Nâ Kānaka Holo Lio - Palani Vaughn

Nā Kānaka holo lio
Maluna o nā lio heihei, lā
E kala loa aku nei, lā
Kuehu aku kula o ka ʻāina

Nā Kānaka holo lio
Maluna o nā lio heihei, lā
I ka wā o Kalākaua
Kuehu aku lina poepoe

Nā Kānaka holo lio
Ua heihei aku lākou, lā
Aia ma Kapiʻolani Pāka
I ka lina poepoe mua lā

Nā Kānaka holo lio
Hanohano ka 'ikena mā ō, lā
Mākaukau ʻia āâ holo lio, lā
No ka hoʻokūkū o ka lā

Nā Kānaka holo lio
Maluna o nā lio heihei, lā
Kokoke i lua ʻo Lēʻahi
Kāhi pā ka makani mai Koʻolau lā

The horsemen (of Hawaiʻi)
Mounted on race horses
A long time ago
Stirred dust along the plains

The horsemen (of Hawaiʻi)
Mounted on race horses
In the time of King Kalākaua
Stirred dust around the racetrack

The horsemen (of Hawaiʻi)
Raced
There at Kapiʻolani Park
At the first racetrack

The horsemen (of Hawaiʻi)
Glorious was the sight
As the horsemen prepared
For the competition of the day

The horsemen (of Hawaiʻi)
Mounted on race horses
Near the crater, Lēʻahi
Where the wind blows from the Koʻolau mountain


Source: Palani Vaughan & The King's Own "Ia ʻOe E Ka La Helu `Elua - Volume II" - Horses were first introduced in 1803, causing "great astonishment" among the natives. By 1840, horse racing was a favorite pastime of Hawaiians and races were common along Wilder Avenue. Sunday afternoon races were held in the 1850's and by the 1880's, a permanent one mile circular track was in use at Kapi`olani Park. Nākāhili Productions, P.O. Box 1617, Honolulu, HI., 96806