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Lenape Talking Dictionary

By English WORD or PHRASE

By Lenape WORD or PHRASE

Tam Tulpe

Tom Dooley . . . Lenape Version of the song Tom Dooley, translated by Nora Thompson Dean about 1963. This song was very popular on the radio and television in the early 1960s. I used to sing it a little bit around the house and one day Nora said, \"If you’re going to sing that why don’t you sing it in Lenape?\" She had been listening to it and translated it, so of course I wrote it down. Here we are singing it together, unrehearsed. The first line is the literal translation of the Lenape, the second line in italics is the Kingston Trio's original version.
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English:
Nora: This song is a Delaware version of the song of Tom Dooley.
Lenape:
Nora: This song is a Delaware version of the song of Tom Dooley.
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English:
Chorus: Hang down your head Tom Turtle, Hang down your head (and) cry.
Hang down your head, Tom Dooley. Hang down your head and cry.
Lenape:
Naukwèpi Tam Tulpe, Naukwèpi mëlimwi.
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English:
Chorus: Hang down your head Tom Turtle, It's a pity you are going to die.
Hang down your head, Tom Dooley. Poor boy, you're bound to die.
Lenape:
Naukwèpi Tam Tulpe, Alàkwi may ktànkël.
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English:
Verse 1: I met her there on a hill, Knocked her in the head at that place
I met her on the mountain. There I took her life.
Lenape:
Nkiskao ènta chëweyunk, Lëpiteho në tali
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English:
Verse 1: I met her there on a hill, I used my knife.
Met her on the mountain. Stabbed her with my knife.
Lenape:
Nkiskao ènta chëweyunk, Nshikàn nakatàm.
Note: This is a shortened form of My Knife to fit the song. The correct form is Mpàxkshikàn
English:
-REPEAT CHORUS HERE-
Lenape:
-REPEAT CHORUS HERE-
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English:
Verse 2: Tomorrow at this-time, Where perhaps will I be?
This time tomorrow. Reckon where I'll be.
Lenape:
Alàpa yukwe lëkhìkwi, Ta èt ta ahpia?
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English:
Verse 2:If that fool had not caught me, I might be in Tennessee.
Hadn't-a been for Grayson, I'd-a been in Tennessee.
Lenape:
Mata tunkkean kèpchat, Ntàpi a mah Tènësi.
English:
-REPEAT CHORUS HERE-
Lenape:
-REPEAT CHORUS HERE-
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English:
Verse 3:Tomorrow at this-time, Where perhaps will I be?
This time tomorrow. Reckon where I'll be.
Lenape:
Alàpa yukwe lëkhìkwi, Ta èt ta ahpia?
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English:
Verse 3:In a big valley, I will hang from a whiteoak tree.
Down in some lonesome valley hangin' from a white oak tree.
Lenape:
Enta xinkwi pahsayèk, Nshehëlan wipunkòkunk.
English:
-REPEAT CHORUS HERE-
Lenape:
-REPEAT CHORUS HERE-