Caneuon Gwerin

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

Lliw Gwyn Rhosyn yr Haf

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Mae’n flin gen i am y seiniant yn y blog yma. Mae y misoedd dwethaf wedi bod yn brysur iawn yn paratoi ar gyfer y Dance England Rapper Tournament a lansiad albwm newydd The Foxglove Trio. I ddathlu’r ffaith bod yr albwm, These Gathered Branches, wedi ei ryddhau dwi’n mynd i ail ddechrau’r blog wrth edrych ar un o’r ddwy gân Cymraeg arni – Lliw Gwyn Rhosyn yr Haf.

Dwi ddim yn cofio ble clywais y gân yn gyntaf ond dwi’n amau taw oddi ar y CD Merêd oedd hi. Gan taw dyma’r blog cyntaf dwi wedi ysgrifennu ers mawolaeth Meredydd Evans yn Chwefror eleni dwi’n teimlo bod hwn yn gân priodol iawn i ysgrifennu amdano.

Mae Lliw Gwyn Rhosyn yr Haf yn gân hwylus sydd yn sgwrs, neu dadl, rhwng dyn a merch. Mae’r dyn yn ceisio hudo hi ac am ran fwyaf o’r gân mae’n edrych fel ei fod yn aflwyddiannus. Ond yn y pennill olaf dysgwn fod hi wedi ffansio fo ers y cychwyn. Mae’r dyn yn dweud bod y ferch yn “lliw gwyn rhosyn yr haf” ac mae’n ‘chat up line’ sydd yn amlwg yn gweithio!

Mae’r gân yn dangos ochr chwaraeus caneuon gwerin efo ymatebion arabus y merch yn gwneud i chi gwenu. “Pan weli di’r gath yn byta’r pwdin, a buwch Sion Puw yn gwneud y menyn” yw fy fferfryn. Er bod hi’n gân hen gallwch dychmygu y golygfa yma yn cael ei chwarae allan heddiw mewn bar neu clwb nos, ond efallai efo ymatebion ychydig yn wahanol!

Gwreiddiau

Clawr Lliw Gwyn

Clawr y baled gwreiddiol (oddi ar wefan Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru)

Mae’r geiriau gan Richard Williams (1790?-1862?) – bardd dall oedd yn cael i nabod fel Dic Dywyll neu Y Bardd Gwagedd. Roedd o’n adnabyddus oherwydd ei faldi digri a budr. Cafodd ei eni rhywle yng Ngogledd Cymru (unai Amlwch, Llanerch-y-medd neu Llŷn) ond trafeiliodd o gwpas yn treulio llawer o amser yn Ne Cymru ac yn gorffen ei ddyddiau yn Lerpwl. Roedd o’n gwerthu ei faledi ar y strydoedd ac mae yna stori fod o wedi gwneud 8 punt mewn un diwrnod unwaith ym Merthyr Tudfil.

Nid Lliw Gwyn Rhosyn yr Haf oedd enw gwreiddiol y gân – mae galw cân yn ôl y llinell mwyaf cyffredin yn rhywbeth eithaf modern. Roedd gan hen faledi enwau llawer mwy ymarferol a disgrifioadol. ‘Cân newydd, sef ymddiddan rhwng mab a merch ieuanc ynghylch priodi’ oedd yr enw rhoddodd Richard Williams ar y gân yma!

Fel arfer roedd baledwyr yn ysgrifennu geiriau i fynd efo alaw oedd yn adnabyddus ar y pryd. Roedd Richard yn awgrymu canu Lliw Gwyn Rhosyn yr Haf ar yr alaw ‘First of May’. Dwi ddim yn gwybod os taw dyma’r alaw mae pobl yn defnyddio y dyddiau yma neu os ydy rhywun arall wedi cyfansoddi alaw amgen ar hyd y ffordd. Os ydych chi’n gwybod gadewch sylw isod!

Yn ôl Phillys Kinney yn Welsh Traditional Music (Gwasg Prifysgol Cymru, 2011) casgwyd Ruth Lewis y gân oddi wrth Jane Williams yn nhloty Treffynnon yn y 20fed canrif gynar. Mae Nesta Evans yn dweud yn Llafar Bro Mawrth 2006 bod John Morris o Flaenau Ffestiniog wedi casglu hi, ond does dim mwy o fanylion ar gael. Mae Siân Toronto yn dweud ar Mudcat bod hi’n gân boblogaidd efo Cymry Gogledd America.

Geiriau

Ysgrifennodd Richard Williams 11 pennill a gallwch gweld nhw i gyd ar wefan Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru. Mae’r rhan fwyaf o bobl yn canu dim ond 3 pennill – 2 lle mae nhw’n anghytuno a’r un lle mae’r merch yn cyfaddef bod hi’n hoffi’r dyn. Cyn i mi wybod am y faled llawen pigais i fyny un pennill dadl arall o rywle felly efo’r Foxglove Trio rydym yn canu 4 pennill.

“Dydd da fo i ti seren olaf,*
Lliw Gwyn Rhosyn yr Haf,
Tydi yw’r gywrain ferch a garaf,
Lliw Gwyn Rhosyn yr Haf.”
“Wel, cau dy geg yr hen oferddyn,
Y casaf eiriod ar wyneb y tir!
Mi grogaf fy hun cyn dof i’th ganlyn,
Mewn gair, dyna ti’r gwir.”

“Y mae dy gusan di, fanwylyd,
Lliw Gwyn Rhosyn yr Haf,
R’un fath a duliau mel bob munud,
Lliw Gwyn Rhosyn yr Haf.”
“Ac felly mae dy gusan dithau,
Y casaf eiriod ar wyneb y tir,
Yn ail i gam, yn ail i minau,**
R’hen geg, dyna ti’r gwir!”

“Dywed i mi pryd cawn briodi,
Lliw Gwyn Rhosyn yr Haf,
Gwn dy fod yn eiddo imi,
Lliw gwyn Rhosyn yr haf.”
“Pan weli di’r gath yn byta’r pwdin,
Y casaf eiriod ar wyneb y tir!
A buwch Sion Puw yn gwneud menyn
R’hen geg, dyna ti’r gwir!”

“Os wyt ti am roi fi heibio,
Lliw Gwyn Rhosyn yr Haf,
Wel dyro gusan cyn farwelio,
Lliw Gwyn Rhosyn yr Haf.”
“Wel… waeth i mi ddewud y gwir na pheidio,
Y mwynaf eriod ar wyneb y tir,
Cest ddwy o’r blaen, cei bymtheg eto.
Mewn gair, dyna ti’r gwir.”

* = Mae’r geiriau gweriddiol yn dweud “seren oleu” ond mae’n well gen i “olaf” gan fod hi’n odli efo “garaf”. Dwi’n meddwl bod y syniad o ‘ti yw’r seren olaf, neu’r unig seren i mi’ yr un mor rhamantus.

** = Mae’r gwreiddiol yn dweud “yn ail i gamomail i minau” ond mae camomail yn rhywbeth pleserus ac, ar yr adeg yma, dydy’r ferch ddim i fod yn dweud bod hi’n hoffi’r dyn felly dwi’n credu bod dweud ‘basau’n well gen i cael cam neu bod efo ti, a nid ti yw fy newis cyntaf’ yn gweithio.

Os oes rhywun eisiau’r geiriau yn Almaeneg mae rhywun wedi cyfiaethu nhw ar y wefan yma!

Ble nesaf

Mae’r gân ar gael ar y CDs canlynol:

  • Meredydd Evans & Phillys Kinney, Merêd, Sain, 2004
  • Gwenan Gibbard, Sidan Glas, Sain, 2009
  • Meredydd Evans & Phillys Kinney, Traditional Welsh Songs, Essential Media Group LLC, 2009, (yr un recordiad ag ar Merêd)
  • Welsh Argentine Guitar Duo, Voyage to Patagonia, WAG, 2009
  • Carwyn Tywyn, Alawon o’r Stryd, 2011 – alaw yn unig efo alaw o’r enw Cariad Cyntaf (ond nid yr un dwi’n defnyddio ar gyfer y cân o’r un enw)
  • Susie Hodder-Williams, Chris Calwell a Graham Roberts, Northern Lights, FMR/music on the edge, 2011 – alaw yn unig
  • Cerys Matthews, Hullabaloo, Rainbow City, 2013

Defnyddwyd yr alaw yn narn clasurol Grace Williams, Hen Walia. Roedd hi’n bwriadu i’r darn fod yn agorawd ar gyfer opera-werin ond ni ddigwyddodd y darn llawn erioed. Mae Gustav Holst wedi gosod hi ar gyfer côr efo cyfieithiad gan Steuart Wilson (J. Curwen, 1933).

Gallwch hefyd dod o hyd i’r geiriau yn y llyfrau canlynol:

  • Can Y Werin / Songs of the People gan D.E.Parry Williams a chyfieithwyd gan Gwyn Thomas, Cwmni Cyhoeddi Gwynn Cyf, 2003
  • Folk Songs of the World, Gathered from More Than 100 Countries gan Charles Haywood, J. Day Co, New York, 1966
  • Caneuon Cenedlaethol Cymru: The National Songs of Wales, efo gosodiadau gan ET Davies a Sydney Northcote, Boosey & Hawkes, 1959

White Summer Rose

I apologise for the recent hiatus in this blog. The last few months have been very busy with preparing for the Dance England Rapper Tournament and the launch of The Foxglove Trio’s new album. To celebrate the release of the album, called These Gathered Branches, I’m going to restart the blog by looking at one of the two Welsh language songs which appear on it – Lliw Gwyn Rhosyn yr Haf.

I don’t remember where I heard this song first but I suspect it was on a CD called Merêd. As this is my first post since Meredydd Evans’ death in February I think it’s doubly appropriate to write about this song now.

White rose

A white rose (from wallpaper-tadka.com)

Lliw Gwyn Rhosyn yr Haf is a cheerful song which is a conversation, or an argument, between a man and a woman. The man is trying to woo her and, for most of the song, it looks like he’s not doing a great job. But in the last verse we learn that she fancied him all along. He calls her “lliw gwyn rhosyn yr haf” (the colour of a white summer rose) which is a chat up line which obviously works!

The song shows the playful side of folk songs with witty retorts which make you smile. My favourite is “when you see the cat eating the pudding, and Sion Puw’s cow is making the butter”. Although it’s an old song you can imagine this scene playing out today in a bar or night club, perhaps with slightly different responses!

Origins

The lyrics are by Richard Williams (1790?-1862?) – a blind poet who was known as Dic Dywyll (Dark Dick) or Y Bardd Gwagedd (The Bard of Folly). He had a reputation for writing funny and dirty ballads. He was born somewhere in North Wales (probably one of Amlwch, Llanerch-y-medd or the Llŷn peninsular) but he traveled around, spending a lot of time in South Wales and ending his days in Liverpool. He sold his ballads in the streets and he apparently once made 8 pounds in a day in Merthyr Tydfil.

This song wasn’t originally called Lliw Gwyn Rhosyn yr Haf – calling a song by its refrain is something quite modern. The old ballads usually had much more practical and descriptive names. Richard Williams originally called this one ‘A new song, which is a conversation between a young boy and a girl about getting married’!

Ballad writers would usually write words to a melody which was well-known at the time. Richard suggested singing Lliw Gwyn Rhosyn yr Haf to the tune of ‘First of May’. I don’t know if this is the tune it’s still sung to or if someone has composed an alternative tune along the way. If you know, please leave a comment below!

According to Phillys Kinney in Welsh Traditional Music (University of Wales Press, 2011) it was collected by Ruth Lewis from Jane Williams in Holywell workhouse in the early 20th century. Nesta Evans says in Llafar Bro, March 2006 that John Morris from Blaenau Ffestiniog collected it, but there are no further details. Siân Toronto says on Mudcat that the song is popular with Welsh people in North America.

Lyrics

Richard Williams wrote 11 verses and you can see them all on the National Library of Wales website. Most people only sing 3 verses – 2 where they’re arguing and then one where the girl admits that she liked the boy all along. Before I knew about the 11 verse ballad I’d picked up another of the argument verses from somewhere so The Foxglove Trio performs a 4 verse version.

People have translated the title in many different ways: White Rose of my Heart (Folk Songs of the World), The White Rose
of Summer (Traditional Welsh Songs), White Wild Midsummer Rose (Kelving Thomas) and White Summer Rose (Holst). The words literally mean ‘colour white rose of the summer’ and I think the man is using it as a chat up line to say that she is as white as a summer rose.

“Good day to you my final star,
As white as a summer’s rose,
You are the fine girl that I love,
As white as a summer’s rose.”
“Well, shut your mouth you vain old man,
The nastiest ever on the face of the land!
I will hang myself before I come to court you,
In a word, that is the truth.”

“Your kiss, my darling one
As white as a summer’s rose,
Is like honeycomb every minute,
As white as a summer’s rose.”
“And so is your kiss,
The nastiest ever on the face of the land,
Second only to being wronged,
You old big-mouth, that is the truth.”

“Tell me when we can marry,
As white as a summer’s rose,
I know you belong to me,
As white as a summer’s rose.”
“When you see the cat eating the pudding,
The nastiest ever on the face of the land!
And Siôn Puw’s cow making the butter,
You old big-mouth, that is the truth.”

“If you are going to refuse me,
As white as a summer’s rose,
Give me a kiss before we say farewell,
As white as a summer’s rose.”
“Well… I might as well tell you the truth as not,
O kindest ever on the face of the land,
You had two before, you can have another fifteen,
In a word, that is the truth.”

* = The original words say “seren oleu” (bright star) but I prefer “olaf” (last) because it rhymes with efo “garaf” (I loved). I think the sentiment of ‘you are my last star, or the only star I want to look at’ is just as romantic.

** = The original says “yn ail i gamomail i minau” (second to camomile to me) but camomile is a pleasant thing and, at this point in the song, the girl isn’t supposed to like the man so I think saying ‘I would prefer to be wronged than to go with you, and you would be my second choice’ works better.

If anyone would like to see the song in German then someone has translated it on this website!

Where next

The Song is available on the following CDs:

  • Meredydd Evans & Phillys Kinney, Merêd, Sain, 2004
  • Gwenan Gibbard, Sidan Glas, Sain, 2009
  • Meredydd Evans & Phillys Kinney, Traditional Welsh Songs, Essential Media Group LLC, 2009, (the same recording as on Merêd)
  • Welsh Argentine Guitar Duo, Voyage to Patagonia, WAG, 2009
  • Carwyn Tywyn, Alawon o’r Stryd, 2011 – melody only followed by a melody called Cariad Cyntaf (but not the melody I use for the song of the same name)
  • Susie Hodder-Williams, Chris Calwell and Graham Roberts, Northern Lights, FMR/music on the edge, 2011 – melody only
  • Cerys Matthews, Hullabaloo, Rainbow City, 2013

The melody was used in a classical piece by Grace Williams called Hen Walia. She intended that the piece would be the overture for a folk-opera but the full piece never materialised. Many have arranged the piece for choirs, including Gustav Holst with a translation by Steuart Wilson (J. Curwen, 1933).

You can also find the lyrics in the following books:

  • Can Y Werin / Songs of the People by D.E.Parry Williams and translations by Gwyn Thomas, Gwynn Publishing Company, 2003
  • Folk Songs of the World, Gathered from More Than 100 Countries by Charles Haywood, J. Day Co, New York, 1966
  • Caneuon Cenedlaethol Cymru: The National Songs of Wales, with arrangements by ET Davies and Sydney Northcote, Boosey & Hawkes, 1959
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