Ba Ganala Galana, Ba rEdi Ba

“Ba Ganala Ganala” is a mesmerizing Australian Aboriginal song from the Nayangurmarda people who lived for generations in the desert near Eighty Mile Beach in northwestern West Australia. All Around This World first heard “Ba Ganala” on the Smithsonian Folkways album, “Songs of Aboriginal Australia and Torres Strait,” sung by a Nyangurmarda man named Kupangu. While the liner notes indicate that the songs on this album are all secular, they also describe most ancient Aboriginal music as being woven into rituals, with lyrics, often in lost ancestral languages, that have multiple layers of meaning, both in this world and the world of the spirts. When we sing “Ba Ganala” in class we simulate the tone created by a didgeridoo.

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