Songs

Songs

Once the land was filled with song, the songs men and women made, the songs given in a dream by our Ancestors, the sacred singing of the Burndud Law Ceremony, and the songs of birds. The greatest Yindjibarndi song poet of the Pilbara was Toby Wiliguru Bambardu.

Once the land was filled with song, the songs men and women made, the songs given in a dream by our Ancestors, the sacred singing of the Burndud Law Ceremony, and the songs of birds. The greatest Yindjibarndi song poet of the Pilbara was Toby Wiliguru Bambardu.

BIRLINBIRLIN SONG

Birlinbirlin ngarri thurruwunggurru nhawa Tharyawirdi
garba yawurrji bayanurla
Birlinbirlin ngarri thurruwunggurru nhawa Tharyawirdi
garba yawurrji bayanurla
yawurrji bayanurla
yalarra mayagu garla nyirndinyirndi ngundangunda
ngardima banyirna waalarni ngurra Yirribinyanha
yalarra mayagu garla nyirndinyirndi ngundangunda
ngardima banyirna waalarni ngurra Yirribinyanha
ngurra Yirribinyanha
yirdiinha ngali Mirndulula barni yirdiyarri nhawa
wararrala bayarnmarda
yirdiinha ngali Mirndulula barni yirdiyarri nhawa
wararrala bayarnmarda
wararrala bayarnmarda
yinda ngarri bawa warrubari wirna Jinbinayina nana
ngalgari wulawula lawa
yinda ngarri bawa warrubari wirna Jinbinayina nana
ngalgari wulawula lawa 

birlinbirlin
Birlinbirlin

Wind from the sea
blowing over the flat rocks at Birlinbirlin
I see Tharyawirdi Gorge
the wind belonging to the sea-side snake is rising
blowing up-river
roaring through
the wind from the sea is blowing up-river
roaring through
trees touch me…
a fire is burning there
loaded full with spirit power
they are dancing, dancing
round and round
stamping on the ground
over and over
on the ground at Yirribinyanha…
at Yirribinyanha I see two of us travelling together
to Mirndulula
I rest now
I see the path to follow
I see the wild wind coming
covering up their tracks
wild wind coming over
where the deep dark water lays…
I feel tired now
ripples on the water at Jinbinayina Pool
the sound of beating yandies
I see ripples on the water
where the deep water lays
I hear the sound of beating yandies

Jawi in Yindjibarndi by Toby Wiliguru Bambardu
Carried by Yilbie Warrie

GAMBULANHA SONG

Mangga warrurninyba wawardu ngarri Gambulanha lawangga birndirri mardamardarri
mangga warrurninyba wawardu ngarri Gambulanha lawangga birndirri mardamardarri
birndirri mardamardarri
Jirdangga marndagu wangga bayimarri binkariwa birdi Tharamarrala
Jirdangga marndagu wangga bayimarri binkariwa birdi Tharamarrala
birdi Tharamarrala
murli ngayinygarra mirli warndurarri garrwiri jirdanggarra yirna Barnarrarala murli ngayinygarra mirli warndurarri garrwiri jirdanggarra yirna Barnarrarala yirna Barnarrarala
yindilirri ngurra wirluwirlu ngarri malu bunggamara Thardiwarngu yindimala
yindilirri ngurra wirluwirlu ngarri malu bunggamara Thardiwarngu yindimala
Thardiwarngu yindimala
nguriraragi Jimawurrada nawa yidimilbidila ganggurnji wangga
nguriraragi Jimawurrada nawa yidimilbidila ganggurnji wangga
dila ganggurnji wangga
Yaralarna warnku wanbina wuragurdu ngurndirri warradila
marnda malumalu
Yaralarna warnku wanbina wuragurdu ngurndirri warradila marnda malumalu
marnda malumalu
waralanhibarlu Bangarru yirrawirdi barni malura ngurra wunggurlinybala
waralanhibarlu Bangarru yirrawirdi barni malura ngurra wunggurlinybala

Towards Gamburdaynha

Like the moon in its halo –
nesting in a dark cloud
I travel over Gambulanha (Hamersley Ranges)
under the stars of a red sky
at Jirdangga two spirit travelers argue and wrestle –
I steal their songs, their racket stops
twisting and circling through the sky I take flight from the trap in the hill of cries
Skipping from one hill to the next, all in a line
until the way spreads out to Barnarrarala Hill
soft and shimmering like a heat haze…
I set down on the ground, I rest…
a shadow falling across Thardiwarngu Pool coming down from up on high
circling around Jimawurrada Hill
I see the half-circle markings of the kangkurnji bird who calls
I come around the bend at Yaralarnha Station and hit the ground
from flat country to hill, shadow climbing
and falling over Bangarru
there between twin peaks
cloud shadow resting I take shelter in the shaded gorge.

Jawi in Yindjibarndi by Toby Wiliguru Bambardu 
Transcribed from Taruru, Aboriginal Song Poetry from the Pilbara, C.G. von Brandenstein & A. P. Thomas (1974) by Frank Rijavec, Know the Song: Know the Country, 1995, 2nd Edition published by Juluwarlu Group Aboriginal Corporation
 

The Song Poet of the Pilbara.

Late Yindjibarndi Elder Yilbie Warrie

Toby Wilguru Bambardu (the Blind) died in 1934. He is remembered as the greatest master of Tabi-making in the Pilbara in the twentieth century. Blind since boyhood, he strove to overcome his blindness, and developed his talents to such a degree that he reached the highest standards of rare perfection in song-making. After his passing, Yindjibarndi Elder Yilbie Warrie became the main custodian for Bambardu’s songs.