Song Of Lament (Jabu Jabu)

from by Olive Knight



An old style of washboard playing, instead
the instrument was a small tin matchbox.
I heard this style sung when I was a teenager
living and working on a pastoral lease.
These contemporary lyrics are a mixture
of traditional Walmatjarri language and
English, a lament for our land being taken
by mining, we will search for our food, but
we will not find it anymore.


Minyarti parlurla yanana numburrkkarlanu.
(Here they come to bore holes)
Goodbye, manyjarla country-wu,
goodbye manyjarla country-wu, goodbye.
(Say goodbye to your country, say goodbye
to your country, goodbye)
Goodbye manyjarla country-wu,
goodbye manyarla.
(Say goodbye to your country, say goodbye)
Wali ngarlipangulurla kulmanku.
(Will they now snatch it away from us)


from Heroes & Laments: Walmatjarri Stories, released April 1, 2015
Kankawa Nagarra (Olive Knight) - Vocals, Percussion
Produced: James Newhouse



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Olive Knight Saint George Ranges, Australia

Olive, from the small and remote community of
Wangkatjungka. A Walmatjarri woman born in the desert, Olive Knight’s traditional name is Kunkuwa. She remembers nullanullas thumping the bare earth, clap sticks and boomerangs, and the rhythmic songs of her forefathers. Now working on her second album, Olive has a vision to see her people heal and believes music is an integral part of this process. ... more

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