For the sake of a song

Walakandha No. 3

CD 6, Track 33

TRACK 33 (Mar99-04-s07) Song 20: Walakandha No. 3 [142]

   
Sung text   Free Translation  
karra walakandha-ga kiminy-gimi-vini kunya aven-andjakan-gu kavulh-wuwu duwarr kubuwemi-gukarra walakandha kudinggi-yirrir kuniny purangang ngindji ngandjenkubuwemi nidin-ngin-a  Walakandhas! They are saying, ‘where has everyone gone?’As for here, Kubuwemi is desertedThe Walakandhas [i.e., Dumoo, Kundjil and Mullumbuk] are wandering around at a certain other coastal estateKubuwemi! My dear country!  

In this song by Philip Mullumbuk, a group of Walakandhas (in this case, the ancestral dead) find Kubuwemi deserted and ask where everyone has gone. They are told that everyone (here ‘Walakandha’ refers to the living) has gone to another coastal estate. This song refers to an occasion on which Wagon Dumoo, Les Kundjil and Philip Mullumbuk went south to the estate of the Murriny Patha-speaking Yek Nangu clan, to perform ceremony. Perhaps this was the burn-im rag ceremony for Johnny Ninnal held in Nangu country sometime around 1990, which gave rise to a djanba song describing an encounter between performers of wangga and wurltjirri songs (Barwick, et al., 2010, djanba 65). [143]

Formally the song shows Philip Mullumbuk’s love of long, grammatically elaborate text phrases, each of which is often sung to the same melody. We will see this pattern repeated in the following song.

Song structure summary

VOCAL SECTIONS 1-2

Melodic section 1

Text phrase 1

Rhythmic mode 1 (without clapsticks)

   
karra  walakandha  -ga  kiminy  -gimi  -vini  kunya  aven  -andja 
SW  walakandha  TOP  3AUG.A.R say  talking  UAUG  3AUG.S.R stand  where  true 

Walakandhas! They are saying, ‘where has everyone gone?

   
kan  -gu  kavulh  -wuwu  duwarr  kubuwemi  -gu 
right here  TOP  MIN.S.R lie  empty  ground   place name  TOP 

As for here, Kubuwemi is deserted’

Melodic section 2

Text phrase 2

Rhythmic mode 1 (without clapsticks)

   
karra  walakandha  kudinggi  -yirrir  kuniny  purangang  ngindji  ngandjen 
SW  walakandha  3AUG.S.R look  go round  3AUG.S.R walk  sea  one  different 

The Walakandhas [i.e., Dumoo, Kundjil and Mullumbuk] are wandering around at a certain other coastal estate

   
kubuwemi  nidin   -ngin  -a 
place name  country  1MIN.O  PERF 

Kubuwemi! My dear country!

INSTRUMENTAL SECTION 1

Rhythmic mode 5a (fast even)

INSTRUMENTAL SECTION 2

Rhythmic mode 5b (fast doubled)