Kui Tree - by Momi Jones

ʻO ka leo aloha i kono mai iaʻu ea lā
Kuahiwi nani i kaʻu ʻike ʻana mai e ō
Me kou leo la nahenahe mai
E hoʻolauna malihini

ʻO ka leo uʻi o nā manu i lohe ʻia lā
Maliu pawa o ke kakahiaka eō
Me ka lehua lā e moani nei
He uʻi mai hoʻi kau

ʻO ka wai inu o ka ʻAmelika ea lā
Huʻihuʻi ʻoe he inu anei e ō
Kahi wai la aniani lâ
He ʻono ke momoni aku

Haʻina mai ana ka puana ea lā
Kuahiwi nani kau i ka hano e ō
Me kou leo la nahenahe mai
Haʻaheo Kui tree

The voice of love invites me to
See the beautiful mountains. Calling
Is your sweet voice
So friendly to the newcomer

Hear the beautiful voices of the birds
Listen to the chirping at dawn
Wind blown is the lehua`s scent
So lovely and engulfing

The intoxicating drink of the Americans
You are cold here, drink
This cold water
So delicious as it is swallowed

Tell the refrain
The beautiful mountains, so honored
Your voice so sweet
Majestic Kui tree

Source: - After World War I, armed forces arrived to strengthen regiments stationed at Schofield Barracks. February, 1921, they were combined to form the Hawaiian division and greatly increased the population of Wahiawa. Water for Schofield was supplied by a spring on the slopes of the Waiʻanae Range but was not sufficient to support the ever increasing population. A reservoir was built in 1918, on the upper slopes, but this supply was still inadequate, especially during the dry seasons. Plans were made to build a dam, a spillway, and tunnel systems from the Koʻolau Range to a new reservoir. The federal government sent crews from Washington to visit the site and assist the local civil engineers with the plans. One of the engineers was interested in the plants and asked the name of a native tree. The local engineer drew a blank and in a thoughtless moment said, " Oh, that's a Kui tree". It was probably a Kuku`i tree and the name became a joke in locals circles. Eventually the name caught on and the structure became known as the Kui Dam. The composer’s father-in-law helped maintain the dam in the Koʻolau mountains on Oahʻu. When the composer and her husband were courting, they would sometimes rendezvous at Kui Tree Dam in the early morning. The chilly air may have caused them to imbibe on more than a few occasions. The song came to the composer in a dream and was written in 5 minutes. Translated by Kanani Mana