T:caingc y cathreinwr
S:ifor ceri ms
W:o blin yw damshel pigau dur
W:a blin yw cur y galon
W:ond blinach ydyw colli run
W:a hi ei hun yn foddlon

ifor ceri, or john jenkins, collected many tunes mainly in mid, south and west wales. he was not the first, iolo morgannwg having collected some eighty or so tunes a generation before ifor.

i shan't translate, so as not do purge their melancholy sound.

it has rained for thirty days. today, walking between llangrannog and ynys lochtyn i observed three trees; sloe, rose and gorse, budding. the horizon was rimmed with salmon pink and the calm sea a leaden colour, like salmon skin. to the north, yr eifl were only just visible but to the southwest, the preseli mountains were, in turn, purple, transparent and gold. in the village a street of houses was empty except for one inhabited building. the person explained that all the owners lived away and came back only for the summer. it is raw economics.

mary jones, who i don't know, has an excellent resource here. on it is to be found the juvencus englynion, some of the oldest examples of welsh verse, transcribed in the ninth century, apparently - and suitably wintry

The Three Juvencus Englynion, pp. 48-50.
Niguorcosam nemheunaur
Henoid mitelu nit gurmaur
Mi amfranc dam ancalaur

Nicanu niguardam nicusam
Henoid cet iben med nouel
Mi amfranc dam anpatel

Namercit mi nep leguenid
Henoid is discyrr mi coueidid
Dou nam riceus unguetid

The W. F. Skene Translation, 1869?
I will not sleep tonight, not one hour
Tonight; my houshold is not great.
I and my Franc around our kettle.

I sing not, nor laugh, nor sleep,
Tonight; though drinking the new mead,
I and my Franc around our pot.

No joyousness impresses me,
Tonight; my song is a lament.
Two do not talk to me [with] one speaker.

The Ifor Williams translation, 1932
I shall not boast vain things to-night
My retinue is not very large,
I and my hireling, about our cauldron.

I shall not sing, I shall not laugh, I shall not talk to-night,
Though we drank clear mead,
I and my hireling, about our bowl.

Let no-one ask me for mirth tonight;
Mean is my company.
Two lords...

whilst on the subject of iolo, and one is never far from it a link from mary's page takes us to an etext of some of iolo's english language poetry, which i also copy below as pages can disappear. their pastoral joy is perhaps a little out of context in this post but the pills and the melancholy they purge are not always that different from each other

Iolo | Johan Schimanski | Universitetet i Trømsø | 27.06.99
Iolo Morganwg:

Poems, Lyric and Pastoral (1794)

The following e-text contains a short excerpt from vol.1 of Poems, Lyric and Pastoral (J. Nichols, London 1794) by Edward Williams (=Iolo Morganwg, 1747-1826). See also The "Lyric Pastoral": A Natural Genre?.

Much of the layout and typography has been left intact, but long s (s not followed by a space or by a punctuation mark), spaces before (the more complex) punctuation marks, and "follow-on" words printed in the bottom right corner of each page have been suppressed. Certain words within the text are set in capitals: their initial letters are generally slightly larger than the those in the rest of the word, and this does not show in this version.

Unfortunately, this text being entered manually from a fax of the original, some of the letters had to be guessed at; these are enclosed in , thusly. Page numbers are provided in similar brackets. Also note that

Typed in by Johan Schimanski on the second day of 1993 at the University of Oslo; these texts may be copied & disseminated freely throughout the ether.

Thanks to Richard Crowe & Andrew Hawke of the Geiriadur Prifysgol Cymru for providing the originals at such short notice.


C O N T E N T,


1. NOW morning meets my gladden'd eyes,
From healthful sleep I jocund rise,
With strength renew'd, and placid mind,
To relish Nature's joys inclin'd,
I speed to meet the fragrant gale
That wantons in the dewy dale;
And, as I pace the ow'ry way,
To sweet Content attune my lay.

2. How clad with smiles the vernal morn!
How gay the bloom-bespangled thorn!
The lark is up, the welkin rings,
And with his flock the shepherd sings;
His notes a pleasing thrill impart;
They cheer my soul, and soothe my heart.
Oh! let my days like his be spent,
In rural shades with mild Content.
3. The Blackbird warbles on the bough,
The Milkmaid sings beneath her Cow;
The Mower, up with early dawn,
Prepares to fleece the clover'd lawn;
The Farmer views his blooming wheat*,
And starts the lev'ret from her seat;
* Blooming wheat.] The wheat's bloom is a beautiful, and ver interesting, rural object; though but little, if at all, noticed b modern Poets.


Whilst I this lonely vale frequent,
To muse the praises of Content.

4. I verdant mead, and shady grove,
Dear simple scenes of nature, love,
And highly prize my happy lot,
That gave me one sequester'd cot,
Far from the bust of a Crowd,
Far from the mansions of the Proud,
And gave, to crown the blest event,
The tranquil feelings of Content. 5. Pleas'd with my little flock of sheep,
That on my native downs I keep;
Mine are the joys of Peace and Health,
And sure I want no greater wealth;
No vain desires my soul infest,
Nor dwells Ambition in my breast.
Heav'n, all such follies to prevent,
Tam'd all my thoughts to soft Content.

6. Oh! thou from whom all comfort flows,
Whose hand the richest boon bestows,
Whose careful Providence imparts,
The purest bliss to humble hearts;
Oh! let me never find content,
But in meek thoughts on virtue bent;
Whilst, of thy laws enamour'd still,
I bow submissive to thy will.


A S O N G.

1. WITH Phillis alone in the grove,
I pass'd the still ev'ning away;
My song was the tale of our love,
She smil'd, and approv'd the lay.
I felt the sweet glance from her eyes,
It open'd the way to her heart;
And Phillis could never disguise
Her looks with the varnish of Art. 2. The blush that appear'd on her face
Out-rival'd yon rose in the grove;
It spoke with ineffable grace
The wordless confession of Love;
Whilst Modesty brighten'd her charms,
And sweet looks her affection express'd,
I took the clear nymph in my arms,
And held her with joy to my breast.

T H E P A R T I N G,


1. LIFE yields no joy devoid of care,
It is our doom awhile to part;
But whilst I go, my lovely fair,
I leave with thee my constant heart;
Thy Colin shall, in plaintive song,
The stories of our love rehearse;
And, as the moment glides along,
Thy name shall fill my tender verse.

2. I'll sing the well-remember'd hour,
When first I felt thy peerless charms;
When first, within this privet bow'r,
Thy beauties fill'd my circling arms;
I'll sing the sweet sequestered walk,
Or seat beneath yon aged thorn;
Where oft we met for tender talk,
At ev'ning mild, or dewy morn. 3. Whilst far from Delia sadly thrown,
And by Misfortune rudely tost,
Pursu'd by Fate's malignant frown,
In all my soul's enjoyment cross'd
The wintry storm will fleet away;
I'll bear those ills a little while;
And keep in view that happy day,
When thou shalt meet me with a smile.

4. Wilt thou, my Delia, keep my heart
Still faithful as the turtle dove?
And let no swain, with baleful art,
Induce thee to forget my love?
My soul to thee shall true remain,
Till Fate, in pity to my sighs,
Relenting kindly, shall again
Restore thee to my longing eyes. 5. Wilt thou frequent our fav'rite bow'r,
And wilt thou there in silence mourn,
Till time brings on the blissful hour,
That sees thy lover's wish'd return;
When Colin in its green alcove,
With Delia meets, no more to part;
Whilst, in that eye, the look of love,
Restores thee to my joyful heart?

6. Whilst on this tender theme I muse,
It yields my soul a soft relief;
Hope brightens up its lovely views,
And charms away the glooms of grief.
Though Fate our envy'd bliss delays,
And dooms thy Colin far to rove;
Yet we shall end ur happy days,
United in the bands of love.
The Reader will observe, that the term Lyric Pastoral has been often used, and will, perhaps ask, for what reason?—It is this—We often observe Shepherds, and other rural characters, diverting themselves with songs, which are always, in the proper sense of the word, sung to a tune; the verse of course must be Lyric<.> SHENSTONE'S Pastoral Ballads are, for this reason, amongst others, far more natural than the Bucolics of Theocritus, Virgil, and many more that could be named; this at last is a<191:> Welsh Bard's opinion, who admits of no authority but that of NATURE. We often hear the fields resound with Chevy Chase, Tweed Side, and such popular songs. Shepherds, Ploughmen, and Goatherds, will often write verses to favourite tunes in praise of their Phillidas, their Annies, and their Delias. But we never meet with them spouting Heroics, "sub tegmine fagi." At least it is thus in every part of BRITAIN. But some, it seems, are of the opinion that we should write for other countries, climates, and times, rather than our own. Bravo! my good Critics!



P A S T O R A L.

In the Welsh Manner*.

1. AN arbour sequester'd I found,
Of hawthorn, with woodbines attir'd<;>
'Tis hid by green thickets around,
'Tis by my dear Phillis admir'd
I led her one day to the place,
From all observation apart;
And, urg'd with a lover's embrace,
I told her of my heart!
* There is nothing in the Welsh poetic taste, however deftive in other respects it might appear, absurdly derived from mythology, sentiments, and scenery<,> of the Greek and Ro Poets; but all is the natural growth of BRITAIN.


2. See, Phillis, the gladness of Love<,>
On ev'ry sweet object impress'd;
It softly distills from above,
To soothe our afflictions to rest;
Though saddest misfortunes arise,
Assuming each terrible form;
Love's willing attention supplies
A shield that can battle the storm.
3. Unblest are all those who decline
What Love, only Love, can bestow!
Nought else can our pleasures refine,
Nought else of true comfort we know;
'Twill brighten the gloom of our days,
'Twill keep our best feelings awake;
O! let us, avoiding delays,
Of Love's balmy raptures partake.

<4.> Observe the gay thickets and
The skies that are fulgent above;
The fragrance we breathe in the gales;
All die with the season of Love!
For, all that is charming of Spring,
The Summer's high fervor will burn;
And, bearing the storm on it's wing,
Stern Winter will quickly return. 5. How sweet are the valleys of May!
Delicious the mornings of June!
We'll prize them, be jocund and gay,
To joy the new carol attune;
The birds have a musical strain!
How fragrant the beautiful rose!
But, seeking, we seek them in vain,
When woodlands are cover'd with snows.

6. Our moments incessantly waste,
Soon vanish unheeded away;
Youth flies on the pinions of haste,
Nor listens to mortal delay;
Then let us, my Phillis, improve
Our time that is dwindling apace,
And, yielding to Nature and Love,
The joy that's allow'd us embrace!

and follows a return to wintery coldness in a song, originally noted by iolo, rendered in my dialect

fi wn lle ma gwitw tu wnt i gyrdydd
lle gallwn ga'l decpunt i ala bob dydd
a finne duw'm elpo mor wan ac mor wa'l
yn caru merch ifanc heb ddim iddi'i ga'l

here is an old tune pricked down by iolo morgannwg. it is not related to the verse. i am indebted to daniel huws of penrhyncoch who lent me his copy of the original. the barring is as pricked by iolo

T:cywydd deuair "morgannwg"
O:LLGC Llsgrau Iolo Aneurin Williams heb eu catalogio
N:priciad Iolo Morgannwg (Edward Williams)



gair cloi parthed a'r berllan onedig. dyma rester o'r fale (a'r pers ne'r gellyg) a'u cymare sy wedi'u blannu yn barod (ar y gwilod) - a'r rheini sy i ddod (ar y top) llun i ddilyn

black worcester (xcatillac) = pitmaston duchesse (xbeth)

d'arcy spice des 14 D =cornish aromatic des 15 D

devonshire quarrenden des B = burr knot ck 9C
1676 popular in s wales

court pendu plat des 26G = lodgemore nonpareil )des 23F
1610 1808 glos

tom putt sdr 10C =morgan sweet S B
dorset somerst 1700 / swales


ashmeads kernel des 14D
glos ruset 1700

discovery (thurston august) des 11C
essex (worcester pearmain x possibly with beauty of bath) 1949

grenadier ck 11C

lord derby ck 14D
cheshire 1862

lord lambourne) des 8C
beds (james grieve x worcester pearmain) 1907

sunset des 10C
kent (raised from a cox's orange pippin) 1918

saint cecilia des 7B
(raised from a cox's orange pippin?)

twll tin gwydd des/ ck 7B

wish list: perthyre, pitmaston pine apple, monmouth green/landore, cissy

y gwir yw hornpipes yw fale wedi'u blanu miwn cordon. dyma gwd hornpipe

S:Mobberley session
R:English reel
N:Posted to the woodenflute mailing list November 2001. JACOB. AKA and see "Enrico." English, Reel. England, Dorset. D Major. Standard. AABB. See note for “Enrico” for more. Trim (Thomas Hardy), 1990; No. 13.
ENRICO. AKA – “Henryco,” “Water Loo Fair.” AKA and see "Jacob." English, Reel. D Major. Standard. AABB. The melody's original title was "Jacob," but was retitled by English author and musician Thomas Hardy. It was his favorite tune. The title appears in Hardy's (who was also an accomplished accordion player and fiddler) drama The Dynasts:
Let us go and look at the dancing. It is 'Voulez?vous danser'
? no, it is not, ? it is 'Enrico' ? two ladies between two gentlemen.
According to Hardy’s biography, the four-year old Hardy would sometimes burst into tears when his father played this and other tunes to him on the fiddle. Hardy, around the year 1925, wrote that “Enrico” was the usual vehicle for the country dance called Bonnets of Blue, or in Dorset when he was young, Hands Across. In his novel Under the Greenwood Tree the dance is described (but not named) as the one in which Shiner refuses to cast off (E.F.D.S. News, No. 12, Sept., 1926). The Welch manuscript gives the alternate title “Water Loo Fair” (while calling “Enrico” by the name “Henryco”). Trim (Thomas Hardy), 1990; No. 13 (appears as “Jacob”). BEJOCD-28, The Mellstock Band – “The Dance at Pheonix: Village Band Music from Hardy’s Wessex and Beyond.”
Z:Steve Mansfield January 2001
A2 | d2 fe dcdB | ABAG F2 A2 |
d2 ef gfgf | e2 a2 a2 A2 |
d2 fe dcdB | ABAG F2 A2 |
B2 gf edec | d2 d2 d2 ::
fg | a2 ag fgfe | dedc B2 B2 |
gagf efed | cdcB A2 (3ABc |
d2 d2 cecA | d2 d2 cecA |
d2 f2 edec | d2 d2 d2 :|

a dyma i chi gwd afal - sant cecilia hy - nawddsantes cerddorion dim llai

buws yn boblogedd ym mynwy y ganrif dwytha C20 hy.


nosweithie'n tynnu miwn

wedyn mwy o amser i hala ar y blog a llai yn anffodus yn yr ardd. mwy am hynny maes o law.
yn y cyfamser, mae'r peirianne wedi bod yn siarad a'u gily



two things today made me think of this poem by gerard manley hopkins, written when he was at ffynnon feuno, tremeirchion in the summer of 1877

pied beauty

    glory be to god for dappled things—
        for skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
            for rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
    fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches' wings;
        landscape plotted and pieced—fold, fallow, and plough;
            and áll trades, their gear and tackle and trim.

    all things counter, original, spáre, strange;
        whatever is fickle, frecklèd (who knows how?)
            with swíft, slów; sweet, sóur; adázzle, dím;
    he fathers-forth whose beauty is pást change:
                                                práise hím.

the first being the dappled light under a lime tree equally burning and refreshing my closed eyes. the second being the dead body of a songthrush that lay wasted by a closed window. the window reflecting the landscape behind the bird as she flew.

some tunes have, to me, a dappled quality. others a grey chromaticism. this tune being in the former category

c:traddodiadol o lyn nedd

here is a painting by turner 1775-1851 of aberdulais mill, painted some two generations before the tune was pricked down, later to appear in alawon fy ngwlad, the collection by nicholas bennet of glanyrafon.

this watercolour by turner of porth mawr, porth ia (st ives in cornwall) also displays a deep freckled luminous quality.

thomas jones of trefonnen, radnorshire, 1742-1803 was a student of richard wilson and a near contemporary of turner, as well as of these two tunes. he found his visual 'voice' when painting in naples.

his paintings visually represent to me the chromaticism i find in this next tune. not a musical chromaticism of intervals but a quality of colour, echoed particularly in the timbre of the flute in this key.

x: 2
t:cerrig yr afon

it is a quality one would associate more perhaps with the end of the year as in this poem written by thomas hardy on the last day of the nineteenth century

the darkling thrush

i leant upon a coppice gate
when frost was spectre-gray,
and winter's dregs made desolate
the weakening eye of day.
the tangled bine-stems scored the sky
like strings of broken lyres,
and all mankind that haunted nigh
had sought their household fires.

the land's sharp features seemed to be
the century's corpse outleant,
his crypt the cloudy canopy,
the wind his death-lament.
the ancient pulse of germ and birth
was shrunken hard and dry,
and every spirit upon earth
seemed fervourless as i.

at once a voice arose among
the bleak twigs overhead
in a full-hearted evensong
of joy illimited;
an aged thrush, frail, gaunt, and small,
in blast-beruffled plume,
had chosen thus to fling his soul
upon the growing gloom.

so little cause for carolings
of such ecstatic sound
was written on terrestrial things
afar or nigh around,
that i could think there trembled through
his happy good-night air
some blessed hope, whereof he knew
and i was unaware.

two tunes for two throstles



april is the cruelest month... but

another reverdie says, in tri thrawiad meter,

mae'r ddaear yn glasu
a'r coed sydd yn tyfu
a gwyrddion yw'r gerddi
mae'r llwyni mor llon
a heirdd yw'r egine
a'r dail ar y dole
a blode'r perllane
pur llawnion

T:Mae'r Ddaear yn Glasu (Carol Mai)

and this from the thirteenth century reading abbey ms

svmer is icumen in,
lhude sing cuccu
groweþ sed and bloweþ med
and springþ þe wde nu,
sing cuccu
awe bleteþ after lomb,
lhouþ after calue cu.
bulluc sterteþ, bucke uerteþ,
murie sing cuccu!
cuccu, cuccu, wel singes þu, cuccu;
ne swik þu naver nu,
sing cuccu nu. sing cuccu.
sing cuccu. sing cuccu nu

the cuckoo in the following poem from llyfyr du caerfyrddin presages what sir ifor williams calls a change to the minor key when mentioned. the translation is by ifor williams also

kintevin keinhaw amserr
dyar adar glas callet.
ereidir in rich ich iguet
guirt mor brithottor tiret

ban ganhot cogeu ar blaen guit guiw
handit muy uy llauuridet

maytime, fairest season
loud are the birds green the groves
ploughs in furrow ox under yoke
green is the sea lands are many coloured

when cuckoos sing on the tops of fine trees
greater grows my gloom

the melancholy of the welsh cuckoo according to williams is that "in old welsh the interrogative of place 'where?' was cw (pronounced like the english coo) men everywhere heared the cuckoo's call as cw cw" this is also true in persia, apparently

more than a hint of sublime melancholy can be heared in this version of the cuckoo's nest from mid/northeast wales. the ms (cwrtnewydd) passed through the hands of mary richards sometime in the middle of the nineteenth century. she was the vicar of darowen's daughter and played the fiddle

T:nyth y gwcw (miss pritchard)
O:traditional welsh
O:cwrtnewydd ms

very little melancholy is to be encountered on padstow's joyful may day celebration. the same swagger can be heared in the music as in the welsh spring carol above

day song

unite and unite and let us all unite,
for summer is acome unto day,
and whither we are going we will all unite,
in the merry morning of may.

arise up mr..... i know you well afine,
for summer is acome unto day,
you have a shilling in your purse and i wish it was in mine
in the merry morning of may.

all out of your beds,
for summer is acome unto day,
your chamber shall be strewed with the white rose and the red,
in the merry morning of may.

where are the young men that here now should dance,
for summer is acome unto day,
some they are in england and some they are in france
in the merry morning of may.

where are the maidens that here now should sing
for summer is acome unto day,
they are in the meadows the flowers gathering,
in the merry morning of may.

arise up mr..... with your sword by your side,
for summer is acome unto day,
your steed is in the stable awaiting for to ride
in the merry morning of may.

arise up miss..... and strew all your flowers,
for summer is acome unto day,
it is but a while ago since we have strewed ours
in the merry morning of may.

o! where is st. george,
o, where is he o?
he is out in his long-boat all on the salt sea o.
up flies the kite and down falls the lark o,
aunt ursula birdhood she had an old ewe
and she died in her own Park o.

with the merry ring, adieu the merry spring,
for summer is acome unto day,
how happy is the little bird that merrily doth sing
in the merry morning of may.

the young men of padstow might if they would,
for summer is acome unto day,
they might have built a ship and gilded her with gold
in the merry morning of may.

the young women of padstow might if they would,
for summer is acome unto day,
they might have made a garland with the white rose and the red,
in the merry morning of may.

arise up mr..... and reach me your hand,
for summer is acome unto day,
and you shall have a lively lass with a thousand pounds in hand
in the merry morning of may.

arise up miss.... all in your cloak of silk,
for summer is acome unto day,
and all your body under as white as any milk,
in the merry morning of may.

with the merry ring, adieu the merry spring,
for summer is acome unto day,
how happy is the little bird that merrily doth sing
in the merry morning of may.

now fare you well and bid you all good cheer,
for summer is acome unto day,
we call no more unto your house before another year
in the merry morning of may.

X: 1
T: padstow may song (day)
O: Trad
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
K: G
P: verse
D \|D2 EF|G2 A2|GG GF|E2 D2|EE FF|G2 DB,|A,3 D|
|ED GA|G2 FD|G>D GB|d2 cB|AB c2|B2 AF | G4-|G2 z :|
P: chorus
M: 3/4
L: 1/4


wennolied yn llangeitho

ebrill 22...

eiste dan ywen. gweld wennolied cynta'r flwyddyn.
wyn yn brefi...

Driver John Dewi Jones, Heatherdown,
RAOC Battalion yn North Africa Rhagfyr 22ain 1942 yn 23 oed

L. Sgt Thomas Jones, Plas,
East Surrey Regiment yn Tunisia, Ebrill 13eg 1943 yn 24 oed

(Corporal Jenkin Davies, Wenallt,
1st Battalion Lincolnshire Regiment yn Burma, Chwefror 16eg 1944 yn 29 oed)

mwyaf garw marw ymhell

hala i fi i feddwl am gan yma o de lloegyr

our captain cried, all hands and away tomorrow
leaving us girls behind in grief and sorrow.
what makes you go abroad, fighting for strangers
when you could stay at home, free from all dangers

you courted me a while just to deceive me
now you have gained my love, you meant o leave me
there's no trusting men, not my own brother
so girls if you would love, love one another

the drums are beating love the pipes are playing
i must be on my way no longer staying
dry off your brandy tears and leave off weeping
for happy we shall be at our next meeting

oh I'll roll you in my arms me dearest jewel
so stay at home with me and don't be cruel
she fell up on the ground like one was dying
this house was full of grief, sighing and crying

a chan siams twrfil, trelai ( ond a odd ganddo chysylltiade a tulu matthews ewenni a llangyfelach trwy mam edward williams?)

ffarwél fo i langyfelach lon
a'r merched ifenc i gyd o'r bron
fi'n mynd i drîo pa un sydd well,
p'une ngwlad y'n hunan neu'r gwletydd pell

a martsio wnes i yn y blân
nes imi ddod i dre bontfân
ac yno 'roeddent fawr eu sbort
yn listio'r gwyr at y duke of york

droies ymhen ac i ryw dy,
yr aur a'r arian odd yno'n ffri
y dryms a'r ffeiffs yn catw swn
a listo nes at y light dragoon

rôl ini martsho i lunden fry
duty caled ddath arnon ni
andlo'r dryll a'r cleddyf nôth,
y bwlets plwm a'r pwdwr pôth

ddâth despatch yn fore iawn,
ac un arall y prynhawn,
fod yr english fleet yn hwylo i mâs
a finne dros y cefnfor glas

ffarwél ynhad a'm hannwyl fam,
sy weti'n facu a'n nwyn i'r lan
yn dyner iawn ar aelwyd lân,
a chan ffarwel fo i'r merched glân

os holith neb pwy nâth y gân,
gwetwch iddynt ta merch fach lân
sydd yn gweddio nos a dydd
i'w hannwl gariad gael dod yn rhydd

cysylltu yn ymhen wedyn enwe daniel rowland llangeitho

ag evan rowlands

buodd john thomas cellan yn tynnu llunie yn llangeitho ar ei fordd i lerpwl. a oedd y folantein yn atseinio ym mhen bet fach, llangeitho? a'i wyr ath i ogledd affrica?


llwybre mal du pays

tunes may be thought of as paths, along which places and people are encountered. a tune can take us to a new place - a place we have never been to, one that excites or agitates us; or on the other hand to an old place which may hold for us memories or other emotions that we cannot name. more than yearning pehaps - more than hireth, more than mal du pays.

sometimes there exists a path between two tunes, tunes that may have a common ancestry but which have been seperated by time and culture

T:glory of the west
GFGF E2 E2|FEFE D2 D2|G2 FG A2 GA|B2 FG E2 E2:|
BABA G2 dc |BcBA G2 G2|d2 de A2 A2|d2 de A2 A2|
e2 ef d2 de|BA BA G2 G2|d2 de B2 AG|AGFE D2 D2|
G2 FG A2 GA|B2 FG E2 E2:|

thomas hardy wrote of the roman road

the roman road runs straight and bare
as the pale parting-line in hair
across the heath. and thoughtful men
contrast its days of now and then,
and delve, and measure, and compare;

visioning on the vacant air
helmed legionaries, who proudly rear
the eagle, as they pace again
the roman road.

but no tall brass-helmed legionnaire
haunts it for me. uprises there
a mother's form upon my ken,
guiding my infant steps, as when
we walked that ancient thoroughfare,
the roman road.

T:blote'r gorllewin (flowers of the west)
O:traditional welsh

glory of the west first appears in print in playford's collection of dance music
and blote'r gorllewin in, i think john parry's british harmony.

the version printed above is a currently played variant from a facsimile of a book entitled davidson's musical miracles - two hundred and fifty welsh airs for a shilling, adapted for the violin, flute, accordion or any treble instrument about which i know nothing other than it is a llannerch press reprint of the edition of 1859. ISBN 1 86143 084 1. the book was given to me by boston/aberystwyth flute player william mahon


fidelity to the living

cerdd arall gan vernon watkins yw

fidelity to the living

tenuous life, i have wronged you. you are the leaves, the sun,
the light, the bird at peace in the sky, though pulled by a
plummet of lead.
out of dark books i accused you. o look at her face: there is spun
a thread of light from her silence: she holds that beautiful thread.

the mother lifts her child to her breast. o what infinite, tender
frailty! she laughs near his eyelids: o, above solomon blest!
the great magnanimous leaves have opened. plucked from their
judgement in splendour,
even now, by the very thread that binds them, they are at rest

heddi ma'r prenne fale plannes dros y gaea wedi impo.
dyma driban gan wiliam phylip (1580 -1670)

er torri brig brenhinbren
a bwyell lem yn syden
yn lle bob cainc o'r bon di-freg
f'all impo deg ar ucen

a dyma diwn o glasciad llywellyn alaw, telynor o aberder odd yn byw yn y ddeunawfed ganrif. yfe rhoddws yr enw i'r tiwn

T:Difyrrwch William Phillip
EFGA Bc d2|e2e2dcB2|c2B2B3A|G2F2E4:||

perthyn yr afal, a'r gelli i deulu'r rhosynnod ac mae'r afale bwytadwy gyntaf yn dod o alma ata. ffrwyth llafur canrifoed o gerddwyr yw'r afale sydd gyda ni heddi. y mathe dwi wedi plannu yw

ashmeads kernel, discovery, grenadier, lord derby, lord lambourne, sunset, pig aderyn, saint cecilia, marged niclas a twll tin gwydd. y gellyg yw beth a catillac. afal sy'n dda i weitho seidir yw pig aderyn


fidelity to the dead

is a poem by vernon watkins

fidelity to the dead

the whithered leaf is blest, and the bird with shrunk claw in the shingle.
under the shawl of the life-yielding hand has caught the passionate thread.
immortal slience tranfigures them. o ultimate faith found single,
o light of immense meditation, from the timid you have fled.

love steals from the fortunate man and gives to the heart it bereaves.
dark thunders descend on prometheus. a light over earth is shed.
how, with love's great example, should i fear what the blind fate weaves?
love is fidelity to the unfortunate dead

vernon watkns would visit the glynn vivian galleryduring his lunch break on an almost daily basis. his friend alfed janes' portrait of vernon is displayed there. here is an exquisite nature mort by alfred janes

watkins, janes, dylan thomas, daniel jones and others would drink coffe in the kardomah cafe together and all had connections with the gower peninsula. the gower nightingale, phil tanner would sing a tune he called the manchester hornpipe when the gower reel was to be to be danced in llangennith. this tune was known by other names in other parts of the country. in port einon the following tune was used to dance the gower reel

T:Port Einon Whim / Mympwy Portheinon
B2Bc dedc|B2Bc dedc|B2G2 GABG|A2D2 D2dc|!
B2Bc dedc|B2Bc dedc|BdGB| AcFA|GFGAG4:||!
gfga gdBd|gfga gdBd|gfga b2g2|fefg afed|!
edef gece|dcde dBGB|AGAB cAFA|GFGAG4:||

the south wales version of the end of year veneration of the dead was known locally as y feri or y fari lwyd.

though vernon lived in pennard for most of his adult life he came from near maesteg and the feri would visit his house on nos galan when "judgment hangs in the balance, just after midnight, between the old year and the new"

his long poem the ballad of the outer dark begins

come to me, mother of god, come down as the old year ends, frost-mother, mother of the stars and the of the white, wave-beaten sands. i hear the sea wave fall like a knife, dividing exiles and frends


rhyddyd i gelfyddyd

much is made of bardic poetry in wales. historically, it was usually comissioned or written in praise of a patron. although today the social context which gave rise to this highly wrought, almost enclosed world of word labour is gone much of the consonant trickery (as well as difficult verse forms) remains in the modern poetry. i can't do it...

there was poetry before this canu caeth (caeth = bondman n.m. (caethion) slave n.m. (caethion) bond adj. confined adj. close adj. strict adj. stringent adj. draconian adj. impacted adj.) as well as during and after, that was free from the bonds of cynghanedd as well as being structurally different from the 24 recognised bardic meters. it was sung by the cler
as the professional bards called them. cler means flies or dung beetles.

one of these meters is called englyn milwr

du dy farch du dy capan
du dy ben du dy hunan
iad du. ai ti yscolan

mi yscolan yscolheig
yscon ei bwyll. yscodig
gwae ni bawdd a gawdd gwledig

o losgi eglwys a lladd buwch ysgol
a llyfyr rodd - ei foddi
fy penyd yw trwm cyni

creawdwr y creadurie. perthide mwya
madde di imi fy gau
a’th fradws ti a’m twylles inne

blwyddyn llawn y’m doded
ym bangor ar pawl cored
edrych di. poen i mi gan môr bryfed

bai ys gwypwn ar wn. mor amlwg gwynt.
o flaen brig gwydd ffaw llwm.
ar a wneuthum e byth nis gwnawn.

here is my rough translation

black your horse, black your cloak
black your head, black your self
black skull, is it you, yscolan?

i am yscolan the champion.
you are light brained you wild phantom
woe to him who does not give what the hero wants

for burning a church and killing school cattle
and drowning of a gift book
my sentence is heavy anguish.

creator of creatures strangest wonders
forgive my wrong
he that betrayed you deceived me.

i was put for a full year
in a wattled fence on the stake of a dam
see the pain I have from sea insects

if I had known what I know. as plain as wind
before branches that are brittle on sick trees
i would never have done what I did

the original can be veiwed here

the englyn milwr form changed slightly and is alive in todays tradition and known as a triban

it is not much concerned with the fabric of poesy any more but rather uses that fabric to make jokes about bottoms and genitals. it reached its zenith in south wales in the early twentieth century when its ribaldry came face to face with religious fundamentalism. as the language declines so does the tradition

fi gwnes acha bora
fi nethoi fargen deche
fi brynes fochyn gan ryw ddyn
a thwll ei din yn ishe

tri peth ni saif yn llonydd
yw niwl ar ben y minydd
col o fangor heb un clwm
a chala twm sion dafydd

mi weles merch lliw'r lili
yn pisho ar y bili
ag wrth ei waith yn gyllwng dwr
bu dounaw gwr ar foddi

tri pheth ni saif heb shiglo
yw llong ar mor yn seilo
dail yr aethnen un yr haf
a thin merch braf wrth ddanso

these verses can be sung to the melody given below - y folantein


binary, ternary and crug-y-bar

in an interview here with, i think, brad hurley, jean michel veillon says, regarding the playing of breton music on the wooden flute for dancing that,

rhythms are never as simple as they seem to be at first: in the majority of breton tunes, there is an almost omnipresent swing between binary and ternary rhythms; sometimes imperceptible, but important.

crug y bar is a famous welsh hymn tune, now sung to words by david charles but credted in hymn books as being traditional welsh. a tune called saron (also known by other names) was pricked down by ifor ceri (john jenkins) before 1820, thus predating the binary rhythm tune crugybar, which was incidentally also known as bozra. not what jmv is directly talking about perhaps but certainly an example of words dictating tune rhythm

N:casglwyd gan ifor ceri cyn 1820
K:D %Transposed from G



battle of the trees

here is the text for kat godeu, or the battle of the trees, - as i can make it out.
it is copied from the drych digidol, an online resource from the national library in wales.
the x's and ?'s are letters i can't make out. it is found in peniarth 2.
it is associated with taliesin, and was written, if i remember correctly, near gorseinon in south west wales

Kat godeu.
B um yn lliavs rith kyn bum dis///
| gyfrith. bum cledyf culurith. credaf pan
writh. bum deigyryn awyr. bum serwav syr.
bum geir yn llythyr. bum llyfyr ym prifder.
bum llugyrn lleufer blvydyn ahanher. bum
pont ar triger ar trugein aber. bum hynt bu
eryr. bum corvc ymyr. bum drwed yn llat.
bum dos ygkawat. bum cledyf yn aghat. bum
yscvyt yg kat. bum tant yn telyn lletrithaut
nav bloydyn. yn dvfyr yn ewyn. bum yspvg
yn tan. bum gvyd yn ^ gwarthan. nyt in i vyf ny
gan keint yr yn bychan. keint yg kat godeu
bric. rac prydein wledic. gveint veirch canholic.
llyghessoed meuedic. gveint xxx mavrem. ar
navyd oed canpen. a chat erdygnavt dan von
ytauavt. a chat arall yssyd ynywegilyd. llyff/
an du gaflav. Cant ewin arnav. neidyr bre/
ith gribavc. cant eneit trvy bechavt aboenir

yny chnavt. bum ygkaer nefenhir nav yt gryssynt
wellt gvyd. kenynt gerdoryon kryssynt katna
on. dacv yrein y brythron aoreu gvytyon. gelwyf
sit ar neifon argrist o achvysson. hyt pan y gva
rettei yren ru digonsei. as attebvys dofyd trvy
ieith ac eluyd. rithuch riedivc wyd. gantav yn
lluyd. arvystrav peblic. kat arllav annefic. pan
svynhvyt godeu. ygobeith an godeu. dygot torynt
godeu opedrydant canheu. kvydynt am aeveu.
trychvn trymdieu. dyar gardei brin. tardei am
atgun. Blaen llin blaen brin. budyant buch
anhun. nyn gvnei emellun. gvaet guyr hyt
an clun. muyhaf teir aryfgryt. athweris ym
byt. ac un aderyv o ystyr dilyv. achrist ycroccav
adydbraut racllau. Gvern blaen llin awant gys/
seuin. helyc a cherdin. buant hvyr yr bydin.
P?irmwyd yspin anwhant o dynin. keri kywir/
nhim. gvrthrychyat gvrthrin. ffuonwyd eith/
yt. erbyn llu o gevryt. duanwyd gvneithyt. ny
goreu emwyt. yr amgelvth bywyt. Byswydd
agvyduvyt. ac eido yr y bryt. mor eithin yr gryt.
siryan senyssit. Bedw yr y baur bryt. bu hvyr gv
iscyssit. nyt yr y lyfyrder. namyn yr y bavred.
anron delis bryt. allmyr uch allfryt. ffeintwyd
ygkynted. kadeir gygwryssed. am goreu ar dyrched rac bron teyrned. llvyf yry baranhed


nyt o scoes troetued. ef lladei a pherued ac eithaf
a dixed. collwyd beriussit eiyf ac (^ dv)arygryt. gvy
ros gvyn y byt. taiv trin teyrn byt. moravt a
?yoryt. ffawydd ffynyessit. kelyn glessyssit bu ef
ygvrhyt. yspydat amnat. heint ech yaghat.
gvmwydd gortho(^r)at. gorthoryssit ygat. redyn
anreithat. banadyl rac bragat yn rychua bu
wat. eithin ni bu bat. yr hynny guerinat.
bruc budyd amnat. dywerin suynat. hydguyr
erlynyat. Derv buanavr. racdav crynei nef all
aur. G?elyn glev drussyaur y env ym peullavr. daf
uswyd kygves kymrav arodes. Gurthod? gvrth
odes eraill o tylles. Per gorev gormes ym plym
lvyt maes. gorvthavt kuwyd aches beilon
wyd. kastan kewilyd gvrthryat fenwyd. han/
tit du muchyd. handit crvm mynyd. handit
kyl coetdyd. handit kynt myr mavr. erpan
giglev yr avr. andeilas blaen bedv. an datrith
datedv. an masglas blaen derv o warchan ma
elderv. wherthmavc tu creic. ner nyt ystereic.
Nyt o vam athat pan ymdigonat. am creu
am creat. o naw rith llafanat. o ffrvyth offrvy
thev. offrvyth duv dechrev. o briallu a blodeu
bre. o blavt gvydau a godeu. o prid o pridret y.
pan ymdigonet. o blaut danat o dvfyr ton nav
uet. am svynvys i vath. kyn bum dia(^c)vet.


am svynvys i wytyon mavnut o brython. o
eurwys o euron. o euron o vodron o pymp
pumhvnt kelvydon. arthavon eil math pam
ymdygyaed. amfvynvys i wledic. pan bei
letloscedic. amfvynvys sywyddon sywytkyn
byt. pan bei genhyf y bot pan bei benit byt.
hard bard bud an gnaut arwavt ytuedaf atra
etho tauavt. Gvaryeif yn llychvr. kysceis i
ymporffor. neu bum yn yscor gan dylan eil
mor. ygkylchet ym perved rvg deulin teyrrned.
yndeu wayv anchwant o nef pan doethant.
yn annvyfyn llifereint vrth urvydrin dybyd
ant petwar vgeint cant. agveint yr eu whant.
nyt ynt hyn nyt ynt ieu no mi yn eu bareu.
aryal canhvr agem(?) pavb anav cant oed gen/
hyf inheu. yg cledyf brith gvaet bri am dir/
wed o douyd o golo lle yd oed. o dof yt las baed.
ef gvrith ef datwrith. ef gvrith ieithoed. llach/
ar y env llavffer. lluch llywen nifer. ysceinynt
yn usel. o dof yn uchel. bvm neidyrbreith y
mryn. bvm gviber yn llyn. bum ser gan gyn/
byn. bum bvystuer hyn. vygcassul am kavc
arma af nyt yn drvc. petwar ugeint mvc ar
pavb adydvc. pymp pemhnvnt aghell aymtal
am kyllell. whech march melyn a ell. canweth yssyd well. vy march melyn gan kyfret agvy

lan. mihun nyt eban. kyfrvg mor aglan. neu
gorvyf gvaethan. arnav cant kynran. rud em
vyg kythvy. eur vy yscvytrvy. ny ganet ynadvy
axx ym gowy namyn goronvy o dolev edryyy?.
hir wynn vy myssavr. pell na bum henssavr.
treiglais ymyvn llavr kyn bum lle enavr. Trei/
gleis kylchyneis kysceis cant ynys. cant
caer athrugys. derwydon doethur. darogenvth
y arthur. yssit yssyd gynt. neur uu ergenhynt.
acvn aderyv o ystyr dilyv. achrist ycvoccav. a dyd
bravt raclav. eurem yn euryll. mi hudvyf berth/
yll ac vydyf drythyll o orymes fferyll.


madness, rattleskull and old flute tunes

john clare was a contemporary of mad ned; edward williams, iorwerth, or iolo morgannwg (as well as robert burns and other radicals who spent time in london and elsewhere).

he was an opium* user, like iolo, and also a flute* player, like iolo. (* my mistake - see comments) they both collected folk tunes from their respective areas (northamptonshire and glamorganshire) and were among the first to do so. it is also noteworthy that they belonged to the social class from whom they were collecting, unlike other, later, tune collectors or the earlier music publishers

the enclosing of fields was particulary distressing for clare who ended up in an asylum but the symbolism of the enclosures must also have affected other neo classicists and romantics in their artistic perception as well as in the making of their art. iolo, the great neo classicist, has been dismissed by some as a mere forger and clare as simply being not very good and mad to boot

in hilly-wood. john clare

how sweet to be thus nestling deep in boughs,
upon an ashen stoven pillowing me;
faintly are heard the ploughmen at their ploughs,
but not an eye can find its way to see.
the sunbeams scarce molest me with a smile,
so thick the leafy armies gather round;
and where they do, the breeze blows cool the while,
their leafy shadows dancing on the ground.
full many a flower, too, wishing to be seen,
perks up its head the hiding grass between.-
in mid-wood silence, thus, how sweet to be;
where all the noises, that on peace intrude,
come from the chittering cricket, bird, and bee,
whose songs have charms to sweeten solitude.

pennill gan iolo morgannwg

canu ddwyf a bod yn llawen
fel yr eos ar y ddraenen
bod y draenen yn fy mhigo
canu ddwyf a gatel iddo

here is a tune collected by clare. it is known in wales as, variously, mopsi don, obsidion, upside down

X: 25
T:Welsh Jigg. JC.025
S:John Clare,Poet,Helpston. (1793-1864)
Z:vmp.P. Headford
ABcc2d|c2B cAF|BcB ded|BcB ded|!
ABcc2d|c2B A2A|Bcde2d|cBAB3:||:!
fdf ece|dBd cAF|B2B dcB|A2Bc3|!
fdf ece|dBd cAF|dcB gfe|decB3:||


llwyn onn

wedi cael y pleser rhyfedda yn whare fersiwn mixolydian o'r alaw hon wthnos yma unwaith eto.
node abc wedi'u casglu o'r wahannol casgliade ar y we

T:Cease Your Funning [1]
S:Sharp – English Folk-Song (1907)
N:There have been some claims that “Cease Your Funning” was derived (‘stolen’) from the Welsh tune “The Ash Grove,” despite the fact that the latter first appeared in print in the Bardic Museum of 1802. As above, it clearly derives from “Constant Billy,” and the claim for Welsh provenance has no merit, according to Kidson (Groves). Chappell (Popular Music of the Olden Time), Vol. 2, 1859; pgs. 119?120. Raven (English Country Dance Tunes), 1984; pg. 61. Sharp (English Folk-Song), 1907; pg. 113.
AKA and see "Lofty Mountains," "Constant Billy." English, Air (6/8 time). The song appears in John Gay's Beggar's Opera (1729) and The Fashionable Lady (1730). Chappell reminds us that the tune is, as are all the tunes in Gay's famous work, older than the opera. Kidson (1922) dates the tune to the late 17th century where he finds it on half?sheet music attached to the song "Constant Billy."  In fact, the air appears as "Constant Billy" in the third volume of Playford's Dancing Master. Sharp (1907) explores the relationship between “Constant Billy” and “Cease Your Funning,” and points out that Gay was not a musician himself and employed the services of a German, Pepusch, by name, to note down and arrange the airs which Gay sang to him. “It needs but a cursory examination of this opera to see that the airs are anything but faithful transcriptions of genuine peasant-tunes…” and concludes that Gay or Pepusch, or both, were guilty of alterations or ‘improvements.’ “The rhythm of the fine old melody ‘Constant Billy’ is changed that it might fit the metre of the new words of ‘Cease Your Funning’, and the tune adorned with a dominant modulation at the middle cadence.”
Z:AK/Fiddler’s Companion
B2f dB2|e2c AF2|d2B GE2|cFA B3|B2f dB2|e2c AF2|d2B GEG|cFA B3:|
||B2b b2f|B2g g2e|A2f fBA|Gf =e f3|B2f dB2|e2c AF2|d2B GEG|cFA B3||

T:Constant Billy
E|A2e cBA F2E|1 EFG A2:|2 EFG A3||cde f3|
Bcd e3|cde f3|Bcd e2 (3e/f/g/|a2e cBA F2E|EFG A2||

T:Ash Grove
N: The untitled tune for John Gay's "Cease your funning" in 'The Beggar's Opera', 1728, is "Constant Billy" in vol. III of 'The Dancing Master', 2nd edit., c 1726. However, it is in Eb lydian, rather than G major. Welsh title, Llwyn Onn. Tune first published in Edward Jonesís "The Bardic Museum", 1802. With words, in Bardd Alawís "Welsh Melodies with appropriate English Words", 1809.Much later, patriotic words were written by the poet Talhaiarn (1810-1869), "Gogoniant i Gymru", literally "Glory to Wales", translated by the poet himself as "All hail to thee, Cambria, the land of my fathers". The tune maybe lends itself to poignant words, although as always parodies have appeared,e.g. [in the West of Scotland] "In yonder green valley there lived a wee Tally, and the hair on her dicky-di-do hung down to her knee" or so. ("Tally" = "Italian", a common slang term, quite affectionate; a "tally shop" is one typically kept by Italians, such as one selling fish and chips, ice cream, etc.). The tune just appeared out of the blue, and its origin is unknown, though a connection has been made with an 18th-century tune, "Cease Your Funning", which likewise appeared out of nowhere in "The Beggarís Opera" of 1728. "Llwyn Onn" has always been a favourite song with penillion singers.
The air is considered by some to be an early 18th century melody from Wales, perhaps because it is attributed to that country in Gow’s Strathspey Reels (book 4, pg. 24), where it appears as "Sir Watkin William Wynn." In fact the earliest Welsh printing is not until Jones’s Bardic Museum (1802), where it is given that it was named after ‘Mr. Jones’s mansion near Wrexham’. It appears under different guises in period publications and can be found in Gay’s Beggar’s Opera (1729) and in the repertoire of Irish harper Turlough O’Carolan (1670-1738). “The Ash Grove” was used as a vehicle for English morris dancing, and various words were set to it, bawdy and otherwise. One set begins:


tro yn y gŵyr

1. whare tiwns cywydd deuair fyrrion yn jacob cottage
2. tiwns iolo morgannwg - mad ned
3. mynd am dro lawr pîl pennard tshag at three cliffs
4. llwydni paynes grey y mor a'r wybren a naples yellow y twyni
5. syllu ar three cliffs. iolo, john clare, blake, keats, wordsworth, richard wilson a thomas jones
6. rhyddyd i gerddorion. cerdded trwy'r ogof
7. gweld eira ar frynie dyfnaint

...coge sy'i mi dan côd gelli

T:deuair fyrrion
O:LLGC Llsgrau Iolo Aneurin Williams heb eu catalogio
N:priciad Iolo Morgannwg (Edward Williams)


medieval welsh dance

here are some dances danced at dafydd ap siancyn fychan's house in carmarthenshire in the fifteenth century. the lines are found in a praise poem to dafydd on his death, by lewis glyn cothi

ef a wybu o'i febyd
dan y sêr bob dawns o'r byd
fflŵr-ddy-brŵm, rheswm yr haf
côr y cantor,
fu'r cyntaf
yr eilwaith, gware orliawns
ac o rôn deg arwain dawns
dawns y ffrows hyd ynys ffrainc
dawns rial dawnswyr ieuainc
dawns y prifieirll, dawns profins
dawns y gwyr da sy'n y gins

odd dafydd yn llysgennad o gwmpas ardal calais


evan rowlands, cigydd ac aesthete

T:y folantein
H:noted by jennie williams, from the singing of evan rowlands, april 1911.
N:it was said to be very popular in the mynydd bach district 50 years ago
O:traditional welsh. traddodiadol gymreig


wooden flute