For the sake of a song

Bandawarra-ngalgin

TRACK 7 (Mar86-04-s02) Song 2: Bandawarra-ngalgin

   
Sung text   Free Translation  
bandawarra-ngalgin ka-djen-menebandawarra-ngalgin ka-djen-menebandawarra-ngalgin  It [the tide] is coming in at Bandawarra-ngalginIt [the tide] is coming in at Bandawarra-ngalginBandawarra-ngalgin 

Bandawarra-ngalgin is the name given to a deep and dangerous hole in the ocean floor. It lies between the mouth of the Daly River and South Peron Island and forms part of Lambudju’s ancestral country.

There are a number of interesting formal features of this song. The first is the oscillating glide that begins each melodic section. Glides of this sort can be heard in some of the oldest archival recordings of wangga but are rarely heard today. The second is the variability in ordering of the three text phrases, bandawarra-ngalgin ka-djen-mene (‘It [the tide] is coming in at Bandawarra-ngalgin’), nya-muy-ang nye-djang-nganggung (‘Stand up and dance woman, for us both’) and ngala-viyitj nya-mu-nganggung (‘Sit and clap hands for us both’). This variability can be observed not only across the three items presented here (tracks 7, 8 and 9) but also between vocal sections within each item. The third notable feature is the genre self-reference in the text phrases that refer to dancing and hand clapping. Here the singer is calling on the wider community to participate fully in the performance.

Song structure summary

VOCAL SECTION 1

Melodic sections 1-2

Text phrases 1-2

Rhythmic mode 1 (without clapsticks)

   
bandawarra-ngalgin  ka  -djen  -mene 
placename   3MIN.S  come in 

It [the tide] is coming in at Bandawarra-ngalgin

INSTRUMENTAL SECTION 1

Rhythmic mode 4a (moderate even)

VOCAL SECTION 2

Melodic section 1

Text phrase 1

Rhythmic mode 1 (without clapsticks)

   
bandawarra-ngalgin 
placename  

Bandawarra-ngalgin

INSTRUMENTAL SECTION 2

Rhythmic mode 5b (fast doubled)