LYRICS OF ALOHA: The Legend of Kalalau

In the year 1970, I composed this song. It tells about a ghost in the valley of Kalalau. At the end of the road in the top of Koke‘e you look down on one of the most beautiful valleys in the world, the valley of Kalalau.

When I was little I heard stories of about Ko‘olau the leper who fled to this valley in search of happiness and personal dignity. He lived and loved in this his paradise until the very last day of his life. They say that legend tells, when the moon is low in the East and the misty clouds drift by, you can see a specter or ghost Ko‘olau.

The Legend of Kalalau

The Valley of Kalalau with mystical splendor.

The sky and the earth will kiss, carressed by the sea.

The wonders of colors the mist fill the air, your rainbows and your beauty none can compare.

They say that there was a man who fled to this valley in search for a place, a place to be free.

He lived and loved in this his paradise, until the very last day of his life.

If ever you go there, they say you might see, a spectre of Ko‘olau wondering free.

The years and days go by tho many have gone, but the Legend of Kalalau will always lived on.

Kalalau, Kalalau, will always live on.


Larry Rivera has been an entertainer and song writer on Kaua‘i for more than six decades, and shares the stories behind his songs in “Lyrics of Aloha,” appearing once a month in the Sunday edition of The Garden Island. Win prizes and earn an entry in the Vacations Hawai‘i Vegas vacation for two drawing by listening to KONG radio the following Monday and Tuesday between 6 and 8 a.m. and taking part in a contest based on the column.

  1. Charles November 7, 2021 6:51 am Reply

    How perfectly fitting, the Life of Kalalau was Celebrated yesterday, November 6, 2021, at Kalihiwai, while flowers rained down from Heaven onto his Family and Friends.

  2. Roger Lee Walraven November 14, 2021 5:31 pm Reply

    How can I write Larry Rivera?
    I tried a published email and it failed.

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