For the sake of a song

Lame Fella

CD 2, Track 14

TRACK 14 (Moy62-26-s09) Song 7: Lame Fella (fast version)

         
Sung text  Free translation 
yele mele dagaldja yawa-ndha mele dagaldja  Yele mele dagaldja truly there mele dagaldja 
yele mele dagaldja yawa-ndha mele dagaldja  Yele mele dagaldja truly there mele dagaldja 
yele mele dagaldja yawa-ndha mele dagaldja  Yele mele dagaldja truly there mele dagaldja 
karra kana-ngana-yi kaya yawa-ndha  This [song] was from him who is always truly walking there 
yele mele dagaldja yawa-ndha mele dagaldja  Yele mele dagaldja truly there mele dagaldja 

The tune and the subject of track 14 is the same as for track 13. As on track 13, the text comprises text phrases in ghost language followed by a text phrase in Mendhe, but in track 14 the ghost language text and the Mendhe text are allocated to separate vocal sections. The Mendhe text asserts that this song ‘was from him [that is, the ‘lame fella’,’] who is always truly walking there. The use of the phrase ‘always truly walking there’ supports the idea that the ‘lame fella’ is some sort of totemic ghost.

Note that while the slow version accompanied the text about the ghost lying down, the fast version accompanies text in which the ghost is described as walking. We have previously encountered a similar use of tempo change to signify change in the activity of an ancestral ghost in Billy Mandji’s version of ‘Puliki’ (track 2), where slow beating was associated with the ghostly Buffalo swimming, and fast beating with him dancing on Mica Beach.

Song structure summary

VOCAL SECTION 1

Rhythmic mode 5a (fast even)

Melodic section 1

Text phrases 1-3

   
yele  mele  dagaldja  yawa  -ndha  mele   dagaldja 
SW  SW  SW  3MIN.ANAPH DEIC  really  SW  SW 

Yele mele dagaldja truly there mele dagaldja

INSTRUMENTAL SECTION 1

Rhythmic mode 5a (fast even)

VOCAL SECTION 2

Rhythmic mode 5a (fast even)

Melodic section 1

Text phrase 1

   
karra  kana  -ngana  -yi  kaya  yawa  -ndha 
SW  3MIN.S.R walk  from  PERF  3MIN.S.R lie  3MIN.ANAPH DEIC  really 

This [song] was from him who is always truly walking there

Text phrase 2

   
yele  mele  dagaldja  yawa  -ndha  mele   dagaldja 
SW  SW  SW  3MIN.ANAPH DEIC  really  SW  SW 

Yele mele dagaldja truly there mele dagaldja

INSTRUMENTAL SECTION 2

Rhythmic mode 5a (fast even)

VOCAL SECTION 3

Rhythmic mode 5a (fast even)

Melodic section 1

Text phrases 1-3

   
yele  mele  dagaldja  yawa  -ndha  mele   dagaldja 
SW  SW  SW  3MIN.ANAPH DEIC  really  SW  SW 

Yele mele dagaldja truly there mele dagaldja

INSTRUMENTAL SECTION 3

Rhythmic mode 5a (fast even)

VOCAL SECTION 4

Rhythmic mode 5a (fast even)

Melodic section 1

Text phrase 1

   
karra  kana  -ngana  -yi  kaya  yawa  -ndha 
SW  3MIN.S.R.walk  from  PERF  3MIN.S.R lie  3MIN.ANAPH DEIC  really 

This [song] was from him who is always truly walking there

Text phrase 2

   
yele  mele  dagaldja  yawa  -ndha  mele   dagaldja 
SW  SW  SW  3MIN.ANAPH DEIC  really  SW  SW 

Yele mele dagaldja truly there mele dagaldja

INSTRUMENTAL SECTION 4
Rhythmic mode 5a (fast even)