For the sake of a song

Ya Bangany-nyung Nga-bindja Yagarra

CD 1, Track 1

TRACK 1 (Moy68-05-s02) Song 1: Ya Bangany-nyung Nga-bindja Yagarra

                     
Sung text  Free translation 
ya!  Ya! 
bangany-nyung nga-bindja yagarra  I’m singing in order to give you this song, yagarra! 
bangany-nyung nga-bindja ngaradj[a]  I’m singing in order to give you this song, daughter 
bangany-nyung nga-bindja yagarra  I’m singing in order to give you this song, yagarra! 
bangany-nyung nga-bindja-ya  I’m singing in order to give you this song, ya! 
ya!  Ya! 
ngaradja bangany nga-bindja  Daughter! I’m singing a song 
ngaradja bangany nga-bindja  Daughter! I’m singing a song 
ngaradja bangany nga-bindja  Daughter! I’m singing a song 
yagarra!  Yagarra! 
ya di  Ya di 

All wangga songs originate as the utterances of song-giving Wunymalang ghosts singing to the songman in his dream. But the words that we hear are also the words of the songman as he reproduces what the Wunymalang has taught him for an audience of living humans. In the course of rendering the song suitable for human consumption the songman massages what he has received from the ghost in a variety of ways. For example, all or part of the original song language of the Wunymalang may be ‘turned over’ into human language and references to individuals or local events may be added. In this song, almost all the words of the Wunymalang are rendered in Batjamalh. In text phrases 1-2 he announces that he is appearing (in the songman’s dream) in order to give this new song: ‘I [the Wunymalang] am singing in order to give you [the songman] this song, Yagarra!’ Yagarra, an exclamation expressing strong emotion, is often used in Barrtjap’s songs. These same words can be heard by the living audience as meaning, ‘I [the songman] am singing in order to provide this song [for ceremony or for entertainment], Yagarra!’ In text phrase 3, the Wunymalang addresses this comment directly to his daughter and in text phrase 7 he again addresses her directly, ‘Daughter! I’m singing a song.’ Perhaps the Wunymalang’s daughter was also present in the songman’s dream; certainly in many performances one of the Barrtjap’s daughters would have been amongst those dancing.

Just as the didjeridu begins, we hear the dancers perform a malh, that is, a ritual invocation in which the performers call to attention the living, sentient ground upon which they dance.

Song structure summary

VOCAL SECTIONS 1-2

Melodic section 1

Text phrase 1

Rhythmic mode 5b (fast doubled)

   
ya 
SW 

Ya!

Text phrase 2

Rhythmic mode 5b (fast doubled)

   
bangany  -nyung  nga  -bindja  yagarra 
song  DAT  1MIN.S  sing  EXCL 

I’m singing in order to give you this song, yagarra!

Text phrase 3

Rhythmic mode 5b (fast doubled)

   
bangany  -nyung  nga  -bindja  ngaradj[a] 
song  DAT  1MIN.S  sing  daughter 

I’m singing in order to give you this song, daughter

Text phrase 4

Rhythmic mode 5b (fast doubled)

   
bangany  -nyung  nga  -bindja  yagarra 
song  DAT  1MIN.S  sing  EXCL 

I’m singing in order to give you this song, yagarra!

Text phrase 5

Rhythmic mode 5b (fast doubled)

   
bangany  -nyung  nga  -bindja  -ya 
song  DAT  1MIN.S  sing  SW 

I’m singing in order to give you this song

Melodic section 2

Text phrase 6

Rhythmic mode 5b (fast doubled)

   
ya 
SW 

Ya!

Text phrases 7-9

Rhythmic mode 5b (fast doubled)

   
ngaradja  bangany  nga  -bindja 
daughter  song  1MIN.S  sing 

Daughter! I’m singing a song

Melodic section 3

Text phrase 10

Rhythmic mode 5b (fast doubled)

   
yagarra 
EXCL 

Yagarra!

Text phrase 11

Rhythmic mode 5b (fast doubled)

   
ya  di 
SW  SW 

Ya di

INSTRUMENTAL SECTIONS 1-2

Rhythmic mode 5b (fast doubled). Changes to Rhythmic mode 5a (fast even) towards the end of instrumental section 2.

VOCAL SECTION 3

Melodic section 1

Text phrase 1

Rhythmic mode 5a (fast even)

   
ya 
SW 

Ya!

Text phrase 2

Rhythmic mode 5a (fast even)

   
bangany  -nyung  nga  -bindja  yagarra 
song  DAT  1MIN.S  sing  EXCL 

I’m singing in order to give you this song, yagarra!

Text phrase 3

Rhythmic mode 5a (fast even)

   
bangany  -nyung  nga  -bindja  ngaradj[a] 
song  DAT  1MIN.S  sing  daughter 

I’m singing in order to give you this song, daughter

Text phrase 4

Rhythmic mode 5a (fast even)

   
bangany  -nyung  nga  -bindja  yagarra 
song  DAT  1MIN.S  sing  EXCL 

I’m singing in order to give you this song, yagarra!

Text phrase 5

Rhythmic mode 5a (fast even)

   
bangany  -nyung  nga  -bindja  -ya 
song  DAT  1MIN.S  sing  SW 

I’m singing in order to give you this song

Melodic section 2

Text phrase 6

Rhythmic mode 5a (fast even)

   
ya 
SW 

Ya!

Text phrases 7-9

Rhythmic mode 5a (fast even)

   
ngaradja  bangany  nga  -bindja 
daughter  song  1MIN.S  sing 

Daughter! I’m singing a song

Melodic section 3

Text phrase 10

Rhythmic mode 5a (fast even)

   
yagarra 
EXCL 

Yagarra!

Text phrase 11

Rhythmic mode 5a (fast even)

   
da  ni 
SW  SW 

Da ni

INSTRUMENTAL SECTION 3

Rhythmic mode 5a (fast even)

CODA

Rhythmic mode 5a (fast even)

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