Caneuon Gwerin

Archwilio ac arddangos caneuon Gwerin o Gymru / Exploring and showcasing folk songs from Wales

Mae Islwyn Prifardd Cymru yn y Bedd

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Dyma gân arall ces i allan o’r archif yn Sain Fagan o ganu Bertie Stephens. Dwi’n meddwl taw alaw bachog y corws wnaeth ddenu fi at y gân yn y lle cyntaf. Ond mae’r geiriau hefyd yn ddiddorol. Mae nhw’n ffurfio rhyw fath o restr o feirdd ac emynwyr Cymreig enwog sydd wedi mawr. Dwedodd Bertie ar y recordiad bod o wedi prynnu’r geiriau, mwy na thebyd mewn taflen broadside neu ‘chapbook’, sy’n meddwl fod hi’n dod o’r 19fed / 20fed ganrif, ond dim yn gynharach na 1883 oherwydd dyna pan fu farw un o’r beirdd yn y gân. Mae’r gân yn ddiddorol achos mae’n dangos taw, yn yr adeg honno, y beirdd a’r emynwyr oedd yr enwogion go iawn yn y gymdeithas. Dyma fywgraffiad fyr o’r rhan fwyaf o’r bobl sydd yn y gân:

Dafydd Ddu Eryri (c) Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru / The National Library of Wales; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

Dafydd Ddu Eryri (c) Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru / The National Library of Wales; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

Dafydd Ddu Eryri (1759 – 1822): Ganwyd fel David Thomas. Roedd yn athro ysgol ac hefyd yn athro i lawer o feirdd eraill yn ardal Arfon oedd yn cael eu hadnabod fel ‘cywion Dafydd Ddu’. Bu farw gan foddi yn yr afon Cegin ar noson ystormus a chladdwyd ym mynwent Llanrug.

Gwilym Rees Hiraethog (1802 – 1883): Y Parchedig William Rees efo’r enw barddol Gwilym Hiraethog. Cafodd ei fagu ar fferm yn Sir Ddinbych yng nghysgod Mynydd Hiraethog. Yn 1843 sefydlodd y cylchgrawn Yr Amserau yn Lerpwl er mwyn ymgyrchu am ddadsefydlu’r  eglwys yng Nghymru ac ysgrifennodd erthyglau pobglogaidd o dan y teitl ‘The Letters of an Old Farmer’. Ysgrifennodd dau nofel yn ogystal a cherddi, emynau, traethodau a dramau. Mae wedi claddu ym mynwent Smithdown Road, Lerpwl.

Ceiriog (1832 – 1887): Enw llawn Ceiriog oedd John Ceiriog Hughes – cafodd ei alw’n Ceiriog oherwydd cafodd ei eni yn Llanarmon Dyffryn Ceiriog. Gweithiodd ar orsafau rheilffyrdd ym Manceinion a Chaersws ond roedd hefyd yn fardd a chasglwr o alawon gwerin. Argraffwyd casgliad o alawon gwerin o’r enw Cant o Ganeuon a’i fwriad oedd i roi ail fywyd i’r alawon trwy ysgrifennu geiriau newydd i’r hen alawon. Dafydd a’r Garreg Wen yw’r un mwyaf adnabyddus. Cafodd Oriau Hwyr, casgialad o’i gerddi, ei gyhoeddi yn y 1850au.

Lasynys (1671 – 1734): Awdur, offeiriad ac emynwr o’r enw Elis Wyn oedd yn dod o dŷ o’r enw Lasynys Fwr yn Nhalsarnau. Ei waith mwyaf enwog yw’r casgliad o gerddi o’r enw Gweledigaethau y Bardd Cwsg. Mae wedi claddu yn Llanfair, ger Harlech. Gallwch dal mynd i ymweld a’i dŷ – gwelwch lasynys.co.uk

Ieuan Gwynedd (1820 – 1852): Cafodd Evan Jones bywyd anodd oherwydd salwch. Collodd llawer o ysgol fel plentyn yna roedd yn aflwyddiannus fel bancwr ac mewn ceisio sefydlu ysgolion ym Maldwyn. Buodd yn weinidog ar gapel Sardis, Llanwddyn am sbel cyn dod o hyd i waith fel athro. Roedd yn fwy llwyddiannus fel ysgrifennwr erthyglau a llythyron ar fateron crefyddol mewn cylchgronnau megus Yr Amserau ac yn golygu Almanac y Cymry ac Y Gymraes. Arweiniodd yr ymateb i adroddiad y Llyfrau Gleision. Mae wedi claddu yng Nghroes Wen.

Williams Pantycelyn (1717 – 1791): Emynwr o fri o fferm Pantycelyn ger Beulah o’r enw William Williams. Roedd yn bwriadu dod yn ddoctor ond yna newiddd ei feddwl a hyfforddodd i fod yn offeiriad. Cafodd o byth ei ordeinio ohewydd ei gysylltiadau efo’r mudiad Methodistiad oedd yn dechrau ar y pryd. Daeth yn arwienydd ar y ddiwygiad Methodistiaid yng Nghymru yn trafelio hyd a lled yr wlad yn sefydlu seiatau. Cyhoeddwyd sawl gyfrol o’i emynau ac ysgrifennodd cerddi a rhyddiaith hefyd. Claddwyd yn Llanfair-ar-y-bryn ger Llanymddyfri lle fu’n fyw am ran fwyaf ei fywyd.

Ann Griffiths (1776 – 1805): Roedd hi’n dod o Lanfihangel-yng-Ngwynfa ym Maldwyn. Tyfodd hi fyny yn mynychu’r eglwys Anglicanaidd ond newidiodd hi i fod yn Fethodist Calvinaidd ar ôl marwolaeth ei mam. Ysgrifennodd hi llawer o emynau cafodd eu ysgrifennu lawr gan ei forwyn Ruth Hughes. Ar ôl ei marwolaeth trefnodd gwr Ruth, John, i Robert Jones cyhoeddi’r emynau mewn gyfrol o’r enw Grawn-Syppiau Canaan. Wele’n Sefyll Rhwng y Myrtwyd yw’r enwocaf. Claddwyd yn Llanfihangel.

Alltud Glyn Maelor (1800 – 1881): Crydd oedd John Robert Jones oedd hefyd yn sgwennu emynau, carolau a phennillion ddigri. Cafodd 2 lyfr eu cyhoeddi – Y Fodrwy Arian ac Y Rhosyn Diweddaf. Roedd yn gwerthu ei emynau am geiniog neu ddau ar gerdiau bach. Yr emyn mwyaf adnabyddus yw Cofio’r wyf yr Awr Ryfeddol. Daeth o Lanarmon-yn-Iâl yn wreiddiol ond ymgartrefodd yn Brymbo.

Dafydd Ionawr (1751 – 1827): Athro oedd David Richards a oedd hefyd yn ysgrifennu cerddi. Cafodd ei eni ym mis Ionawr. Roedd yn hoff o ysgrifennu cywyddion ond ysgrifennodd hefyd taflen broadside efo’r teitl Hanes Bywyd Dafydd Ionawr oedd yn gerdd medr rhydd yn esbonio ei daith i geisio cael pobl i ymrestru tanysgrifwyr i’w gywydd a’r ffaith bod o wedi bod yn aflwyddiannus. Mae wedi claddu yn Nolgellau.

Mae llawer iawn o gysylltiadau rhwng caneuon gwerin Cymru a Christnogaeth a bydd cyfle i drafod rhein mewn blogs eraill. Am y tro rhaid nodi fod corws y gân yma efo thema crefyddol amlwg. Dydy hi ddim yn efengylaidd hytrach mae’n dweud bod yr holl bobl emwog yma efo Iesu fel petai’n ffeithiol. Mae hyn yn dangos sefyllfa cadarn Cristnogaeth yng Ngymru ar y pryd.

Patrick Dean o’r Foxglove Trio sy’n ymuno efo fi yn y corws.

Ble nesaf

Doeddwn i ddim wedi clywed y gân cyn clywed hi yn archif Sain Ffagan. Os oes unrhywun yn gwybod mwy am gefndir y gân neu ble arall gallwch clywed recordiad gadewch sylw isod.

Geiriau

Mae Islwyn Prifardd Cymru yn y bedd,
A Dafydd Ddu Eryri yn y bedd,
Mae efe’n fardd a gluno,*
A’r felys fardd fynyddo,*
A Gwilym Rees Hiraethog yn y bedd,
A thawel iawn yw Ceiriog yn y bedd.

Yn y bedd, ar y lan,
Yn y bedd, ar y lan,
Mae’r Iesu yno’i hunan ar y lan.

Lasynys yntai’n gorwedd yn y bedd,
Ac hefyd Ieuan Gwynedd yn y bedd,
A Williams Pantycelyn
Emynwr anghyffredin,
A Dafydd Ddu Eryri yn y bedd,
A Harri Wen* ceir wedyn yn y bedd.

Yn y bedd, ar y lan,
Yn y bedd, ar y lan,
Mae’r Iesu yno’i hunan ar y lan.

Ann Griffiths hithau’n huno yn y bedd,
A’r mwyn arweinydd Tundo* yn y bedd,
Golulan* wedi tewi,
Glyn Maelor wedi aelodi,
A Dafydd Ddu Eryri yn y bedd,
A Dafydd Ionawr ddedwydd yn y bedd.

Yn y bedd, ar y lan,
Yn y bedd, ar y lan,
Mae’r Iesu yno’i hunan ar y lan.

*= Doeddwn i methu deall pob gair ar y recordiad felly mae’n bosib fod y llinellau hyn yn anghywir. Os oes ganddoch awgrymiadau am beth all y geiriau fod gadewch sylw isod!

Islwyn the Chief Bard of Wales is in the Grave

This is another song I got from the Saint Fagans archive from a recording of Bertie Stephens. I think it was the catchy chorus that first attracted me to the song but it’s also got interesting words. The lyrics are a sort of role call of famous dead Welsh poets and hymn writers. Bertie said on the recording that he’d bought the words, probably as a broadside or chap book, which means that the song comes from the 19th / 20th century but no earlier than 1883 because that’s the year in which one of the mentioned poets died. The song is interesting because it shows that poets and hymn writers were the revered celebrities of the era. It’s worth noting, for anyone unfamiliar with the concept, that calling people by the house / village they come from has long been and still is common in Wales. Here’s a short biography of most of the people mentioned in the song:

Dafydd Ddu Eryri (1759 – 1822): David Thomas was a school teacher who also taught lots of other poets in the Arfon area. They were known as Cywion Dafydd Ddu (Dafydd Ddu’s chicks). He was drowned yn y Cegin river on a stormy evening and is buried in Llanrug.

Gwilym Rees Hiraethog (1802 – 1883): The Reverend William Rees with the bardic name of Gwilym Hiraethog (Gwilym is Welsh for William). The farm on which he was brought up was in the shadow of the Hiraethog Mountain. In 1843 he established the journal Yr Amserau (The Times) in Liverpool in order to campaign for the disestablishment of the church in Wales and he wrote popular articles under the title of ‘The Letters of an Old Farmer’. He wrote two novels as well as lots of poems and also hymns, essays and dramas. He’s buried in Smithdown Road Cemetary, Liverpool.

John Ceiriog Hughes (from wikipedia)

John Ceiriog Hughes (from wikipedia)

Ceiriog (1832 – 1887): Ceiriog’s full name was John Ceiriog Hughes – he was called Ceiriog because he was born in Llanarmon Dyffryn Ceiriog. He worked on the railways in Manchester and Caersws but he was also a poet and a collector of folk tunes. He printed a collection of folk tunes under the title Cant o Ganeuon (A Hundred Songs) and he intended to give the old tunes a second life by writing lyrics to the tunes he’d collected. Dafydd a’r Gareg Wen (Dafydd and the White Rock) and Llwyn Onn (The Ash Grove) are some of his best well known lyrics. Oriau Hwyr (Late Hours), a collection of his poems, was published in the 1850s.

Lasynys (1671 – 1734): Elis Wyn was an author, cleregyman and hymn writer who came from a house called Lasynys Fawr (Big Blue Island) in Talsarnau. His most famous work is his collection of poems called Gweledigaethau y Bardd Cwsg (Visions of the Sleeping Poet). He is buried in Llanfair, near Harlech. It’s still possible to visit the house – see lasynys.co.uk

Ieuan Gwynedd (1820 – 1852): Evan Jones had a difficult life because of ill health. He missed a lot of school as a child and was then unsuccessful as a banker and in attempting to establish schools in Montgomeryshire. He was a minister at Sardis Chapel, Llanwddyn for a while before finding work as a teacher. He was more successful as a writer and wrote articles and letters on religious issues in journals such as Yr Amserau (The Times) and he edited Almanac y Cymry (The Welsh people’s Almanac) and Y Gymraes (The Welsh Woman). He led the response to the Blue Books report which concluded that education in Wales was in a dire state due, in part, to the widespread use of the Welsh language. He is buried at Groes Wen.

Williams Pantycelyn (1717 – 1791): William Williams was a prolific hymn writer from Pantycelyn farm near Beulah. He intended to become a doctor but changed his mind and trained as a priest. But he was never ordained because of his links with the burgeoning Methodist movement at the time. He became a leader of the Methodist reformation in Wales and travelled around the country establishing ‘seiats’. He wrote several volumes of hymns and also wrote prose. He is buried in Llanfair-ar-y-Bryn near Llanymddyfri where he’d lived for most of his life.

Ann Griffiths (1776 – 1805): She came from Llanfihangel-yng-Ngwynfa in Montgomeryshire. She grew up attending the Anglican church but changed to be a Calvinist Methodist after her mother’s death. She wrote a lot of hymns which were written down by her maid Ruth Hughes. After her death Ruth’s husband, John, arranged for Robert Jones to publish the hymns in a volume called Grawn-Syppiau Canaan. Wele’n Sefyll Rhwng y Myrtwyd (See Him Standing Among the Myrtles) is her most famous hymn. She’s buried in Llanfihangel.

Alltud Glyn Maelor (1800 – 1881): John Robert Jones was a shoemaker who also wrote hymns, carols and funny verses. He had two books published – Y Fodrwy Arian (The Silver Ring) and Y Rhosyn Diweddaf (The Last Rose). He sold his hymns for a penny or two on small cards. His most well known hymn is Cofio’r wyf yr Awr Ryfeddol (I Remember the Wonderful Hour). He originally came from Lanarmon-yn-Iâl but made his home in Brymbo.

Dafydd Ionawr (1751 – 1827): David Richards was a teacher who also wrote poems. He was born in January (which is Ionawr in Welsh). He liked to write cywydd (a Welsh alliterative poem form) but he also wrote a broadside sheet with the title Hanes Bywyd Dafydd Ionawr (The Story of Dafydd Ionawr’s Life) which was a free verse poem explaining his journey to try and enlist people to subscribe to his cywydd and the fact that he’d been unsuccessful in this. He’s buried in Dolgellau.

There are lots of links between Welsh folk songs and Christianity and there will be an opportunity to discuss these in other blogs. For now, we must note that the chorus of this song has a very obvious religion theme. It isn’t evangelistic rather it says that all of these famous Welsh people are now with Jesus as if it’s a matter of fact. This shows the strong state of Christianity in Wales at the time.

Patrick Dean from  The Foxglove Trio sings with me in the chorus.

Where next

I hadn’t heard this song before I found it in the St Fagan’s archive. If anyone knows more about the background to the song or where else you can hear a recording please leave a comment below.

Lyrics

This is my translation from the words I transcribed at St Fagan’s. They may not be 100% the same as what Bertie Thomas learnt from the published version. If I ever find a copy of the published sheet I will correct the lyrics. * = Lines I’m unsure about.

Islwyn the main bard of Wales is in the grave,
And Dafydd Ddu Eryri is in the grave,
He’s a bard who stays,*
Sweet bard from the mountains,*
And Gwilym Rees Hiraethog is in the grave,
And Ceiriog is very quiet in the grave.
In the grave, on the shore,
In the grave, on the shore,
Jesus is there himself on the shore.

Lasynys, he is also lying in the grave,
And also Ieuan Gwynedd is in the grave,
And Williams Pantycelyn
The unusual hymn writer,
And Dafydd Ddu Eryri in the grave,
And Harri Wen* you’ll then find in the grave.

In the grave, on the shore,
In the grave, on the shore,
Jesus is there himself on the shore.

Ann Griffiths is also sleeping in the grave,
And the gentle leader Tundo* In the grave,
Golulan Is quiet,*
Glyn Maelor has joined them,
And Dafydd Ddu Eryri in the grave,
And Dafydd Ionawr is happy in the grave.

In the grave, on the shore,
In the grave, on the shore,
Jesus is there himself on the shore.

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