songs including popular Samoan song “Savalivali (Means Go For a Walk).”
“I’ll cherish this one with my mama at her parents’ grave. It’s been years since we’ve been able to come here together to visit my grandparents grave in Hawai’i,” The Rock wrote in a caption that accompanies the video posted in early February.
“We sit, we talk, we reminisce, we cry, we laugh, we feel their mana, we talk to their spirits, we laugh some more, then we sing to them...we sing some of their favorite songs...and we try to get thru it without getting emo[tion] then eventually, I forget the words and I start singing in keys so bad they’re gonna wake the dead.”
The visit was good for their souls, The Rock said.
“Thankfully, my mom’s harmonizing skills brings me back on track and we finish the medley on point. We really miss them and my heart is so full of gratitude to be able to have this moment with my mom and my grandparents because life is busy and life moves fast – and these moments don’t come often enough,” he added.
“I know you guys know what I’m saying and feel the same way. This was so good, for our souls. When we were leaving my mom said to me: “I wish they knew how happy I am....” I think they know, ma.”
The Samoan song goes: “Savalivali means go for a walk. Tautalatala means too much talk. Alofa ia te oe means I love you, take it easy fai fai lemu.”
“Malo grandma. Malo grandpa. We love you,” The Rock says in the video.
His mother chimes in: “We miss you.”
Spending time at the graves of loved ones, singing and relaxing and picnicking, is a tradition among Samoans in Samoa and around the world.