Ij Io̧kwe Ļo̧k Aelōn̄ Eo Aō: First National Anthem of the Marshall Islands

The first (and former) national anthem of the Marshall Islands is Ij Io̧kwe Ļo̧k Aelōn̄ Eo Aō, also known more simply as Ij Io̧kwe Ļo̧k. The English translation is “I Love my Islands”.  The song became the anthem in 1979 when the Marshall Islands was separated from the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands and it remained the national anthem until 1991 when Forever Marshall Islands became the new national anthem.

The music of  Ij Io̧kwe Ļo̧k Aelōn̄ Eo Aō was composed by Samuel Langrine. The lyrics are of unknown origin.

The attached video has the anthem with subtitles in new and old orthography Marshallese and English.

https://youtu.be/kMggwpiWBxs

Lyrics:

New orthography

  • Ij io̧kwe ļo̧k aelōn̄ eo aō, ijo iaar ļotak ie,
  • Meļan ko ie, im iaļ ko ie, im iiāio ko ie.
  • Ij jāmin ilo̧k jāne, bwe ijo jikū em̧ool.
  • Im aō ļām̧oran indeeo. Em̧m̧an ‘ļan̄n̄e inaaj mej ie.

English translation

  • I love my islands where I was born.
  • The surroundings, the paths, and the gatherings.
  • I cannot leave here because this is my rightful place.
  • My family heritage is forever here. It is best for me to die here.

References: