Jandamarra – Sing for the Country: Ngalanybarra Muwayi.u

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Jandamarra – Sing for the Country: Ngalanybarra Muwayi.u

This land is full of spirits Jandamarra stalks, silent as a butterfly

He signals Lindsay forward Aah! The shot hits low The wounded roo limps into the hidden valley But Lindsay’s way is barred, Barred by Jandamarra, when he tries to follow Yilimbirri Unggud sleeps there in that water, Yilimbirri Unggud lives there in that spring He can smell you, he can hear you, that place is full of danger He can smell you, he can hear you He could kill you That place is full of danger He’s a great big snake Sleeping in the ground Only men who know the law can go in there Mumbo jumbo That’s what Lindsay’s father said But the young lad thirsted to know more A snake made all that country? You can’t believe in that! And what’s all this about some men who know a law? Bunuba law. The law for this land I will get it soon I’ll learn the songs, and spear an old man roo And all the mob will dance for me, when they make me a man All the mob will sing for me, and I will be a man Two boys dreaming, dreaming of manhood, They rode that country, without a fear

Two boys riding, riding on from childhood They rode the land through a long dry year Adventure and discovery each new day, learning of each other’s worlds and ways And from afar the elders looked on with quiet dismay Father says that I must learn to be a white man He wants to send me down to Perth for school I’ll show him that he needs me right here by his side I’ll find that precious water that Jandamarra tried to hide When Jandamarra saw his mate had ridden off alone, he followed, He dared go no further, forbidden by the law He dared to go no further Cowering in terror, Forbidden by the law The law forbade him to follow so he called: But to no avail Look at all that green There must be something there Look at all that water glistening down below Just wait til father sees this! He’ll be proud of his son If I can move this rock it will run Like a river it will run, it will flow, it will run! Then Lindsay jerked the ancient boulder free, Sent it rolling, crashing down the slope Then Yilimbirri woke, shuddered at such outrage A shiver shook the land, a wind began to moan, as the snake let out a mighty roar I will take your spirit! Your bones will be lost! The trooper and the tracker raided far and wide

The townsfolk cheered each time the pair arrived,

With chains of weary prisoners bound for the cells Richardson grew boastful; the toast of the hotel The tracker shepherded the trooper away from his own clan, He knew the truth that ruled this frontier land The two worlds he straddled were bound to different fates He saw his cousin’s footprint, but by then it was too late Richardson was in the lead and chanced upon the men A wild shot took Dawadi, but on he rode pursuing The warrior Yilimarra, with a bounty on his head Jandamarra let Richardson ride, his heart was full of dread You have shot me cousin I think I’m dying Hold on there Dawadi I swear you’ll be alright He tried to reassure But the blood and guts that stained the earth, made his words a lie Cousin! The death cry of his cousin Dawadi echoed through the land Night or day, out bush, or back at camp it echoed through the land

That awful scream echoed between his ears He no longer could deny the demons that he feared A secret ground by firelight, the elders grave With so many men in Derby jail, and the clans all on the run A desp’rate plan was hatched to place their fate In Jandamarra’s hands; to sing him home again No ordinary man is he, Who heard the voice of Yilimbirri The time has come to make him choose, To go their way or to follow ours Knowing that their world might end, The women and the kids were sent To hide amongst the distant hills, Whilst the men began to sing Richardson could not contain his glee His greed shone through as the prisoners were chained up at Limalurru But Jandamarra knew that something here was wrong

Day and night the song went on Night and day, day and night the song Day and night the song went on Night and day the song went on Yilimarra wove a web of words around his nephew, saying: Our fate is in your hands, The fate of all this land Its spirits and its people are yours to save or slay The trooper drank, and drank some more To drown the sound of that cursed song The song that was slowly sending him mad He staggered up, seized his gun, advanced on Yilimarra A spite filled threat to shut him up for good, Had no effect upon that warrior throng Still the song … Still the song went on Through the long dark night the song went on Bandilngan, cathedral like, your beauty unsurpassed

Cliffs so tall, shade so deep River cool, a haven blessed Until that day when the bullets flew, the boabs wept and birds all fled As battle raged five shots he took, but still he stood and fought, Til battle’s end he stood and fought, the rocks were stained with blood To Baraah we take him, barely alive, There in the tunnel we sing by our fire Sing to the warrior, sing to the land Ngalanyba muwayi sing to the land Jandamarra hovered at death’s door, deep in Tunnel Creek Three long months he lay, his body weak Yilimbirri tended him, whispering “Bring me home.” Whilst through the land the vengeful troopers roamed The rainbow snake refused to let the young man die It gave him life, a spirit new, and power to fly At Limalurru he danced in flour, Danced his freedom, danced his power “I live and I’ll fight,” these footprints sang “I live,” sang the warrior, he sang to the land Two dry seasons now they have chased us in vain, and each wet

We have lived as of old In the valleys far, far from reach Again and again they thought that they had him, But he’d slip from their grasp like a bird on the wing The saddlesore troopers are weary and homesick The trackers are all fearful, convinced of his magic From our fortress deep in the ranges We laugh at these malngarri, these blundering strangers, As we sing to our young ones, sing to the land Ngalanyba muwayi sing to the land But Yilimbirri’s spring had run dry, that country was grieving Jandamarra kept singing and dancing, dancing and dreaming “Hold fast,” he counselled “Milu ngay – no fighting.” “We must make the land quiet.” “I can feel the earth talking.” “I can feel the earth breathing.” At Miluwindi the rain tumbles down, But at Yilimbirri the grasses are brown Sing to our young ones, sing to the land Ngalanyba muwayi sing to the land Mingo Mick is a Pilbara man This man of law and power has come to Limalurru He is here to lead the hunt It’s like the monsoon build up; a menace in the air Will Miluwindi still hold us in her arms next year? Voices are calling, what sense can he make Of an echoing cavern, a whirlwind, a snake? Ngalanyba muwayi, sing for the land Ngalanyba muwayi, sing for your Sing for the land, Sing for your life!

Sing for your life! Yilimbirri Unggud! This is me, Jandamarra Smell my sweat You can take me But come back to your place You have deserted your land, and it is suffering Ban.garay – He is back! Like a spear across the sky Women in tears and men in chains A time of woe of deepest, deepest woe Like a spear across the sky, A spirit cloud, omen of triumph, beacon of hope Ban.garay The land is healed

The Raii now dance their joy, Yilmbirri’s home again. Ban.garay No one has sung a snake before The Unggud home, the land restored Jalgangurru Jandamarra, magic man, man of power You sang Yilmbirri back to his spring The land restored Ban.garay The land is healed The Raii now dance their joy Yilmbirri’s home again. Ban.garay In times of woe our hearts are eased, The balance of the land restored The water once more is sweet This land of ours is singing Ban.garay, the land is healed The Raii now dance their joy, the land is healed The Raii now dance their joy The land is healed Ban.garay Mingo Mick, the mabarn man, A trail of blood he tracked to Tunnel Creek The blood he followed Jandamarra stood tall despite his wounds as they held each other’s gaze Mingo Mick! Mabarn man

Jandamarra! Jalganggurru Their destinies entwined, they face their fate My country will hold my spirit This is my home

This spirit will rise We will hold our country This is my mother This is my father My young brothers and sisters

Our young brothers and sisters We shall dream we shall sing We remember Jandamarra Jandamarra, your song was heard Your spirit soars on high, soars like a bird Your name will live as long as the cliffs of Bandilngan This is our home Our spirit will rise Let us dream, let us sing We remember Jandamarra Jandamarra, your song lives on Making your land and people strong Your name will live as long as the cliffs of Bandilngan Jandamarra, your spirit will live on