For the sake of a song

Nadirri

CD 6, Track 19

TRACK 19 (Mar88-30-s15) Song 6: Nadirri [127]

   
Sung text   Free Translation  
karra walakandha nadirri ka-rri-tik-nginanga-yaaa nadirri ka-rri-tik-nyinanga-ya(aa nadirri ka-rri-tik-nyinanga-ya)  Brother Walakandha! The tide has gone out at Nadirri and I couldn't stop it [I couldn't stop him dying]Aa, the tide has gone out at Nadirri and I couldn't stop itAa, the tide has gone out at Nadirri and I couldn't stop it 

For the Marri Tjavin, tide is a metaphor for the cycle of birth, death and rebirth. Here the ebbing tide symbolises death, as a song-giving Walakandha sings of the death of one of his descendants.

This song, by an unknown composer, is performed by Martin Warrigal Kungiung in an elicited performance recorded by Allan Marett at Peppimenarti on 6 June 1988. The backup singers included Warrigal’s ‘father’ (father’s brother) Thomas Kungiung, and the didjeridu player is Raphael Thardim. The tune is shared with two other songs by unknown composers, ‘Walakandha No. 1’ (track 15) and ‘Karra’ (track 28).

Song structure summary

VOCAL SECTIONS 1-3

Melodic section 1

Text phrase 1

Rhythmic mode 1 (without clapsticks)

   
karra  walakandha  nadirri  ka  -rri  -tik  -nginanga  -ya 
SW  walakandha  place name  3MIN.S.R  use hands  ebb  1MIN.ADVERS  PERF 

Brother Walakandha! The tide has gone out at Nadirri and I couldn't stop it [I couldn't stop him dying]

Melodic section 2

Text phrase 2

Rhythmic mode 1 (without clapsticks)

   
aa  nadirri  ka  -rri  -tik  -nyinanga  -ya 
SW  place name  3MIN.S.R  use hands  ebb  1MIN.ADVERS  PERF 

Ah, the tide has gone out at Nadirri and I couldn't stop it

Melodic section 3 (optional; vocal section 1 only)

Text phrase 3

Rhythmic mode 1 (without clapsticks)

   
aa  nadirri  ka  -rri  -tik  -nyinanga  -ya 
SW  place name  3MIN.S.R  use hands  ebb  1MIN.ADVERS  PERF 

Ah, the tide has gone out at Nadirri and I couldn't stop it

INSTRUMENTAL SECTIONS 1-2

Rhythmic mode 5a (fast even)

INSTRUMENTAL SECTION 3

Rhythmic mode 5b (fast doubled)