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Songs for a New Country

Television (Full Length) – 1993

Songs for a New Country evokes an earlier age, by mixing traditional folk songs with images of New Zealand. Barry Saunders — best known as lead singer of the Warratahs — performs a collection of ballads across Aotearoa, while director John Laing mines the archives for images to bring these settlers tales alive. The result is a kind of folk poetry in motion, where imagery of the early days of European settlement evokes both nostalgia and hardship. The musicians include Warratahs Wayne Mason and Nik Brown. Janet Roddick takes over lead vocals for 'My Man’s Gone', and can be glimpsed joining Saunders for 'Railway Bill'.

I like the softness. It’s funny, the south of any country seems softer than the north. Don’t know what brings that about, and the light changes a lot. I’m a south person really.
– Barry Saunders on travelling around New Zealand, Real Groove, June 1998

Key Cast & Crew

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Grant Taylor

Sound Mix

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Barry Saunders


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Owen Ferrier-Kerr

Consultant Editor

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John Laing

Director, Writer, Editor

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Dorothee Pinfold


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James Cowley


See all 14 credits

Produced by

Pinflicks Productions


Made with funding from NZ On Air   


Music arranged by Barry Saunders 

Musicians: Barry Saunders (vocals, guitar, harmonica), Wayne Mason (accordion), Alistair Cuthill & Nik Brown (fiddle), Ruairidh Morrison (whistle), Vincent Burke (bodhran), Colin Addison (piper)