For the sake of a song

For the sake of a song

Wangga Songmen and their Repertories

Wangga is a genre of public dance-song from the Daly region of northwest Australia; the country that lies to the north and south of the mouth of the Daly River. The book (and this website) focuses on the songmen (medjakarr in Batjamalh; ngalinangga in Marri Tjavin) who have composed and performed wangga in the Daly region in the last fifty years.

Many of these singers are now deceased, though their descendants and heirs continue to perform the songs in ceremonies and various public events. At the core of the book is a corpus of some 150 wangga song texts, organised into six repertories: four from the Belyuen-based songmen Barrtjap, Muluk, Mandji and Lambudju, and two from the Wadeye-based Walakandha and Ma-yawa wangga groups, which are named after the ancestral song-giving ghosts of the Marri Tjavin and Marri Ammu people respectively.

About this website

The content on this website comes from the book For the Sake of a Song: Wangga Songmen and their Repertories, by Allan Marett, Linda Barwick and Lysbeth Ford. The book is available from Sydney University Press.

Buy the book

Music can be streamed from this website. Click on the repertories link to stream the music.