Two Aboriginal Songs

The inclusion of these two untitled Aboriginal songs in Paterson’s collection is significant as they represent the musical traditions of Australia’s original inhabitants. However, Paterson himself admits the meaning behind the lyrics remains a mystery.

The Old Bush Songs

by Banjo Patterson

The transcribed words consist of rhythmic repetitions and lyrical phrases in indigenous languages, the exact meanings of which have been lost over time. This reflects the disruption of Aboriginal culture through colonization, where traditional songs and languages were not preserved.

The cryptic syllables and hypnotic cadences give a sense of ceremonial dance songs or cultural narratives passed down orally through generations. But the full context is obscured, even to the Aboriginal singers by the era when these songs were collected.

While intriguing, the songs serve as a sobering reminder of the richness of indigenous creative expression obscured by the upheavals of history. Paterson’s songbook has preserved the melodic ghosts of music from a time and people largely displaced within decades of Australian settlement.

So in summary, these Aboriginal selections, while aesthetically captivating, underscore how little early European settlers understood or valued the creative heritage of indigenous communities they were rapidly displacing. Their inclusion highlights what has been lost.

Two Aboriginal Songs

Korindabria, korindabria, bogarona, bogarona. Iwariniang iwaringdo, iwariniang, iwaringdo, iwariniang, iwaringdo, iwariniang, iwaringdo, iwaringime. Iwaringiang, iwaringdoo, ilanenienow, coombagongniengowe, ilanenienow, coomba- gongiengowe, ilanenieDOwe combagoniengowe, ilanenienimme.

Buddha-buddharo nianga, boomelana, bulleranga, crobinea, narnmala, yibbilwaadjo nianga, boomelana, a, boomelana, buddha-buddharo, nianga, boomelana, buddharo nianga, boomelana, bulleranga, crobinea, narnmala, yibbilwaadjo, nianga, croilamime, a, croilanga, yibbilwaadjo, nianga, croilanga, yibbilwaadjo, nianga croilanga, coondheranea, tabiabina, boorganmala, yibbilwaadjo, nianga, croilanoome.

Of the above songs Mr. Mowle writes — “I could never find out what the words meant, and I don’t think the blacks themselves knew.”

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