For the sake of a song

Walakandha No. 1

CD 5, Track 15

TRACK 15 (Mar88-24-s02) Song 4: Walakandha No. 1 [123]

   
Sung text   Free Translation  
karra walakandha  Walakandha! 

Nobody can remember who made this song, or of two other songs using the same melody, ‘Nadirri’ (track 19) and ‘Karra’ (track 28).

Even in so simple a text, the communicative function is complex. Because of reciprocal use of the term ‘Walakandha’ by the dead to call the living, and by the living to call the dead, the vocative text karra walakanda simultaneously constitutes a call from the dead to living Walakandha in the act of song creation, and, when sung in ceremony, a call of the living to dead Walakandha. The reciprocal use of the term articulates and enacts themes of intimacy between the two orders of being, so that the song functions as two-way communication—from the dead to the living, and from the living to the dead (see further discussion of this song in Marett, 2005, p 65).

Song structure summary

VOCAL SECTIONS 1-3

Melodic section 1

Text phrase 1

Rhythmic mode 1 (without clapsticks)

   
karra   walakandha  
SW  walakandha 

Walakandha!

INSTRUMENTAL SECTIONS 1-3

Rhythmic mode 5a (fast even)

INSTRUMENTAL SECTION 4

Rhythmic mode 5b (fast doubled)