For the sake of a song

Mirrwana

CD 6, Track 21

TRACK 21 (Marett88-40-s11) Song 8: Mirrwana [129]

   
Sung text   Free Translation  
karra karra walakandha mirrwana kavulh-ni verri ngangga-yakarrakarra walakandha kimi-wurri kavulhaakarra walakandha mirrwana kavulh-ni verri ngangga-yakarra walakandha kimi-wurri kavulh  KarraA [living] Walakandha has laid himself down at the foot of a cabbage palm tree and there is nothing that you and I can do about itKarraThe [dead] Walakandha always sings to meAaA [living] Walakandha has laid himself down at the foot of a cabbage palm tree and there is nothing that you and I can do about itThe [dead] Walakandha always sings to me 

This song was composed by Martin Warrigal Kungiung, who performs it here. The first three text phrases of this song contain an utterance by a ghost: one of the Walakandha dead notices a living descendant lying under a cabbage palm and seizes this opportunity to give him a song. In the final text phrase, performed in the lower octave, the focus seems to switch to an observation added by the singer.

The text phrase structue differs significantly in the two vocal sections, though the two Marri Tjavin text phrases appear in each. This elicited performance was recorded by Allan Marett at a burnim-rag ceremony at Batchelor on 11 September 1988.

Song structure summary

VOCAL SECTION 1

Melodic section 1

Text phrase 1

Rhythmic mode 1 (without clapsticks)

   
karra 
SW 

Karra

Melodic section 2

Text phrase 2

Rhythmic mode 1 (without clapsticks)

   
karra  walakandha   mirrwana  kavulh  -ni  verri   ngangga  -ya 
SW  walakandha  cabbage palm  3MIN.S.R lies  PURP  foot  1/2ADVERS  PERF 

A [living] Walakandha has laid himself down at the foot of a cabbage palm tree and there is nothing that you and I can do about it

Melodic section 3

Text phrase 3

Rhythmic mode 1 (without clapsticks)

   
karra 
SW 

Karra

Melodic section 4 (lower octave)

Text phrase 4

Rhythmic mode 1 (without clapsticks)

   
karra  walakandha   kimi  -wurri  kavulh 
karra  walakandha  3MIN.S.R say/sang  towards speaker  3MIN.S.R lies 

The [dead] Walakandha always sings to me

INSTRUMENTAL SECTION 1

Rhythmic mode 5a (fast even)

VOCAL SECTION 2

Melodic section 1

Text phrase 1

Rhythmic mode 1 (without clapsticks)

   
aa 
SW 

Aa

Melodic section 2

Text phrase 2

Rhythmic mode 1 (without clapsticks)

   
karra  walakandha   mirrwana  kavulh  -ni  verri   ngangga  -ya 
SW  walakandha  cabbage palm  3MIN.S.R lies  PURP  foot  1/2ADVERS  PERF 

A [living] Walakandha has laid himself down at the foot of a cabbage palm tree and there is nothing that you and I can do about it

Melodic section 3 (lower octave)

Text phrase 3

Rhythmic mode 1 (without clapsticks)

   
karra  walakandha   kimi  -wurri  kavulh 
karra  walakandha  3MIN.S.R say/sang  towards speaker  3MIN.S.R lies 

The [dead] Walakandha always sings to me

INSTRUMENTAL SECTION 2

Rhythmic mode 5b (fast doubled)