History, (I was Born Blind) is the fourth song presented here by one of my favourite Australian artists and it’s from one of my favourite Australian albums ‘Gurrumul‘. Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu tragically passed away at just 46 years of age at the peak of his popularity in Australian music. He had lived with liver and kidney damage for many years due to hepatitis B which he had contracted in childhood.
Geoffrey was born blind in Galiwin’ku, Elcho Island, in 1971, situated off the coast of Arnhem Land in northern Australia, about 530 kilometres (330 mi) east of Darwin. A multi-instrumentalist, he played drums, keyboards, guitar (a right-hand-strung guitar played left-handed) and didgeridoo, but it was the clarity of his singing voice that attracted rave reviews.
I was born blind and I don’t know why
God knows why because he love me so
As I grew up, my spirit knew
Then I learnt to read the world of destruction
United we stand, divided we fall
Together we’ll stand, in solidarity
Ŋarranydja dhuwala Batumaŋ
Ŋarranydja dhuwala Djarrami
Ŋarranydja dhuwala Djeŋarra’
Ŋarranydja dhuwala Gurrumulŋa
I was just reading in You Tube the following foreigner’s comments when visiting Australia and wanting to take the Opera House in:
‘It was my second trip to Oz and I fancied a concert at the stereotypical place. I took a punt on a man who I’d never heard of (I’m a UK guy) and got this fella. Honest to say I’ll never forget it.‘
As a prelude to my visit to Colombia back in 2009 I sent this CD of Geoffrey Gurrumul to my adopted family as a token of Australia. They were besotted by it as I was. The whole album is just sublime and most songs from it will feature in the Music Library Project. What entails the ‘Music Library Project’?
That UK fellow above who happened to see Geoffrey that night to experience the Sydney Opera House won the music lottery! Geoffrey, The Go-Betweens, Kasey Chambers, David Bridie, Nick Cave and Archie Roach represent the best of quintessential Australian music in my humble opinion.
1. Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu – wikipedia