For the sake of a song


CD 4, Track 15

TRACK 15 (Mar86-04-s05) Song 7: Tjerrendet

Sung text   Free Translation  
tjerrendet-maka ka-ngadjatjidja-nde bangany ka-bindja(repeated)  Tjerrendet has gone backIt’s this man’s turn to sing a song 

‘Tjerrendet,’ which means a traditional loincloth or ‘cockrag,’ was the nickname of Roy Mardi Bigfoot, who was an active performer at the time that Alice Moyle was recording performances at Mandorah at 1968. He had outstations both at Balgal opposite the Peron Islands and at Dum-in-Mirrie Island. Lambudju told us that he made this song one day when he saw Tjerrendet walking past his camp.

Lambudju’s explanation of the song was:

Tjerrendet means, like a person’s name and this is what I’m singing about. Every time I repeat this budjebudje yangbangga nitj [I repeatedly call his name] he goes away and sings kudja kabararrang bangany kabindja [this man is singing a song] kabindjeng kabara [he sings as he goes], that means he goes out and repeating that song all the time, singing to himself.

Given that wangga are so often concerned with the activities of song-giving ghosts, we cannot but wonder whether this song in fact describes a visitation of Tjerrendet’s ghost to the songman, Lambudju, whose turn it is now to sing the song.

Song structure summary


Melodic section 1

Text phrase 1-4

Rhythmic mode 3a (slow moderate even)

tjerrendet  -maka  ka  -ngadja 
person'name  PERF  3MIN.S.R  go back. 

Tjerrendet has gone back

tjidja  -nde  bangany  ka  -bindja 
3MIN.M.DEIC  now  song  3MIN.S.R  sing 

It’s this man’s turn to sing a song


Rhythmic mode 3a (slow moderate even)