For the sake of a song

Walingave

CD 4, Track 18

TRACK 18 (Mar91-04-s05) Song 10: Walingave

   
Sung text   Free Translation  
walingave-maka bangany nye-bindja-ng(repeated)ii aawalingave-maka bangany nye-bindja-ngwalingave-maka bangany nye-bindja-ng  Sing a song for Walingave ii, aaSing a song for WalingaveSing a song for Walingave  

Lambudju explains, ‘Now this song is about a place called Wali. Walingave. It’s near Peron Island there somewhere, and what I’m singing there is, I just repeat that same old word: Wali, Walingave.’ It is unclear precisely where Walingave is located.

In 1979 Brian Enda explained the song as follows (Marett, Barwick and Ford, 2001):

Wally, that’s the name of the Toyota at Port Keats when I was working up there. They call that Toyota ‘Wally.’ He had an accident somewhere near Daly River, you know that crossing? My ‘father’ Bobby Lane [asked] what time they’re going to fix it. My father said [sings] ‘wali muvu-maka—like what time you going to move?’ You know, he was [at] the garage. Well my old man said [sings] ‘wali muvu-maka-yi bangany ney-bindja—what time you going to move again?’ My old man made that song you see, that’s the one we’re singing now.

It is possible that this explanation is what Ellis called ‘a false front,’ that is, an version of events that hides the true, deeper meaning (CJ Ellis, 1985, p 124), and that Lambudju’s explanation, with its reference to a dimly remembered place in the ancestral country that he had never visited was true, but a matter of some sensitivity. It is also possible to argue, on the basis of the melody of this song (which is the same as ‘Karra Balhak Malvak’ (track 10)), that this was one of the older songs in Lambudju’s repertory, perhaps composed by one of the songmen of his father’s generation, who would have been better acquainted with country around North Peron Island (Marett, 2005, p 195). Interestingly, in 2008 Colin Worumbu Ferguson strongly asserted that Brian Enda’s explanation was the correct one and that there was no such place as Walingave (personal communication, Allan Marett).

Song structure summary

VOCAL SECTIONS 1-2

Melodic section 1

Text phrases 1-6

Rhythmic mode 3b (slow moderate uneven triple)

   
walingave  -maka  bangany  nye  -bindja  -ng 
place name  for  song  2MIN.S.IR  sing  SIM 

Sing a song for Walingave

Melodic section 2

Text phrase 7

Rhythmic mode 3b (slow moderate uneven triple)

   
ii  aa 
SW  SW 

ii, aa

Text phrases 8-9

Rhythmic mode 3b (slow moderate uneven triple)

   
walingave  -maka  bangany  nye  -bindja  -ng 
place name  for  song  2MIN.S.IR  sing  SIM 

Sing a song for Walingave

INSTRUMENTAL SECTIONS 1-2

Rhythmic mode 3b (slow moderate uneven triple)