For the sake of a song

Wak (Crow)

TRACK 7 (Moy68-02-s3) Song 3: Wak

                                   
Sung text  Free translation 
aa karra kana-kalkal rtadi nganggu-ga kaya yawa-ndha  Ah, he is always climbing on top of our stuff there 
aa karra wak kana-kalkal rtadi nganggu-ga kaya yawa-ndha  Ah, Crow is always climbing on top of our stuff there 
aa karra wak-ngana-yi  Ah, it was because of Crow 
kana-kalkal rtadi nganggu-ga kaya yawa-ndha  Who is always climbing on top of our stuff there 
aa karra wak-ngana-yi  Ah, it was because of Crow 
kana-kalkal rtadi nganggu-ga kaya yawa-ndha  Who is always climbing on top of our stuff there 
aa karra wak-ngana-yi  Ah, it was because of Crow 
kana-putput rtadi nganggu-ga kaya yawa-ndha  Who is always walking on top of our stuff there 
aa karra wak-ngana-yi  Ah, it was because of Crow 
kana-putput rtadi nganggu-ga kaya yawa-ndha  Who is always walking on top of our stuff there 
aa karra wak-ngana-yi  Ah, it was because of Crow 
kana-kalkal rtadi nganggu-ga kaya yawa-ndha  Who is always climbing on top of our stuff there 
aa karra wak-ngana-yi  Ah, it was because of Crow 
kana-putput rtadi nganggu-ga kaya yawa-ndha  Who is always walking on top of our stuff there 
aa karra wak-ngana-yi  Ah, it was because of Crow 
kana-putput rtadi nganggu-ga kaya yawa-ndha  Who is always walking on top of our stuff there 
aa karra wak-ngana-yi  Ah, it was because of Crow 
kana-putput rtadi nganggu-ga kaya yawa-ndha  Who is always walking on top of our stuff there 

This performance by Jimmy Muluk was recorded at the same tourist corroboree as ‘Puliki’ (track 1) and ‘Tjinbarambara’ (track 5). The dancers’ calls of wak (Crow) mingle with the words of the song. The song text comprises two minimally different forms of a closely related text phrase. The first, which uses kalkal (climb) as the main verb, is translated as, ‘he is always climbing on top of our stuff.’ The second, which uses putput (walk) as the main verb, is translated as ‘he is always walking on top of our stuff.’ The use of the co-verb kaya ‘lie’, like the use of the cognate co-verb kavulh in Marri Tjavin and Marri Ammu wangga, implies ancestral action, and that the Crow here is totemic.

Jimmy Muluk also told the following story about Crow. Ford discusses this text and the text of the wangga song (Ford, 2007, pp 78-80).

JM: Miya wakngana gilanggala gaya yawanhdha. Tjanggurrinyya miya gilanggala yene gana. na ganyavanayinö awak gilanganggala miya. Ganakalalka rtedi. Yuwa ganakalalkrtediya wakngana miya. Kayilana wakga miya gilaninya. Wut palat vunidjenda.wak kak ganivulhut. nganyamörögumbuninya . Wina yu! wak kak gana ganavil.

‘Crow is always eating our tucker there in that place we know. It’s our tucker that he keeps walking on and eating with his back to us. He would have spoilt it all. Crow eats our tucker. He climbs on top with his back to us. It’s all Crow’s fault; he’s climbing on top of the tucker over there with his back to us. Don’t let crow eat it all. They should walk again on the earth outside now. Crow ought to let go of the tucker. I should sing all night for that stuff. Satisfied, Crow goes away, flies away.’

Song structure summary

VOCAL SECTION 1

Rhythmic mode 1 (without clapsticks)

Melodic section 1

Text phrase 1

   
aa  karra  kana  -kalkal  rtadi  nganggu  -ga  kaya  yawa  -ndha 
SW  SW  3MIN.S.R walk  climb  on top  1/2MIN.PRO  TOP  3MIN.S.R lie  3MIN.ANAPH DEIC  really 

Ah, he is always climbing on top of our stuff there

Melodic section 2

Text phrase 2

   
aa  karra  wak  kana  -kalkal  rtadi  nganggu  -ga  kaya  yawa  -ndha 
SW  SW  crow  3MIN.S.R walk  -climb  on top  1/2MIN.PRO  TOP  3MIN.S.R lie  3MIN.ANAPH.DEIC  really 

Ah, Crow is always climbing on top of our stuff there

INSTRUMENTAL SECTION 1

Rhythmic mode 2a (slow even)

VOCAL SECTION 2

Rhythmic mode 1 (without clapsticks)

Melodic section 1

Text phrase 1

   
aa  karra  wak  -ngana  -yi 
SW  SW  crow  from  PERF 

Ah, it was because of Crow

   
kana  -kalkal  rtadi  nganggu  -ga  kaya  yawa  -ndha 
3MIN.S.R walk  climb-  on top  1/2MIN.PRO  TOP  3MIN.S.Rlie  3MIN.ANAPH DEIC  really 

who is always climbing on top of our stuff there

INSTRUMENTAL SECTION 2

Rhythmic mode 4a (moderate even)

VOCAL SECTION 3

Melodic section 1

Rhythmic mode 1 (without clapsticks)

Text phrase 1

   
aa  karra  wak  -ngana  -yi 
SW  SW  crow  from  PERF 

Ah, it was because of Crow

   
kana  -kalkal  rtadi  nganggu  -ga  kaya  yawa  -ndha 
3MIN.S.R walk  climb-  on top  ½MIN.PRO  TOP  3MIN.S.Rlie  3MIN.ANAPH DEIC  really 

who is always climbing on top of our stuff there

INSTRUMENTAL SECTION 3

Rhythmic mode 2a (slow even)

VOCAL SECTION 4

Rhythmic mode 1 (without clapsticks)

Melodic section 1

Text phrase 1

   
aa  karra  wak  -ngana  -yi 
SW  SW  crow  from  PERF 

Ah, it was because of Crow

   
kana  -putput  rtadi  nganggu  -ga  kaya  yawa  -ndha 
3MIN.S.R walk-  walk  on top  ½MIN.PRO  TOP  3MIN.S.R lie  3MIN.ANAPH DEIC  really 

who is always walking on top of our stuff there

INSTRUMENTAL SECTION 4

Rhythmic mode 4a (moderate even)

VOCAL SECTION 5

Rhythmic mode 1 (without clapsticks)

Melodic section 1

Text phrase 1

   
aa  karra  wak  -ngana  -yi 
SW  SW  crow  from  PERF 

Ah, it was because of Crow

   
kana  -putput  rtadi  nganggu  -ga  kaya  yawa  -ndha 
3MIN.S.R walk-  walk  on top  ½MIN.PRO  TOP  3MIN.S.R lie  3MIN.ANAPH DEIC  really 

who is always walking on top of our stuff there

Melodic section 2

Text phrase 2

   
aa  karra  wak  -ngana  -yi 
SW  SW  crow  from  PERF 

Ah, it was because of Crow

   
kana  -kalkal  rtadi  nganggu  -ga  kaya  yawa  -ndha 
3MIN.S.R walk  climb-  on top  ½MIN.PRO  TOP  3MIN.S.Rlie  3MIN.ANAPH DEIC  really 

who is always climbing on top of our stuff there

INSTRUMENTAL SECTION 5

Rhythmic mode 4a (moderate even)

VOCAL SECTION 6

Rhythmic mode 1 (without clapsticks)

Melodic section 1

Text phrase 1

   
aa  karra  wak  -ngana  -yi 
SW  SW  crow  from  PERF 

Ah, it was because of Crow

   
kana  -putput  rtadi  nganggu  -ga  kaya  yawa  -ndha 
3MIN.S.R walk-  walk  on top  ½MIN.PRO  TOP  3MIN.S.R lie  3MIN.ANAPH DEIC  really 

who is always walking on top of our stuff there

INSTRUMENTAL SECTION 6

Rhythmic mode 4a (moderate even)

VOCAL SECTION 7

Melodic section 1

Rhythmic mode 1 (without clapsticks)

Text phrase 1

   
aa  karra  wak  -ngana  -yi 
SW  SW  crow  from  PERF 

Ah, it was because of Crow

   
kana  -putput  rtadi  nganggu  -ga  kaya  yawa  -ndha 
3MIN.S.R walk-  Walk  on top  1/2MIN.PRO  TOP  3MIN.S.R lie  3MIN.ANAPH DEIC  really 

who is always walking on top of our stuff there

Melodic section 2

Text phrase 2

   
aa  karra  wak  -ngana  -yi 
SW  SW  crow  from  PERF 

Ah, it was because of Crow

   
kana  -kalkal  rtadi  nganggu  -ga  kaya  yawa  -ndha 
3MIN.S.R walk  climb-  on top  1/2MIN.PRO  TOP  3MIN.S.Rlie  3MIN.ANAPH DEIC  really 

who is always walking on top of our stuff there

INSTRUMENTAL SECTION 7

Rhythmic mode 4e (moderate doubled)