'Ngarla Songs is a unique bilingual presentation of sixty-eight anecdotal songs composed by Ngarla people. They describe the thrill of the hunt, the wonder of whales and other events and life experiences as seen through Ngarla eyes.
...These cameos of everyday life in the Pilbara have been written down, translated and recorded in English. Alexander Brown and Brian Geytenbeek have worked together for ten years to capture the wit, wisdom and vibrancy expressed in these songs.' (Source: Fremantle Press website)
Brian Geytenbeek' first became aware of the wealth of descriptive and poetic material in the Ngarla language while teaching Alexander ' Sandy' Brown to read and write. At that time (1984)....it became obvious to Geytenbeek that Brown knew a lot Ngarla songs' and over time he supplied Geytenbeek with the words to many Aboriginal songs from several different language groups.
'The particular selection from Brown's repertoire contained in these pages has been restricted to Ngarla songs.' Source: Ngarla Songs (2003)
'The yirraru , of which sixty-eight are presented in this book, were anecdotal songs...The yirraru... were composed about specific events or experiences which captured the emotions or fired the imagination, which the composer shared by describing them poetically and musically...
Yirraru could be sung by anybody, at any time. Some people were gifted at remembering such songs and built up huge repertoires of them, often in several different languages. Alexander Brown is one such person.' Source: Ngarla Songs (2003)
'The Pilbara is not a part of Australia that gets much attention in the literature. Of the traditional languages of the region we know little, and of the songs we know less. There is Carl Georg von Brandenstein’s book of song poetry, Taruru (Brandenstein & Thomas 1974), which includes some Ngarla songs and other, more recent, recordings of song performances from the region to the west by Mike Burns and by the filmmakers Frank Rijevec and Noellene Harrison. Ngarla songs provides some 68 song texts in Ngarla, with English translations. Ngarla is the language of Port Hedland and east past the De Grey River for which little has been recorded beyond a dictionary (Brown et al. 1991).' (Introduction)