Desert Rainbow TRACKS



MUSIC: Phil Drummy • LYRICS: R. Burarrawanga, Phil Drummy, George Grifsas

The old men sit in the sand and talk the old language. The spirit of white cockatoo birds. I am part of them, as they are of me Born in the desert Born in the sea.

“This song is about the languages, the way all things are passed down from long time through the gene-rations and the many languages of the land.” R.B.
In Australia’s recent history, the use of the tribal languages was forbidden throughout many areas of the country and many traditional practices were banned. The aboriginal people were consequently separated from their past. A secret tongue was invented so that the native language would not perish.


MUSIC: Phil Drummy • LYRICS: R. Burarrawanga, Phil Drummy, George Grifsas

“I am a child of the Dreamtime People
Part of this land like the gnarled gum tree
I am the river softly singing.
Chanting our songs on the way to the sea
My spirit is the dust devils
Mirages that dance on the plain, on the snow, the wind and the falling rain
I’m part of the rocks and the red desert earth
Red as the blood that flows in my veins
I am the eagle, crow and snake
That glides through the rain forest
That clings to the mountain side

I awakened here when the earth was new
There was emu, wombat and kangaroo
No other man of different hue
I am this land and the land is me
I am Australia.”

Poem by Hyllus Maris • Recited by Marwila Wirrapunda

“When I was just small, I heard my mother wailing.
I heard her singing and crying. I am wailing and crying, these are my tears.” R.B.

(spoken) R.B.:

“We are going to look after the water
Fresh and salt water
Where’s the river?
Where’s the room for the fish to go through and the birds to fly?
And where they going to make a nest
Both of us
Black and white
Let’s look after
Let’s sit together
Let’s look after the land
Both black and white
Take care of the rivers
And take care of the animals
Let’s sit together.”

- (Up)

MUSIC: George Grifsas, Phil Drummy • LYRICS: R. Burarrawanga. George Grifsas, Phil Drummy

Ernabella, a thriving aboriginal community in northwest South Australia - an oasis of energy, youth and simplicity in a remote, desert area of the continent. This song talks about the people that live and work there. It is especially about the children who grow up in Ernabella and who have always been, and will continue to be, an intrinsic part of the land and it’s laws. This song is dedicated to them.


MUSIC: Phil Drummy, George Grifsas • LYRICS: Phil Drummy, George Grifsas Sung by Wirrapunda.

Evening is when ceremony transports the aboriginal into his distant past, and in doing so affirms his connection and obligations to the present.

5. HOMEWARD - (Up)

MUSIC: Phil Drummy • LYRICS: R.Burarrawanga, Phil Drummy, George Grifsas

“Time is coming for the wet season, it is the dry. Time is coming for us to go home together. I am thinking of my home, worrying about my people. I want to return home now. The rain is coming, and I am worry-ing for my family. It is time to go home together.” R.B.


MUSIC: George Grifsas, Phil Drummy


MUSIC: George Grifsas, Phil Drummy • LYRICS: Rrurrambu Burarrawanga, George Grifsas, Phil Drummy

“All the rocks, representing the tribes around Arnhem Land, we are always thinking about them.
The rock was here from the beginning, and still is here.
The land is the law, it is sacred.
We cannot dig it, we can’t break or bomb it.
This song is for this land.
How perfect we look after these rocks, they shouldn’t be touched all their life.
The wurrwala (rock) is blown by the north wind.
All the way from long time this rock was here.
From beginning till now.” R.B

(spoken) R.B.:

“That song was all about the Rock
My Rock
From beginning and today
My grandfather was a young man
And he grew up, and he grew up
and got old
The Rock never change
I grew up
That same rock didn'tchange
And will never change
Will be still there
And today it's still there.”


MUSIC: Phil Drummy • LYRICS: R. Burarrawanga, Phil Drummy, George Grifsas

“I was learning the songs.
All the songs were coming to me.
My dream is to sing my Kuningku (language) of my Nungupuy (tribe).
This is a dreaming song.
I hear my mother and I remember and learn the songs.
All the songs were coming to me.” R.B.


MUSIC: Phil Drummy • LYRICS: R. Burarrawanga, Phil Drummy,George Grifsas

“This is my breeze.
The breeze that blows forever.
It never runs out, carries on forever.
It is the wind that comes from the south and keeps us cool.
It blows over the rocks and caresses the land.
It touches the land of my people.” R.B.

(spoken) R.B.:

“This song was sung about south wind
That blows onto us and on the land
To keep us cooler from the sun
Brings the cooler wind
Thank you.”

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