For the sake of a song

Naya Rradja Bangany Nye-ve

CD 1, Track 16

TRACK 16 (Elk52-19B-s04) Song 13: Naya Rradja Bangany Nye-ve

               
Sung text  Free translation 
naya rradja bangany nye-ve  Naya rradja. You go for a song 
mayave rradja bangany nye-ve  Mayave rradja. You go for a song 
(three times) 
yene bangany nye-ve  Yene. You go for a song 
yenene didjeremu  Yenene didjeremu 
limarenye limarenye  Limarenye limarenye 
limarenye limarenye  Limarenye limarenye 
ii  Ii 

This lerri song has an isorhythmic text composed largely of vocables interspersed with the Batjamalh statement ‘bangany nye-ve’ (you go for a song). In chapter 3 (2.1) Lys Ford discusses the difficulties of transcribing vocable texts with special reference to this song. These difficulties should be borne in mind while listening to the following four tracks. [64]

In Songs, dreamings and ghosts, Marett drew attention to the high degree of stability exhibited by this song over a period of almost fifty years (see discussion and musical transcriptions in Marett, 2005, pp 174-79). The four recordings discussed in Songs, dreamings and ghosts—the earliest from 1952 and the latest from 1997—are here presented in chronological order, beginning with a recording made by Elkin in 1952. The performer is Jimmy Bandak, Barrtjap’s father’s brother, who in the Aboriginal way Barrtjap called ‘father.’ Towards the end of this track the sound of the dancers advancing can be clearly heard. Bandak performs the whole item in a single rhythmic mode (5c, fast uneven quadruple).

Wangga Image Figure 4.4 Jimmy Bandak singing at a burnim-rag ceremony at Bagot, 1953. Left to right: Dolly Garinyi, Maggie Woodie, Jimmy Bandak, Maudie Woodie, George Munggulu. Courtesy of University of Sydney Archives, reproduced with the permission of Belyuen community.

This song continues to be sung today; indeed, in 2008 Marett sang it alongside Barrtjap’s son Timothy at the kapuk ragburning ceremony for the late Kenny Burrenjuck, Barrtjap’s eldest son and Marett’s teacher (see discussion in Barwick & Marett, 2011).

Song structure summary

VOCAL SECTIONS 1-3

Melodic section 1

Text phrases 1-3

Rhythmic mode 5c (fast uneven quadruple)

   
naya  rradja  bangany  nye  -ve 
SW  SW  song  2MIN.IR  go 

Naya rradja. You go for a song

   
mayave  rradja  bangany  nye  -ve 
SW  SW  song  2MIN.IR  go 

Mayave rradja. You go for a song

Text phrase 4

Rhythmic mode 5c (fast uneven quadruple)

   
yene  bangany  nye  -ve 
SW  song  2MIN.IR  go 

Yene. You go for a song

   
yenene  didjeremu  
SW  SW 

Yenene didjeremu.

Text phrase 5

Rhythmic mode 5c (fast uneven quadruple)

   
limarenye  limarenye  limarenye  limarenye 
SW  SW  SW  SW 

Limarenye limarenye limarenye limarenye.

Melodic section 2

Text phrase 6

Rhythmic mode 5c (fast uneven quadruple)

   
ii 
SW 

ii

INSTRUMENTAL SECTIONS 1-3

Rhythmic mode 5c (fast uneven quadruple)

CODA

Rhythmic mode 5c (fast uneven quadruple)

yit ngayi ngayi yit ngayi ngayi …