For the sake of a song

Yendili No. 2

CD 5, Track 14

TRACK 14 (Mar88-23-s08) Song 3: Yendili No. 2 [122]

Sung text   Free Translation  
karra yendili yendili arr-girrit-nikarra yendili yendili arr-girrit-niaa ye-ngin-a  Yendili! Yendili! Look after it!Yendili! Yendili! Look after it!Aa, my dear children/my dear descendants 

This song was composed by Maudie Attaying Dumoo, who gave it to her husband Wagon Dumoo to perform. Because Attaying is Marri Ngarr, not Marri Tjavin, the text is in Marri Ngarr language. This is a rare example of a wangga song composed by a woman.

The most common explanation of this song is that the words of the text were originally spoken by the song’s composer to her children as she and her husband were leaving their house at Nadirri to go back to Wadeye. A second, deeper meaning is that the song is a call from the ancestral dead to their living descendants urging them to look after their country (see further discussion of this song in Marett, 2005, p 66). The melody is shared with ‘Yendili No. 3’ by Les Kundjil and ‘Yendili No. 4’ by Philip Mullumbuk.

Song structure summary


Melodic sections 1-2

Text phrases 1-2

Rhythmic mode 1 (without clapsticks)

karra  yendili  yendili  arr  -girrit  -ni 
SW  place name  place name  2MIN.A.IR. use hands  hold  PURP 

Yendili! Yendili! Look after it!

Melodic section 3

Text phrase 3

Rhythmic mode 1 (without clapsticks)

aa   ye  -ngin  -a 
SW  child/descendant  1MIN.O  PERF 

Aa, my dear children/my dear descendants


Rhythmic mode 5a (fast even)


Rhythmic mode 5b (fast doubled)