For the sake of a song

Yenmilhi No. 2

CD 5, Track 11

TRACK 11 (?Hodd82-s08) Song viii: Yenmilhi No. 2 [117]

   
Sung text   Free Translation  
karra yenmilhi kimi-wurri kavulh-akarra yenmilhi kimi-wurri kavulh-akarra wutjelli kimi-wurri kavulh-akarra yenmilhi kimi-wurri kavulh-akarra yenmilhi kimi-wurri kavulh-akarra walakandha kimi-wurri kavulh-akarra yenmilhi kimi-wurri kavulh-akarra yenmilhi kimi-wurri kavulh-akarra wutjelli kimi-wurri kavulh-a  He [a Walakandha] has always sung ‘Yenmilhi’ to meHe [a Walakandha] has always sung ‘Yenmilhi’ to meHe [a Walakandha] has always sung ‘Wutjelli’ to meHe [a Walakandha] has always sung ‘Yenmilhi’ to meHe [a Walakandha] has always sung ‘Yenmilhi’ to meHe [a Walakandha] has always sung ‘Walakandha’ to meHe [a Walakandha] has always sung ‘Yenmilhi’ to meHe [a Walakandha] has always sung ‘Yenmilhi’ to meHe [a Walakandha] has always sung ‘Wutjelli’ to me 

This is the second of Thomas Kungiung’s early compositions contained on the recordings attributed to Hoddinott, and like ‘Yendili No. 6’ it uses the AAB form. Here there is some variability in the last text phrase of each vocal section, where the singer switches between ‘Wutjelli’ (the name of an ancestor of Stan Mullumbuk) and ‘Walakandha.’

Here the beating pattern adopted for the instrumental sections is the same as used in Mullumbuk’s songs in the same rhythmic mode and differs from the pattern adopted in the Kungiung’s own song ‘Yendili No. 6’ on the preceding track (see music analysis section for more details).

Song structure summary

VOCAL SECTION 1

Melodic section 1

Text phrases 1-2

Rhythmic mode 1 (without clapsticks)

   
karra  yenmilhi  kimi  -wurri  kavulh  -a 
SW  place name  3MIN.S.R say/sing  towards speaker  3MIN.S.R lie  PERF 

He [a Walakandha] has always sung ‘Yenmilhi’ to me

Text phrase 3

Rhythmic mode 1 (without clapsticks)

   
karra  wutjelli  kimi  -wurri  kavulh  -a 
SW  person's name  3MIN.S.R say/sing  towards speaker  3MIN.S.R lie  PERF 

He [a Walakandha] has always sung ‘Wutjelli’ to me

INSTRUMENTAL SECTION 1

Rhythmic mode 5*

VOCAL SECTION 2

Melodic section 1

Text phrases 1-2

Rhythmic mode 1 (without clapsticks)

   
karra  yenmilhi  kimi  -wurri  kavulh  -a 
SW  place name  3MIN.S.R say/sing  towards speaker  3MIN.S.R lie  PERF 

He [a Walakandha] has always sung ‘Yenmilhi’ to me

Text phrase 3

Rhythmic mode 1 (without clapsticks)

   
karra  walakandha  kimi  -wurri  kavulh  -a 
SW  walakandha  3MIN.S.R say/sing  towards speaker  3MIN.S.R lie  PERF 

He [a Walakandha] has always sung ‘Walakandha’ to me

INSTRUMENTAL SECTION 2

Rhythmic mode 5*

VOCAL SECTION 3

Melodic section 1

Text phrases 1-2

Rhythmic mode 1 (without clapsticks)

   
karra  yenmilhi  kimi  -wurri  kavulh  -a 
SW  place name  3MIN.S.R say/sing  towards speaker  3MIN.S.R lie  PERF 

He [a Walakandha] has always sung ‘Yenmilhi’ to me

Text phrase 3

Rhythmic mode 1 (without clapsticks)

   
karra  wutjelli  kimi  -wurri  kavulh  -a 
SW  person's name  3MIN.S.R say/sing  towards speaker  3MIN.S.R lie  PERF 

He [a Walakandha] has always sung ‘Wutjelli’ to me

INSTRUMENTAL SECTION 3

Rhythmic mode 5b (fast doubled)

C: The golden age of the Walakandha wangga (tracks 12-29)

The decade from 1986 to 1996, now looked back on as a ‘golden age’, is a period in which there were a large number of active songmen, all of whom composed. These included Thomas Kungiung (1934-1993), Wagon Dumoo (1926-circa 1990), Martin Warrigal Kungiung (1935-circa 1997), Les Kundjil (1935-2009) and Philip Mullumbuk (1947-2008). There was also a strong body of dancers, many from other Marri language clans—who included Frank Dumoo (Marri Tjevin), Ambrose Piarlum (Marri Ngarr), John Chula (Matige), Edward Nemarluk (Marri Ammu) and Maurice Ngulkur (Marri Ammu)—and several excellent didjeridu players, foremost amongst whom was John Dumoo (1922-1997).

Wangga Image

Wangga Image

During this period the Walakandha wangga tradition was at its peak. Marett made recordings in 1988 and further recordings in the collection of the Wadeye Aboriginal Sound Archive were made by Michael Enilane, who was a teacher at the school from 1992 (tracks 12-23). [118] The earliest recordings for this period were made by Frances Kofod in 1986 (tracks 24-28), including five songs that by 1988 had apparently fallen out of the repertory: Stan Mullumbuk’s first song ‘Walakandha No. 8’ (track 1), [119] ‘Pumurriyi’ (track 24), ‘Thidha nany’ (track 25), ‘Dhembedi–ndjen’ (track 26), ‘Tjagawala’ (track 27) and ‘Karra’ (track 28). Although Kofod’s recording includes many songs that were also recorded by Marett in 1988 (including ‘Kubuwemi’, ‘Yendili No. 1’, ‘Walakandha No. 1’, and ‘Nadirri’), only Marett’s recordings of these songs are included here. There is also a single recording (track 29) that was discovered in the Wadeye Aboriginal Language Centre archive. Although the recording is undated, with no information as to who made it, the style of performance suggests that this song also belongs to the golden age.