For the sake of a song

Walakandha No. 6

TRACK 2 (Rei74-01-s15) Song ii: Walakandha No. 6 [105]

Sung text   Free Translation  
aa yene yeneaa karra walakandha ki-nyi-ni venggi-tit
-nginanga-wurri kavulh marzi mungirini 
Aa yene yeneAa, the Walakandha always manifests himself, lying down with one knee bent over the other and singing to me (or facing me) in the jungle 

Like ‘Walakandha No. 8’, this song underlines the fact that songmen have no say in whether they receive songs or not. Lying with one leg crossed over another in ‘number four leg’ is a posture associated with song-creation. [106] The ‘jungle’ mentioned in the song lies behind Truwu beach near the Nadirri outstation. The part of speech ‘-wurri’ simply means ‘toward the speaker.’ It is sometimes glossed as ‘[singing] to me’ and sometimes as ‘[facing] towards me.’ The vocable text in text phrase 1—yene yene—reproduces the sung utterances of the Walakandha. Spirit-language texts that contain very similar vocables occur not only in other Mullumbuk songs but also in Belyuen singer Billy Mandji’s ‘Duwun Crab Song’ (chapter 6, track 7). Some rhythmic characteristics of this song resemble the stylistic practice of Jimmy Muluk (see further details in the music analysis section).

This is the first of three songs sung at a circumcision ceremony at Wadeye in 1974, recorded by the lay missionary, Lesley Reilly (née Rourke).

Song structure summary


Melodic section 1

Text phrase 1

Rhythmic mode 1 (without clapsticks)

aa  yene  yene 

Aa yene yene

Melodic section 2

Text phrase 2

Rhythmic mode 1 (without clapsticks)

karra  walakandha  ki  -nyi  -ni 
SW  SW  walakandha  3MIN.A.R  make  3MIN.REFL 

A, the Walakandha always manifests himself

venggi  -tit  -nginanga  -wurri  kavulh  marzi  mungirini 
knee  bend  1MIN.M.ADVERS  towards speaker  3MIN.S.R lie  inside   jungle 

lying down with one knee bent over the other and singing to me (or facing me) in the jungle


Rhythmic mode 5*


Rhythmic mode 5b (fast doubled)