song philosophy

Old Javanese Song Philosophy #1 (gundul-gundul Pacul)

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Moral of Old Javanese song Philosophy (gundul-gundul Pacul)

The song lyric in Javanese is like this:

Old Javanese Song Philosophy :

Gundul-Gundul Pacul-cul, gembelengan.
Nyunggi-nyunggi wakul-kul, gembelengan.
Wakul ngglimpang segane dadi sak latar.
Wakul ngglimpang segane dadi sak latar

Song Philosophy

and the translation is more like this – Javanese Song Philosophy

Bald bald hoe, not careful
Carrying the basket (over the head) without caution
The basket was rolling, the rice spilled over the yard
The basket was rolling, the rice spilled over the yard

When I was little, this song was familiar to my ears. I often sing this song with peers when playing after school. Not just a toy, it turns out that this song has a deep philosophical meaning.

This song is considered to contain deep philosophical values – Javanese Song Philosophy :

Bald bald hoe, not careful

Hairless bald heads without hair. The head is the symbol of one’s honor and glory, while the hair is the crown symbol of the beauty of the head. Thus, bald means a crownless honor.
Pacul is a hoe, an agricultural tool made of rectangular iron plates, is a symbol of small people who are mostly farmers. The Javanese say that hoe (pacul) is papat kang ucul (lit. “the four that detached”), with the understanding of one’s glory highly dependent on four things, namely the way that person uses his eyes, nose, ears, and mouth. If those four things are released, the person’s honor will also be separated.

Eyes are used to see people’s difficulties.
The ear is used to hear advice.
The nose is used to smell the fragrance of goodness.
The mouth is used for fair words.

Gembelengan means “big-headed, arrogant, and playful” in using his honor.

The brain is the most vital content of the head. There are four other organs in the head that become warriors of reason, namely the eyes, nose, ears, and mouth, which if released (ucul) from the control of the mind (rationality) will do as they wish.

Gembelengan means being big-headed, arrogant and playing around in using his honor. Many leaders forget that they actually carry out the mandate of the people, but instead he uses his power as his glory, using his position to be proud of people.

He considers that power because of his intelligence. Leaders are prohibited from manipulation, playing games, pretending to be powerless, forgetting the nature of democracy, feeling themselves above the people and forgetting that the people can live without the government, while the government cannot exist without the people.

Nyunggi Wakul, gembelengan.



Nyunggi Wakul means carrying a basket (rice tray) on his head. Wakul is a basket or place of rice that symbolizes property and has a symbol of people’s welfare, state wealth, resources and taxes are its contents.

Many leaders are still distressed (swaying their heads proudly and playing around). Many leaders forget that they carry the important mandate to carry baskets on their heads. Pride, with his pride, in the end, will only destroy his own honor and pride.

As a result, if there is a wakul gembelengan ie wakul ngimplimpang segane dadi sak latar. The point is that the basket is rolled over and the rice is spilling everywhere. If the leader is galvanized, resources will spill everywhere. He is not properly distributed. Gaps are everywhere.

Rice that spills on the ground cannot be eaten anymore because it is dirty. Then the task is failing to carry out the mandate of the people. The wealth of the country is scattered wasteful, controlled by thieves and greedy people who are in the same degree as chickens smearing scattered rice.

Hopefully, we can understand what the moral of the song.

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