For the sake of a song


CD 4, Track 16

TRACK 16 (Mar86-04-s11) Song 8: Tjendabalhatj

Sung text   Free Translation  
tjendabalhatj mive-maka nyen-ne-ne kanye-djanga(repeated)  Tjendabalhatj they saw you standing there 

Tjendabalhatj was the Aboriginal name of Charlie Alliung, otherwise known as ‘old Elliyong’. Lambudju explained this song as follows:

Tjendabalhatj makany mive nyinnene kanyedjanga, that means this old Tjendabalhatj, Old Elliyong, went to visit this young person. Mive nyenne nanggany kanyedjanga, which means like he go visit him nearly every day.

There is clearly a more complex story lying behind this rather pithy explanation, which adds little to what is already in the song text. Lambudju told us that Tjendabalhatj was a dawarrabörak or sorceror, and as we have seen from ‘Benmele,’ stories about sorcery are often hidden from outsiders. Indeed, Alliung was one of two dawarraböraks who performed at a rag burning (kapuk/karaboga) ceremony recorded at Delissaville (the old name for Belyuen) in 1948 by the ABC journalist Colin Simpson (Barwick & Marett, 2011; Simpson, 1948, 1952).

Song structure summary


Melodic section 1

Text phrases 1-4

Rhythmic mode 5c (fast uneven quadruple)

tjendabalhatj  mive  -maka  nyen  -ne  -ne  kanye  -djanga 
tjendabalhatj  eye  PERF  3AUG.A/2MIN.O  see  2MIN.S.R  stand 

Tjendabalhatj they saw you standing there


Rhythmic mode 5c (fast uneven quadruple)