Night Herding Song

 

The cattle stations were highly dependent on their Aboriginal labour force. Aboriginal people with no prior experience proved themselves to be highly skilled in working with horses and cattle. Their knowledge of their traditional lands was invaluable. This is the world Yidumduma grew up in. He was breaking in horses at 7 years of age. Here are the Wardaman Warranggin songs he sang to keep the cattle happy at night while droving cattle great distances.
The Wardaman fought over many years and won part of their traditional lands back. In 2000 they reclaimed old Innesvale Station, now Menngen Aboriginal Land Trust where Bill and his family live and run the cattle station.

Related links:
Bullocky Song

Condamine Bells:
Helped to keep track of your cattle in the time of few fences.

Kulning: Calling in a wild swan with Traditional Swedish singing.

Return to Night Herding Song

Transcript

Featuring Warranggin Songs 1 & 2

Song 1
Rindinya rindinya, warrangga warrangga,

Camp and sleep you cows, listen to this song

Rindinya rindinya  Camp and sleep you cows
warrangga warrangga,
listen to this song

Song 2
Waliwan guna, waliwan guna, gogonali wanbanali

Don’t worry cows, leaving your country, be happy moving through the bush, in the open now and rest.

Waliwan guna, waliwan guna, Don’t worry cows, leaving your country,
gogonali wanbanali
  be happy moving through the bush, in the open now and rest.

Mob of cattle.
Bring them down.
...we got to round them up.
No yard here.
We got to watch them…
They go and night watch
these cattle…
This is a song for them.
 
Song 1  Rindinya rindinya, warrangga warrangga,
Camp and sleep you cows, listen to this song
 
Just one man singing this side, 
and another one singing 
from other side, 
another song for them again.
 
SONG 2 Waliwan guna, waliwan guna, gogonali wanbanali
Don’t worry cows, leaving your country, be happy moving through the bush, in the open now and rest.
 
There's another bloke singing 
making all the cows to sleep.
And this one, the first
one started it.
 
SONG 1 Rindinya rindinya, warrangga warrangga,
Camp and sleep you cows, listen to this song
 
...another one will
start singing again.
 
SONG 2 Waliwan guna, waliwan guna, gogonali wanbanali
Don’t worry cows, leaving your country, be happy moving through the bush, in the open now and rest.
 
Two men singing now,
you can hear them cows 
going to sleep. 
You can hear them 
going down to the ground,
to sleep.
...the old man still singing.
 

SONG 1 Rindinya rindinya, warrangga warrangga,
Camp and sleep you cows, listen to this song

SONG 1 Rindinya rindinya, warrangga warrangga,
Camp and sleep you cows, listen to this song
 
...another one will start again…
 
SONG 2 Waliwan guna, waliwan guna, gogonali wanbanali
Don’t worry cows, leaving your country, be happy moving through the bush, in the open now and rest.
 
...the sound where the two 
old people been singing songs,
making all these cows to sleep.
They don't move around.
...the song puts them 
to proper sleep.
...they listen to the great sound,
coming off from the air 
on top of them, when you are
riding around with the horse.
 
SONG 1 Rindinya rindinya, warrangga warrangga,
Camp and sleep you cows, listen to this song
 
Another one will start again 
on that side.
 
SONG 2 Waliwan guna, waliwan guna, gogonali wanbanali
Don’t worry cows, leaving your country, be happy moving through the bush, in the open now and rest.

...the old cook will get up 
and make a fire,
big flame go.
...horse tailer will wake up,
go down and get the horse.
...round up all the horses
early in the morning.
...you can hear all the 
condamine bells dingling away…
all sorts of different sounds 
on the bell, coming into the camp…
the old boy will be still singing,
The cook will call out 
to the other people,
waking them up 
to have their breakfast…
...they will catch their horses
after breakfast...ride up 
to the place where all the cows
were sleeping, and then
the old boy will be still singing.
 
SONG 1 Rindinya rindinya, warrangga warrangga,
Camp and sleep you cows, listen to this song
 
...another one will still
be singing on this end.
 
SONG 2 Waliwan guna, waliwan guna, gogonali wanbanali
Don’t worry cows, leaving your country, be happy moving through the bush, in the open now and rest.

...a bloke will ride up. "RIght-o,
you can go down and have 
your breakfast.  I'm going
 to move these cows now."
...the bloke will sing out,
"Go on bullock, wake up…"
...whistling away, 
cracking the whip…
...all the cows are getting up now …
stretching their legs
...propping up their tail
having a shit…
...leaving piles everywhere.
You can hear all the cows…
"...go on, get up there…
we got a long way to go…"

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