Recently my curiosity was sparked as to the origins of Maori action songs – a hybrid form combining traditional movements, borrowed Western melodies and Maori lyrics. It seems that I owe my encounter with them to an enthusiastic physical education specialist in the late 1940’s who introduced them into the public school system along with Maori children’s games, noting that they were “exceedingly good for the body of the pakeha” (non-Maori). W is for is my response to that early time spent dancing and singing in a language which we were never taught to speak. The text is an excerpt from a Maori-English dictionary. It begins at waka (canoe) and passes through wakainga (true home, far distant home) and warawara (yearning), arriving finally at wareware – forget, forgotten, forgetful. The final line comes from the Belgian singer Jacques Brel’s ballad “On n’oublie rien” – you forget nothing.