Upit Sarimanah (INDONESIA)
April 4, 2011, 8:03 pm
Filed under: Indonesia, Sunda

Upit Sarimanah (1928 – 1992) was an extremely popular singer from Sunda, the mountainous western region of Java. She was a sinden, the female singer in the traditional puppet plays known as wayang golek. Her first recordings were made in the 1950s and she was loved for her warm, deep chest voice as opposed to the high, nasal head voice of her main contemporary Titim Fatimah. Fatimah’s voice was considered rougher and unrefined while Upit’s style was more modern and embraced by the urbane and sophisticated urban population. Andrew Weintraub writes that one musician told him “America had Elvis, Indonesia had Upit.” (The Crisis of the Sinden, p. 67)

She was a versatile singer, recording in everything from pop styles to keroncong to traditional gamelan. Upit first recorded 78s for the Nusantara label as well as the short lived Putri label, both offshoots of Radio Republik Indonesia (RRI). She went on to record many lps for Indonesian labels such as Mutiara, Canary, Evergreen, Lokananta and others.


Mangle is the Sundanese name of  the jasmine flower worn as a decoration in the hair of a bride during wedding ceremonies, but it also has a larger symbolic meaning of “sacred beauty.” The song was composed by Mang Koko Koswara (pictured below), a popular composer of the 1950s known for modernizing Sundanese music.

Here are the lyrics in Sundanese if you’d like to sing along.


Ampuh lungguh someah
tara rucah awuntah
Resep cicing di imah
Babalik pikir
Ka bioskop bet ngampleng
Di arisan ge suwung
Ka pakgade ge lebeng
Babalik pikir
Di Tepas teu tembong
Bumi siga kosong
Horeng susulumputan
Leuh sieun rekening
Ngadadak bet lungguh
Ulat ampuh timpuh
Pajar babalik pikir
Horeng kantongna kosong
Kurang kerung ngadilak
Gawe nyeuseul ngawakwak
Ka pagawe sesentak
Bapa kapala
Agar kerja dinamis
Inspirasi yang praktis
Kudu nyanding nu geulis
Keur maen mata


1 Comment so far
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so beautiful!!! thank you!

Comment by nonameinthestreet

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