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Merga (Mary Buttigieg)

Mary Galea (born 25 May 1952), Buttigieg by marriage, is a singer known as Merga from Rabat, Malta.

She was educated at the Rabat Primary School and Our Lady Immaculate Secondary School of Ħamrun.

Her singing career kicked off in 1962 at the Rabat Song Contest organized by Żgħażagħ Ħaddiema Nsara, with song ‘Nixtieq Nittajjar’, a Maltese version of ‘Vorrei Volare’. Though she never took singing lessons, her father was a musician and that helped her a lot.

She successfully took part in several other song contests such as the Aurora Song Festival, Lester Production Song Festival, Żebbuġ Song Festival, Malta Song Festival, Festival tal-Kanzunetti Marjani, Malta International Festival (Tourist Revues), Gozo Festival and L-Għanja tal-Poplu organized by YTC. She started using her stage name Merga when she was competing abroad, a name by which she became popular in the Maltese Islands.

Merga sang songs by various composers and authors, but early in her career, most of the songs were written by John B.Cassar. One of her first songs was 'Madonnina' which was originally performed by Terry L Bencini in the first Malta Song Contest in 1960.

Merga (Mary Buttigieg)

John B Cassar wrote songs specifically for Merga, such as 'Speak of Your Tears' and 'Niket u Faraġ' (Sorrow and Consolation), a song with which she participated in the International Festival of Malta (Tourist Revue). Both songs were published on the Belter label in 1969. That same year, Merga took part in the Tenerife Festival with song 'Johnny', which was published on Belter label with 'Madonnina' on its B side.

In August 1969, she represented Malta at the Sopot International Festival in Poland, with the song 'Ejja Ejja' by Lee Spiteri, recorded in Barcellona, Spain for Belter.

Merga took part in more festivals aboard, including Greece, Italy, Rio di Janeiro and Cuba.

Merga was also involved in the local Via Crucis album 'Ikun li Trid Int' by Prof. Manuel Mifsud and Therese Cassar in the early 70's, produced by YTC. The whole album was performed for the first time by YTC members at the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Mellieħa. Then 'Ikun li Trid Int' was recorded at the MTV studios. Though television in Malta was still transmitted in black and white, the recording was filmed in colour so that it could be broadcasted in colour in the future. It was also recorded on a Long Playing Album in 1976 and on a CD in 2001.

Merga won Għanja tal-Poplu 1990 with the song of Manuel Mifsud ‘Inti’ (You). In 1995 she won third place and best interpretation trophy in the same festival with the song ‘In-Naffar’ (The Scarecrow) by Walter Micallef and Alfred E.Baldacchino.

See also

Category:Merga Photos