Label: Wattle Recordings - D5 • Series: Wattle Ethnic Series - number three • Format: Vinyl LP, Compilation • Country: Australia • Genre: Folk, World, & Country • Style: Aboriginal
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Includes index. ISBN 0 5 Aborigines, Australian - Music. I would miss the sounds the beautiful mingling musical sounds of m y people's voices. At our place. In my generation we found it much easier to sing about a problem because we were less likely t o get punished, whereas if you stood up on a soapbox and said your piece, then bang!
You had government departments or whoever knocking at your door. Empire Man, like Western man generally, had an apparently limitless ability t o absorb others with a three-fold package deal: his high religion of science; his powerful magic of technology, efficiently imposing Malwa Gunborg - Australian Aborigines - Arnhem Land Popular Classics: Aboriginal Dance Songs With Di will on land and people; and his enticing moral dispensation of economics, offering ease for cash These things, rather than Christianity, have been the overarching features of white Australia and its frontiers The violence of the colonial frontiers has been so thoroughly hushed up or forgotten that many still deny its prevalence despite published evidence.
White fellas interfered in our rules, stopping us from doing our corroborees No songs-no rules. Only in the s did the population begin to grow again It is now growing two and a half times as fast as the non-Aboriginal population But in many regions, it has only slender links with many of the traditions and bonds that were strong forty years ago and it has to build on very small foundations, simultaneously fighting the destructive effects of urbanisation Groups are lured away from weakening local communities, separated from their few old people and come into the bright lights where the universal fantasy is to be young, beautiful, rich, independent, modem, white and free Old age, custom, kinship and most kinds of ethic, except that of consumption, are 'giggles' in the city, which tribal people often compare to Malwa Gunborg - Australian Aborigines - Arnhem Land Popular Classics: Aboriginal Dance Songs With Di ant hill But the queen ant of our symbiotic lives is now a machine which dispassionately eats alive whatever does not serve its blind progress.
Photograph by Noel Bachelor. Much of the training which Aboriginal people were able to receive took place on the missions, where promising youngsters were selected to learn piano or violin CHESTER: Missionary staff were likely to be the only local whites who would bother to put formal training of any kind within reach of Aboriginal people MARK In many places the missionary formed and trained a choir.
Sometimes students were sent to outside music teachers, if any were within reach, or sent down to a city college to Malwa Gunborg - Australian Aborigines - Arnhem Land Popular Classics: Aboriginal Dance Songs With Di music among other things CHESTER: In many ways Malwa Gunborg - Australian Aborigines - Arnhem Land Popular Classics: Aboriginal Dance Songs With Di old orchestra continued this kind of policy, making available new instruments, skills and repertoire.
Much of the music thus learned was classical, and there is plenty of evidence that 'favourite classics' have been well known and loved on the missions, including great opera singers with a popular touch, like Caruso, Crooks, and McCormack Missions occasionally nurtured outstanding talents such as organist David Ngunaitponi at Point McLeay But there was no possibility at all of making a musical career in the white world Even today, that has been achieved by only a handful of Aborigines It is true that hymns, choirs and classical music were often imposed on Aboriginal people rather than freely chosen But what were the alternatives?
Apart from the missionaries the only other white people who were likely to pass on their music to Aborigines were stockmen, shearers, prospectors, swaggies or alcoholics Granted that colonisation was killing off tribal arts, was it a good thing or not to teach at least one socially approved form of music? Singers are accompanied by whatever is available: beating or tapping,guitars, mouth organ, concertina and gumleaf Often they make their own instruments. There have been some really weird and wonderful ones, some very difficult technically to make and operate, taking years of practice Gumleaf playing is still common among Aboriginal people along the river and on t h e southern reserves.
There were probably negroes among the later minstrel companies touring Australia, and there were certainly some on the goldfields 41 Regardless of the US models and how they got there, we find that 'coon' now occurs in a number of Aboriginal songs So do 'piccaninny' and 'black crow', and some Australian equivalents such as 'Jacky-Jacky' and 'gin' MARK One of the songs that came from America was 'Little Alabama Coon', a lullaby designed for stage and publication It was adapted by Aboriginal people along the Murray and used as a true lullaby They had a version 'in the language' and claimed that it was 'the same song' CHESTER: Tom Lyons has a delightful spiritual style pentatonic father song, which deserves a lot of singing It was made by his own father: Hullo baby, I'm, your Daddy, Up in Danikay.
You're a black piccaninny all the w a y from A b m i n n yA n d God bless the day he was born Bring h i m u p to homestead, make h i Girl Let Me Cum In Your Mouth - Blowfly - The Twisted World Of Blowfly go to church, Rarin' like the possum in the fire; n l i alla-ha, illi alla-ha, And tie a yellow ribbon in his hair.
This folk song exists in a number of related forms, with choruses that are similar or at least reminiscent of each other, while the verses vary in melody, words and singing style The differences appear to be regional CHESTER: Tom Lyons's version is a kind of slow ballad or 'air' He sang it to the Ellises near the Finley rubbish dump, in his humpy made of salvaged corrugated iron: MARK The old coon hain't what he used to be, He's not what he was years ago.
I've got a lot of trouble, I'll tell i t all to you I ' m certaintly disgusted with life and that's a fact, Because m e 'air i s woolly and because m y colour's black My girl she had a notion against the coloured race. She said that i f I'd w i n her, I would have to change Brandy - Various - On Casse Le Son Volume 2 y face.
She said that if I'd wed her that she'd regret i t soon, But now I've shocked her good enough because I a m a coon Chorus Then it's coon coon coon, I wish m y colour would fade, Coon coon coon, I'd like a different shade. The tune is a variant of the shanty 'Johnny Todd' Part of Tom's rendition appears below: J a c k y wed to chase the emu W i t h his spear and waddg too.
He's the only man can tell you W h a t the kangaroo told the emu Chorus So criketa bubila will-de-my-ah, B i l l y marjung jing-jerri-woi J m k y sits under the old gum tree, Malwa Gunborg - Australian Aborigines - Arnhem Land Popular Classics: Aboriginal Dance Songs With Di sits and laugh all day. He don't care what become of the country, B u t Jacky like to take it that way46 MARE The chorus is 'in the Malwa Gunborg - Australian Aborigines - Arnhem Land Popular Classics: Aboriginal Dance Songs With Di or in some kind of dialect, the origin of which we don't know for certain I didn't hear 'Jacky-Jacky' until I worked at CASM with Cath Ellis and later in Canberra when I was with the Aboriginal Arts Board One of the people on the board used to sing it and it became a popular request at programs put on by t h e board They were careful and always left out a particular verse.
It's sung as a fun song, but also a kind of protest, sometimes Jacky-Jacky didn't give a darn about the country because the white man had taken it He laughed it all off It was their way of saying, 'You've beggared it up, the land's gone, so you keep it'. DOUG: Two such artists have been especially important to Aboriginal country and western Elvis Presley's songs are sung very widely by Aborigines Early Elvis was very country dominated and was dubbed 'rockabilly' To this h e added the influence of early rock 'n' roll and a lot of gospel material This ability of country and western to celebrate brawls, booze and the low life on one hand and revival style religion on the other, sometimes Dont Need A Gun - Billy Idol - Whiplash Smile the same writer and even in the same song, has been a strong attraction for Aboriginal listeners 'Why Me, Lord?
He is in every way like the whites: same themes, songs, vocal techniques, done in that same distinctively white style that has been stolen from blacks. They play for concerts, dances, singalongs, El Paseo De Los Tristes - Mägo De Oz - Rock N Oz services Sometimes they train bands and choirs CHESTER: In general, they are the enablers, who help the community to be musical together.
Now the old mouse said, 'Little ones, take care, When the owl comes a-singing to you, beware! He'd been a student at the Adelaide College of Music and reached the point where they couldn't teach him any more.
He was a great musician and very well liked I c a n recall Mrs Annie Koolrnateri and her late husband, Uncle Jack They travelled up and down the Riverland, and as far as Point McLeay, doing odd jobs here Everytime You Go Away (Toda Vex Que Voce Se Vai) - Various - Super Mix there They were always willing to get involved in any musical program Uncle Jack would sing and Auntie Annie often played the button accordion She still does They would sing as a family and often their kids would sing with them 'The Coorong Song' was always one of their bracket Uncle Harry Hunter is Grandpa Isaac's son He's better known as Uncle Socks to a lot of people He plays an unusual instrument; the kerosene tin, with a piece of nylon fishing line stretched across and attached Malwa Gunborg - Australian Aborigines - Arnhem Land Popular Classics: Aboriginal Dance Songs With Di his big toe He plucks it with a plectrum and can go up and down the scale by changing tension.
He doesn't perform very often, mainly on request MARK 1 got the impression he plays for his own entertainment as much as anything The instrument was dubbed 'The Hunterphone' by a white member of the Sturt Memorial Expedition that came down the river.
As well as writing his own songs, he also knows a lot which his father Isaac made He played us 'Roll Out t h e Barrel' on the Hunterphone and asked us if we recognised it He's based at Swan Reach now and is in his fifties LEILA: Harry Hunter JuniorDora's brother, is now unfortunately deceased, but he and Dora often used to play piano together.
As people became involved with the church, they got the opportunity to play the keyboards Wanda Mark formerly Rigney was one She played both piano and organ by ear and was in demand for funerals and church services as well as socials Later on, there was Noel Wilson, who also played for dances One of the older players for the church was Auntie Janet Smith She also played the concertina.
MARE And every instrument she could lay her hands on, all selftaught: accordion, mouth organ, banjo, violin In she was eighty-nine and tired very quickly, but she sang us a couple of her own songs One was 'Let Bygones Be Bygones', about her husband wanting to come back after she'd thrown him out She was very proud of her husband's war service as a cook Hymns are what she's mainly interested in and when the AEF service is held at Tailem Bend, it's held in her house and she plays the accordion But she also remembers when she was known as 'the queen of the river' LEILA: She's one of the very few people that can relate a lot of stories and history about the earlier days In church, the people sang in two, three and even four part harmony They really got involved The words and the music meant something to them and so it made it a really personal sort of thing 'What a Friend we Have in Jesus'.
We had a school choir. LEILA: I think Point McLeay has been one of the fortunate reserves, because it was a church mission In the past and even later years, we had staff who were Malwa Gunborg - Australian Aborigines - Arnhem Land Popular Classics: Aboriginal Dance Songs With Di to the situation and who, because of their religious backgrounds, were more sympathetic towards the situation of the people.
The music at Point McLeay is, I think, fairly similar to music on other reserves No matter where you go, you'll find people who'll decide to sing hymns And it'd be difficult to find an Aboriginal reserve where there was not a choral group of some sort. When he sees the policeman come you'll see h i m split the breeze. Many's the time I've tried it but r u n n i n g does not pay, 'Cause when they get you in those cells: ten pounds or twenty days Now twenty days hard labour.
Oh brother that's just fine! No sweets, no sugar in your tea, no smokes to ease your m i n d You're camping o n a n old floor m a tthe concrete for your bed You feel your belly pinching, and you wish that you Malwa Gunborg - Australian Aborigines - Arnhem Land Popular Classics: Aboriginal Dance Songs With Di dead There is also a parody of 'Dear John' Dear wife, well I hate to fight Dear wife, well I knocked you out last night All m Together = Juntos - Fausto Papetti - Recordando Melodías Con Amor. wine and money's gone, And you sent round for the John, And tonight I've been arrested, dear wife.
Typically, the dry, understated humour holds pain at arm's length Beckett describes Old Grannie Kennedy's funeral party: On a flattened patch of earth, in front of the old lady's verandah, couples shuffle round to the waltzes and barn dances played on accordion and guitar. Standing on one side were t h e girls dressed in their best cotton frocks and on the other the men i n their riding breeches, high heeled boots and ten gallon hat of the outback station worker.
But there is always plenty of music around an Aboriginal settlement During the day the women do their house work with the wireless blaring and a t night someone will sit on his verandah, strumming a guitar, until a little crowd has gathered to listen and take their turn at the instrument 58 We at CASM have regularly seen this sociable music making occur at the Aboriginal Sobriety Group's soup kitchen for Aboriginal alcoholics Adelaide's fringe dwellers The community professionals, some from CASM, some not, have their go, then there may be an all-in jam session, whistled and cheered on by a noisy little crowd as person after person gets up off the floor and sings or plays something he knows Occasionally, someone 'talks the blues', backed by the OUR PLACE OUR MUSIC 39 professionals like Neville Gollan on his banjo or guitar and there are plenty of requests: 'How about "Me and Bobby McGee", or "Old Rugged Cross"!
And go a long way it does For seven or eight long verses A later song 'Drinkin' Beer and Wine', puts the case for the defiant drinker: Now they say it's a crime drinkin' beer and wine, Will lead a good m a n astray When i t comes to grog I'm a f a i r dinkum hog, I guess I was born that way. But I'll drink and roam till the cows come home If i t will give m y poor heart ease. I don't care who knows, I'll work for m y dough, And I'll spend i t as I please.
The relation between Stipendary Magistrates and Aborigines in Wilcannia has not changed Inthe local SM made t h e national papers by summing up thus, after sentencing a twenty year old Aboriginal for using offensive language to police as they were arresting his aunt: 'Your race of people must be the most interfering race of people I have heard of You are becoming a pest race in Wilcannia, wanting to interfere in the job of the police There is only one end to pests Learn this time.
These governments and protestors they're arguing, And every day they're starting a brawl; And if there's going to be a nuclear war, What's going to happen to us all?
Other songs cheerfully challenge the superiority of the steady job and carefully planned town life and celebrate the ideal Aboriginal swaggie or bushman: Chorus No, I don't want your money, you can take i t all away. With m y spear and boomerang I get three meals a day.
You've heard i t said I make m y bread; with a stone I grind nardoo. Now all the folks that live in town, they are always sad Each day they work around the clock until i t drives 'em mad To work this oil, they sweat and toil long after day i s done, They get the money, by the time they're rich they're too old to have much fun Now I've a (Data Track) - Don Veca & David ONeal - Soviet Strike sayin', it's f u n n y but it's true; The rich m a Malwa Gunborg - Australian Aborigines - Arnhem Land Popular Classics: Aboriginal Dance Songs With Di or the beggar man, i t makes no difference who.
Some people think they're better off, but they don't realise That when we're dead, s i x foot of earth makes us all the one size. Dougie's music follows the square phrased, mostly three chord form of the bush ballads 'Drinkin' Beer and Wine' is two chord, like some music hall songs His vocal style is bright and racy, with a clipped Aboriginal accent and is shown at its best in fast patter 65 In he was also singing a tribal fun song, in what was, to him, a foreign language-Fred Biggs's song about a lost boy, in the Ngiyampaa tongue of western New South Wales NOTES 1.
The Australian Constitution 3. The word 'tribal' is disputed in connection with Aborigines, whose main social units are smaller and more democratic than t h e word suggests But it will have to stand here because we shall be using 'traditional' to refer also t o westernised Aboriginal people 6 T Jones, in Grove's Dictionary of Music and Musicians, Vol 1, A number o f features of voice production, melody, rhythm and metre are listed and Jones notes that Hené Ma Tov - Harry Belafonte - Hené Ma Tov styles result largely from the way they are combined or omitted 7.
Kimberley Aborigines make a complete distinction between songs 'found in dream' and songs 'like cowboy songs' or 'made with the brain', A Moyle, Groves Dictionary of Music and Musicians, Baldwin Spencer,quoted in Strehlow, CJ Ellis, 'Integration and Disintegration', Australian Societyfor Education through the ArtsBulletin, Vol 3, No 5, May The same article tells how casual theft of sacred objects meant that initiation ceremonies could not be performed and therefore generations of young men could not be married to tribal women R Allan, in Isaacs, Australian Women's Weekly, 12 August G P "faylor, 'A Christian Corroboree!
WH Edwards, CD Rowley, J Beckett, b Walk about living on the life you knew. New worlds you never dreamed of are i n our hands. That same year. George Winunguj of Goulburn Island Warawi translated an English language verse into Maung and set the words to a traditional tune: Run into the future, run, Run into the rising SUM, Run into the future, run, Men who run are building the world of tomorrow.
He had collaborated with an American churchman in Singapore to write that verse Winunguj allowed me to sing this song as his brother and trainer of his people and their staff members for community development work I shall never forget singing it to an international church group on a hillside in Java, accompanied by Winunguj who had created a didjeridu from local bamboo On Galiwin'ku Elcho Islanda seven member family band playing electric instruments is now a substantial business Called Soft Sands and led by Frank Djirrimbilbilwuy, who has been church organist, unofficial social worker and town clerk, the band formed in about They began playing country gospel, and now have three main vocalists, including Frank who also plays keyboards and lead songwriter Dick Mununggu.
Mununggu is a senior tribal songman, despite being only in his early forties, and has also written more than forty original country songs. They still play gospel music for church conferences. Both he and his wife 'had been parted as children from their families by welfare and taken to Croker Island As adults they had gone on a pilgrimage to Central Australia seeking their lost loved ones and the identity that had been taken from them' Bob sometimes sings of horses, dances, Souvenirs Del Sol - Debbie - Souvenirs Del Sol romances and has a version of a popular Arnhem Land contact song He also has a song 'in the language' with an English verse: I have travelled far away from.
What a m I? W h a t will happen until I die? M y father had a will, W h e n hungry he'd go and kill If I sit and wait I'll be eating off a plate. As far as I can see It's the only thing left for me. It is about the Coniston massacre of Black moon, keep shining overhead, On past memories of my people lying dead I can't see what the future holds, But I hope i t won't be people lying cold Bob is the only Malwa Gunborg - Australian Aborigines - Arnhem Land Popular Classics: Aboriginal Dance Songs With Di I know who has tackled the origins, emotional realities, and consequences of the so called 'half caste problem': the sexual exploitation of Aboriginal women by white frontiersmen, the 'great dirty joke Black Velvet.
The story's changed since we are in the city: When you see me on the street, you t u r n the other way. I'd love you always, please don't go away. You taught me the kisses that I never knew. Though m y heart is breaking, it will never show. On the mustering camps up bush you always kept me By your side without no shame and no care.
It seems to me like horses I a m treated, Just used for the season and then let out to graze. His slow country and western ballad 'Brownskin Baby' expresses very powerfully the receiving end of the next stage of the 'half caste problem' White Australia has expected that 'all persons of Aboriginal descent will choose to attain a similar manner and standard of living to that of other Australians'.
I stood and told them that the only way they would get my child would be over my dead body I have seen for myself Aboriginal children taken from their parents by force, with the poor mother chasing the car up the road screaming and weeping for her child. In the native camp I'll never forget A young black mother, her cheeks all wet Between her sobs I heard her say 'Police bin take 'im m y baby away.
From white man boss that baby I had: Why he let 'im take baby away? Day and night he would always say 'Mummy, Mummy, why they take me away? He is now WA's Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Broome, an old pearling centre, has its own culture and is a hive of musical Peruvian Nights - Kenny G - Rhythm & Romance I summarise the situation as described by CASM tutors Sonja Arnolds and Ron Nicholls, who have both visited Broome to liaise with Aboriginal musicians there There is a mixture of cultures in the town itself, with many people of mixed Aboriginal and Asian Filipino, Japanese descent, and a minority of whites.
Pearling songs, Japanese dancing and karate exhibitions are part of the town culture.