10 thoughts on “Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu sings "Bapa" (father)”

  1. Oh…than..k…you…Razz..(croaking sound)…

    (I’m like that guy in the front row at the end who had to look away and take a large sip of his drink or else he was gonna lose his composure.)

    Geoffrey Gurrumui Yunupingu.

    I bow from the waist.

  2. Pat

    I’m glad you liked the song.

    I envy you for your father as the stories you’ve told about him have made him sound like a good and interesting man. Your descriptions of your father also make it clear to me, that you still miss him even though he died so long ago.

    These sentiments are foreign to me.

    My father was biker who was also a wife beating; brawling thug and criminal who died in a motorcycle accident when I was about 2 and a half years old. I don’t know what he looks like (there are no photos of him) and I don’t have any memories of him. My mother has told me that I was lucky he died early. I’ll write about this in the future.

  3. I’m back. Listened again. Kills me every time. His blindness somehow just adds to the poignancy of what he sings about.

    I just spent a few minutes trying to find that post when you were in Queensland scuba diving and you posted that adorable picture of your wife and titled it “My sunburnt Angel”.

    That was a very sweet and father-like thing to say…along with the whole purpose of that phase of the trip…to the let Engogirl experience something for herself, something you already knew something about(scuba diving)…and you simply wanted to accompany her and make sure everything was going well…Love is a many layered thing and despite not having a father, I think you know more about fatherhood than you may think.

    Thanks, again, for the song.

  4. Whereas some fathers are like phantoms in the lives of their children, my father’s only fault was that he tried too hard (still not sure if that’s a fault, really). When I was about six and my family was living in Montana, my dad was convinced the civilized world was going to end in some great nuclear struggle between the Soviet Union and the West. He went out and, with the help of some other Doomsdayers, built a fallout shelter and stocked it with enough food to feed six families for fifty years (yeah, that’s right, 50 years). As you can imagine, it was an expensive endeavor. Nearly ruined our family. Fast forward to the present. Since we never had to use the fallout shelter, all the other families sold their spaces to my father, determined to just move on with their lives. We didn’t, of course. (Remember Y2K? My dad believed that was real – so real that our family spent New Year’s Eve in the shelter.) My dad’s still convinced (will always be convinced, really) that our family will need the shelter any day now. He takes several trips a year to test the generators in the shelter and make sure the battery bays are corrosion free. I took a trip with him three years ago. We (just the two of us) hauled nearly 2000 lbs of fresh deep cycle batteries into the shelter.

    My point is, he’s taken being a father to the other extreme.

  5. Iheartfilm

    Wow! That’s incredible!

    You could write a book or make a movie about that. Or if that’s not your style, maybe you could a photo essay about it, like what they used to do for LIFE magazine, all in black and white.

    I’m flabbergasted!

  6. O, Razz, you don’t mind if I speak directly to iheartfilm, do you??



    Holy Crap.

    Don’t you be telling us you don’t have nerve enough or are not brave enough to tell this story. (a comment by Chris on my blog) O, no. I think Razz’s idea of a photo essay would be perfect! And, you’ve got the right blog template for a photo essay, too. If not, look around there are plenty out there.

    If you can flabbergast Razzbuffnik, you have a wide audience awaiting you.

  7. There was a time when I avoided this subject entirely. Didn’t talk about it at all, mostly out of embarrassment. I’m pretty much over that now. But the fact remains that I’m still pretty divided about the whole thing. Part of me believes my father is right for doing this, and then there’s the part that sides with my mother. She’s the one who always thought this was an insane idea – so insane that she got fed up and eventually took my brothers and me back east. My father’s inability to shake his Apocalyptic notions has really driven a wedge between them, as you can imagine. (Plus my mother’s a born-again Christian who believes in the whole give-it-all-to-God, wait-and-see approach. Not exactly an outlook my father’s willing to stomach.)

    Anyway, I’m done talking now . . .

  8. Iheartfilm

    I know this is a sensitive subject for you, and I’m not trying to make fun of you and your family, but if I lived in the States I’d try and meet up with you so I could have acess to this story so I could document it. From where I stand, here in Australia, your family’s story is just so…… (and I don’t mean this in a bad way) exotic and out there.

    Ahhh…. life’s rich tapestry! Thank godness for blogging.

  9. Chris, your “divided” feelings about the whole thing are precisely why this would be a good story. You wouldn’t be judging him totally one way or the other, just exploring the reality of what he did and what you and your family experienced. Perhaps your mother wouldn’t be happy with a divided approach, though, and that’s always an writer’s problem with autobiography: other family members and respecting their feelings but finding a way to express yours.

    Anyway, you still might want to consider writing about it if only for your own consumption..I find out how I feel about things sometimes when I write about them.

    Good luck.

  10. Thanks for posting the song.

    When people talk about their fathers, I always say “My father’s dead.” … just for shock value. (he died when I was 11 years old)
    Being a kid I adapted easily: and remembered my father as a child remembers things.
    When I was older I asked my oldest brother about our father and how my older brother (16 years older) felt.
    He just said that he felt ripped off that he was finally coming to an age when he could partially understand standing in his shoes.
    I thought that was significant for some reason.

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