For the sake of a song

Wutjelli No. 1

CD 6, Track 22

TRACK 22 (Eni92-s11) Song 9: Wutjelli No. 1 [130]

   
Sung text   Free Translation  
mana wutjelli ka-ni-put-puwa kuwa rtidim nidin-ngin-akarra walakandha purangang devin kuwa-vapa-winyanga truwu nidin-ngin-a(karra walakandha purangang)  Wutjelli is standing with one leg crossed over the other, Rtidim! My dear country!Walakandha! The lonely waves are crashing on them, Truwu! My dear country!Walakandha! Waves 

This song was composed by Thomas Kungiung. Wutjelli, mentioned also in ‘Wutjelli No. 2’ (track 3), and ‘Yenmilhi No. 2’ (track 11), was a ‘grandfather’ (grandfather’s brother) of Philip and Stan Mullumbuk (Marett, 2005, p 47). Here he stands in the number four leg pose marking him as one of the dead, watching the waves crashing down on his descendants from his vantage point at Rtidim, the headland to the north of Truwu beach. As in ‘Truwu’ (tracks 16-18), the waves here are a metaphor for the exigencies of life.

This performance was recorded by Michael Enilane at a circumcision ceremony at Wadeye in 1992, where the singers included Thomas Kungiung and Les Kundjil. As he often does, Kungiung sometimes repeats the beginning of text phrase 2 at the lower octave before moving to the instrumental section.

Song structure summary

VOCAL SECTIONS 1-3

Melodic section 1

Text phrase 1

Rhythmic mode 1 (without clapsticks)

   
mana  wutjelli  ka  -ni  -put  -puwa  kuwa  rtidim  nidin  -ngin  -a 
brother  person's name  3MIN.S.R  walk  bends  leg  3MIN.S.R stand  place name  country  1MIN.O  PERF 

Wultjelli is standing with one leg crossed over the other Rtidim! My dear country!

Melodic section 2

Text phrase 2

Rhythmic mode 1 (without clapsticks)

   
karra  walakandha  purangang  devin  kuwa  -vapa  -winyanga  truwu   nidin  -ngin  -a 
karra  walakandha  sea  alone  3MIN.S.R stand  crash  3AUG.ADVERS  place name  country  1MIN.O  PERF 

Walakandha! The lonely waves are crashing on them Truwu! My dear country!

Melodic section 3 (lower octave; vocal section 1 only)

Text phrase 2

Rhythmic mode 1 (without clapsticks)

   
karra  walakandha  purangang 
karra  walakandha  sea 

Walakandha! Waves …

INSTRUMENTAL SECTIONS 1-2

Rhythmic mode 5a (fast even)

INSTRUMENTAL SECTION 3

Rhythmic mode 5b (fast doubled)