Story: Popular music

Kenehihi, 1827

Kenehihi, 1827

In 1827 the Church Missionary Society published a book called Kenehihi containing extracts from the bible, the Lord's Prayer and seven hymns, all of which were translated into te reo Māori. 400 copies were printed in Sydney. Kenehihi is the Māori word for Genesis – the book opens with the first three chapters of Genesis. This is the first hymn from the book. A translation reads:

Who is the Lord?
It is Jehovah
The God who gave
his son

Why indeed did
He make this gift?
For eternal life so that
our sins may die

These sins of ours
how will they die?
Through his death
we will live

His blood was shed
To appease

Praise Jehovah
Who has shown us
the true life

Praise Jehovah
Praise him, Halleluiah
H[alleluiah] H[alleluiah] H[alleluiah] praise him

Using this item

Hocken Library, University of Otago
Reference: S13-326b

Permission of the Hocken Library Uare Taoka o Hakena, University of Otago, must be obtained before any re-use of this image. Further information may be obtained from the Library through its website.

All images & media in this story

How to cite this page:

Chris Bourke, 'Popular music - Origins of New Zealand popular music', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 26 September 2023)

Story by Chris Bourke, published 22 Oct 2014