Kui Tree - by Momi Jones

`O ka leo aloha i kono mai ia`u ea lâ
Kuahiwi nani i ka`u `ike `ana mai eô
Me kou leo la nahenahe mai
E ho`olauna malihini

`O ka leo u`i o nâ manu i lohe `ia lâ
Maliu pawa o ke kakahiaka eô
Me ka lehua lâ e moani nei
He u`i mai ho`i kau

`O ka wai inu o ka `Amelika ea lâ
Hu`ihu`i `oe he inu anei eô
Kahi wai la aniani lâ
He `ono ke momoni aku

Ha`ina mai ana ka puana ea la
Kuahiwi nani kau i ka hano eo
Me kou leo la nahenahe mai
Ha`aheo 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 Waianae 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 Ko`olau 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 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 Ku 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 Ko`olau mountains on Oah`u. 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