For the sake of a song

Happy (lerri) Song No.2

TRACK 5 (Moy68-01-s02) Song 3: Happy (lerri) Song No. 2

Sung text  Free Translation 
da ribene ribene ana anarrada ribene ribene ana anarraat bwat bwane ribene yenet di  Da ribene ribene ana anarraDa ribene ribene ana anarraAt bwat bwane ribene yenet di 

Like ‘Happy Song No. 1,’ Billy Mandji’s second Happy (lerri) Song is in rhythmic mode 5a (fast even beating) although the beating is suspended in vocal section 1 (which has no following instrumental section). Like many happy songs, it consists entirely of unglossable ‘ghost language,’ that is, it is made of entirely of vocables. Like the track 3 performance of ‘Happy Song No.1,’ it was recorded by Alice Moyle in 1968 at Mandorah.

Later that year, Moyle returned and had Billy Mandji speak the words of the song for her. Although there is no exact correspondence between the sung version and his spoken text—which is given in disjointed fragments and includes some text not actually in the song—there is enough for us to transcribe what is sung with some confidence, although the performance of the vocable ‘word’ ribene seems to be frequently elided to rene. Note that text phrases 1 and 2, which repeat the vocable text ‘da ribene ribene ana anarra,’ are performed with a strong nasal timbre, contrasting with the throatier and smoother timbre of text phrase 3 ‘at bwat bwane ribene yenet di’. This gives the effect of two alternating voices, as in a conversation.

This long danced performance comprises ten repetitions of the vocal section, with an instrumental section following each vocal section except the first.

Song structure summary


Melodic section 1

Text phrases 1-2

Rhythmic mode 5a (fast even) (beating is suspended (rhythmic mode 5a (var)) for text phrase 1 in vocal section 1)

da ribene ribene ana anarra

da ribene ribene ana anarra

Text phrase 3

Rhythmic mode 5a (fast even)

at bwat bwane ribene yenet di

INSTRUMENTAL SECTIONS 1-9 (there is no instrumental section after vocal section 1)

Rhythmic mode 5a (fast even)