He Oli no Kailua

Author: 
Robert Lokomaika‘iokalani Snakenberg

 

 
Kīhei de Silva 
Kū Kilakila ‘o Kailua, a three-student hula club from Kailua High School, presents Lokomaika‘i Snakenberg’s “He Oli no Kailua” in the first-ever Hawai‘i Secondary Schools Hula Kahiko Competition at Kualoa Park, 1978. Above, left to right: Kalei Kamaka‘ala, Carol Ka‘iama, and Kristin Snellback.
 

Lokomaika‘i Snakenberg composed this mele in 1977 for three of his Hawaiian language students at Kailua High School to perform in the following year’s Hawai‘i Secondary Schools Hula Kahiko Competition. “He Oli no Kailua” was inspired by his love for these students, for his Kailua High alma mater, and for his Kailua home. It was also inspired by his desire to kick-start a revival of the once-proud chant tradition of Ko‘olaupoko. “He Oli no Kailua” is perhaps the first of the 20th century’s new-but-old mele for this district, and it has become a kia‘i pono for the many that have followed. As with “Mekila e nā ‘Iwa,” it is published here for the first time at the request of those to whom it was originally given.

Aloha wale ‘oe, e Kailua
Kahi malu i ka uluniu ma ke kula.

Kakahiaka nui, uli nō ka pali
Wehe mai ke alaula, ka mālamalama.

Ke pā aheahe mai ka Moa‘e,
Lawe mai i ka ua nihi i ka pali.

Kū kilakila ‘oe, e Olomana,
E kia‘i pono i Kawainui.

E ō mai ‘oe, e Kailua
Mai Ka‘elepulu a i Ka Mahinui.

You are indeed beloved, O Kailua,
Peaceful place in the coconut grove on the plain.

In the early morning, the pali is dark,
When the dawn breaks, all is enlightened.

When the Moa‘e trades blow gently,
It brings the rain creeping on the pali.

You stand majestic, O Olomana,
Watching carefully over Kawainui.

Answer our call, O Kailua
From Ka‘elepulu to Mahinui Ridge.

 

© Robert Lokomaika‘iokalani Snakenberg, 1977