Caneuon Gwerin

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

Archive for the tag “ffynnon”

Y Bachgen Main

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Penderfynais dechrau’r blog efo un o fy hoff ganeuon gwerin Cymraeg. Dwi’n hoffi’r canu’r gân gan fod y curiad gryf yn galluogi chi i’w canu efo digon o fynd yn y darnau naratif. Mae’r curiad hefyd yn golygu fod unrhyw tynnu nôl ar y tempo yn effeithiol iawn.

Dwi hefyd yn hoffi’r gân oherwydd y stori. Yma cawn bachgen yn cerdded yn y coed sy’n clywed lleisiau dwy ferch yn cael ffrae. Wrth neshau mae o’n sylweddoli taw ei gariad a mam y cariad sydd wrthi. Mae’r mam yn dweud wrth ei ferch bod hi’n hen bryd dod o hyd i ddyn cyflethog iddi ond mae’r ferch yn ymladd yn ôl ac yn dweud bod hi’n digon hapus efo’r bachgen mae hi eisioes yn ei ganlyn. Hyd yn oed, meddai, tasau hi’n cael cynnig holl gyfoeth y byd (“rhannau gwledydd India, sidanau Persia neu aur Periw”) basau’n well ganddi aros efo’i chariad. Mae’r mam yn gwylltio gan rybuddio bydd hi’n gorfod cysgu ar bigau’r drain os nad ydi hi’n gwrthod y bachgen main. Ond mae’r ferch yn adamant yn ei phenderfyniad ac mae’r gân yn gorffen efo’r ymdeimlad tlws fod y ferch sy’n cael cysgu ym mreichiau’r bachgen main mewn gwynfyd.

Mae gan y gân gwreiddiol (gwelwch isod) dwy bennill ychwanegol ond dwi wedi penderfynnu peidio eu canu am sawl rheswm. Dwi’n byw ac yn perfformio gan fwyaf yn Lloegr ac er fod cynulleidfaoedd Saesneg wastad wrth eu boddau yn clywed caneuon yn Gynraeg dwi’n amau bydent yn diflasu efo 6 pennill hir mewn iaith anghyfarwydd. Y rheswm arall, pwysicach, yw fod y gân efo 4 pennill yn gorffen yn hapus. Yn y 2 bennill olaf clywn fod y bachgen wedi gadael y coed a wedi mynd i ffwrdd i’r môr a nad ydy o’n dod nôl. Efallai doedd y bachgen ddim eisiau achosi trafferth rhwng ei gariad a’i mam. Efallai doedd ganddo ddim digon o asgwrn cefn i sefyll i fyny at rieni ei gariad. Efallai sylweddolodd bod mam y ferch yn iawn a byddai’r ferch wedi bod yn anhapus yn byw mewn tlodi er mwyn bod efo’r dyn oedd hi’n meddwl ei bod hi’n caru. Efallai doedd o ddim eisiau mynd i ffwrdd o gwbl. Beth bynnag y rheswm, mae stori’r gân yn tristhau o bennill 5 ymlaen. Bydd digon o amser am ganeuon trist nes ymlaen ond, am y tro, gobeithaf y byddwch chi’n mwynhau gwrando ar fersiwn hapus o’r Bachgen Main sy’n clodfori merched sy’n digon dewr i sefyll fyny at eu mamau!

Y geiriau

(Cymerais y pennillion oddi ar wefan Ffynon efo newidiadau bach i adlewyrchu beth rydw i’n canu.)

Fel yr o’wn i’n rhodio’r caea ddy’ Mawrth diwetha’ o ddyddia’r byd
Mewn lle isel dan goedwig dawel mi glwy’n i ddwy’n ymgomio ‘nghyd,
Nesu wnes yn nes nes atynt nes o’wn i yn y lle a’r fan
A phwy oedd yno yn ymgomio ond f’annwyl gariad i gyda’i mam.

“F’annwyl eneth, ti sydd yma gyda mi â’th ddwy law’n rhydd
Yn lan dy drwsiad yn hardd d’osodiad a minnau am dy fatsio sydd,
Cei fowntio’th geffyl fy nghangen gynnil, a gweision sufyl iawn i’w trin,
A golud bydol sef aur melynion ac arian gloywon ar dy glun.”

“Pe gawn i rannau gwledydd India, sidanau Persia, aur Periw
Gwell gen i’r mab rwyf fi’n ei garu, rwyf fi am sefyll iddo’n driw,”
“Wel os fel yna rwyt ti’n darparu cei gweirio’th gwely ar bigau’r drain
Oni choeli ‘ngeiria bydd chwerw’r chwara os mentri gyda’r bachgen main.”

“Wel gyda’r bachgen main mi fentra, Mam a dwedyd ichi’r gwir,
Gadawai’r moddion i’r cybyddion a mentraf gyda blodau’r sir,
Ei wyneb purwyn a’i wallt melyn ac ar ei ruddiau mae dwy ros
A gwyn ei byd y ferch a fyddo yn ei freichiau’n cysgu’r nos!”

Gwreiddiau

Argraffwyd y geiriau yn gyntaf gan John Jones o Lanrwst. Gellid gweld copi o’r wreiddiol, gan gynnwys sgetsh difyr o beth gall y bachgen wedi edrych fel, ar wefan prifysgol Cardydd fel rhan o’u prosiect baledi Cymreig arlein. Rhif wg35.2.2928 yw’r Bachgen Main. Nid oes awdur ar y papur baled, ond mae hyn yn arferol. Recordiodd Roy Saer William Rowlands yn canu’r Bachgen Main ar ei daith yn Llŷn yn y 1950au a’r 60au.

Yn ôl Mair Wyn Thomas, Llawrplwy’, Trawsfynydd, a ysgrifennodd llythyr i’r Daily Post yn 2006 mae’r gân hefyd ar gael yn ail gyfrol Cerddi Cymru, Abel Jones, Llanrwst. Does dim copi o’r gyfrol hon gennyf i wirio hyn. Mae Mair hefyd yn dweud “mae’r dôn yn Caneuon Ffydd – Rhif 371 fel ‘Cen y Bachgen Main’.

Yn y 1920au sefydlodd Alfred T. Davies o Adran Gymreig y Bwrdd Addysg yn Llundain prosiect i gasglu alawon a thraddodiadau gwerin o Gymru. Y nod oedd i gael prifathrawon yng Nghymru i ddefnyddio eu disgyblion fel casglwyr. Roedd rhaid i’r plant gofyn i’w hen berthnasau am y caneuon, arferion, dywediadau ayyb roedden nhw’n cofio. Syniad diddorol – ysgwn i oes basau caneuon newydd yn dod i’r amlwg tasau ymarfer tebyg yn cael ei geisio heddiw. Yn y 1920au dyn o’r enw David Thomas oedd y Arolygydd Cynorthwyol y Bwrdd Addysg yng Ngheredigion. Roedd o efo diddordeb mawr yn y briosect a felly defnyddiodd ei awdurdod i anog ysgolion Ceredigion i gymryd rhan. Yn ôl Dafydd Ifans (‘Casglu Alawon yn Ysgolion Ceredigion, 1921 – 6’, Canu Gwerin, 2010, Y Lolfa) un o’r caneuon casglwyd gan ddisgyblion Ysgol Pont-siân oedd cân o’r enw ‘Cân Y Bachgen Main’ ond efo’r llinell gyntaf ‘Fel yr oedwwn i’n rhodio’r gaeaf’ felly efallai bod hi’n gân wahanol.

Ble nesaf?

Gallwch clywed Y Bachgen Main ar y CDs canlynol:

  • William Rowlands, Caneuon Plygain & Lloft-Stabal, Sain (SCD 2389), 2003
  • Ffynnon, Debatable Lands, Barcud Coch Red Kite
  • Julie Murphy a Dylan Fowler, Ffawd, Fflach Tradd ‎(CD248H), 2001
  • The Gentle Good, Yr Wylan Fry, Stiwdio Gwellt, 2012.

Hoffwn yn fawr i chi gadael sylwadau ar y gân, y geiriau, a’r blog yn gyffredinol. Ydych chi’n gwybod mwy am wreiddiau’r gân neu am artistiad eraill sydd wedi ei recordio? Oes hoff recordiad gennych? Ydych chi’n canu hi efo alaw new geiriau gwahanol? Gadwech sylw isod!

The Slender Lad

I decided to start this blog with one of my favourite Welsh folk songs. I like singing this song because it’s got a strong beat which means you can sing it with a bit of ‘go’ in the narrative sections. The strong beat also means that pulling back the tempo is very effective.

I also like this song because of its story. Here is a boy walking in the woods when he hears two women arguing. As he gets closer he realises that it’s his lover and her mother. The mum is telling the daughter that it’s high time she should find herself a wealthy husband but the girl fights back and tells her that she’s happy with the boy she’s courting. She says that, even if she’s offered all of the riches in the world (“part of India, Persia’s silks and Peru’s gold”) she’d rather stick with her lover. The mum gets angry and warns that she’ll have to sleep on a bed of thorns if she doesn’t reject the slender lad. But the girl is adamant that she’s made the right decision and the song finishes with the sweet sentiment that the sleeping in the slender lad’s arms is like paradise.

The original song (see below) has two extra verses but I’ve decided not to sing them for several reasons. I live and perform mostly in England at the moment and, although English audiences always love hearing Welsh songs, I suspect they might get bored of 6 verses in an unfamiliar language. However, the more important reason is that the 4 verse version has a happy ending. In the last two verses we hear that the lad has left the forest and gone away to sea and that he doesn’t come back. Perhaps the boy doesn’t want to  cause trouble between his lover and her mum. Perhaps he doesn’t have the backbone to stand up to his lover’s parents. Perhaps he realised that the mother was right after all and that the girl wouldn’t have been happy living in poverty in the name of love. Perhaps he didn’t want to go away at all. Whatever the reason, the story saddens from verse 5 onwards. There’ll be plenty of time for sad songs later but, for the time being, I hope you enjoy listening to this happy version of Y Bachgen Main which praises women who are brave enough to stand up to their mothers!

Lyrics

I’ll be providing literal, not poetic, translations of Welsh lyrics. If anyone would like to translate these songs more poetically I’d love to publish them so please leave a comment below!

(This translation comes from Ffynnon’s website.)

As I wandered through the fields last Tuesday of the world’s days
In a low place under a quiet wood I heard two women arguing
I drew nearer to them until I was in the same vicinity
And who was there arguing but my sweetheart and her mother.

“Dear daughter, here you are with me and your hands free
Pure and handsome and I am going to find you a match
Mount the horse my girl, a respectable man to find
And worldly goods of yellow gold and shining silver shall be yours”

“If I could share in the lands of India, the silks of Persia, the gold of Peru
I would rather the lad I love, to him I will remain true”
“Well, if that is your intention you will make your bed of thorns
Heed my words, bitterness will follow if you venture on with the slender lad”

“Well with the slender lad I will venture, mother, I’ll tell you the truth
Caution is for misers, I will go with the flowers of the county
His fair face and his yellow hair and on his cheeks two roses
Happy the girl who sleeps the night in his arms!”

Origins

The words were first published by John Jones from Llanrwst. You can see a copy of the original, including an amusing sketch of what the slender lad might have looked like, on the Cardiff University website as part of their online Welsh ballads collection.  Y Bachgen Main is number wg35.2.2928. No author is mentioned on the ballad paper, but this is not unusual. Roy Saer recorded William Rowlands singing Y Bachgen Main on his trips around the Llŷn Peninsula in the 1950s and 60s.

According to Mair Wyn Thomas from Llawrplwy’, Trawsfynydd, who wrote a letter to the Daily Post in 2006 the song is also available in the second volume of Cerddi Cymru by Abel Jones, Llanrwst. I don’t have a copy of this volume to be able to verify whether this is true. Mair also says “the tune is in Caneuon Ffydd – number 371 as ‘Cen y Bachgen Main’.

In the 1920s Alfred T. Davies from the Welsh Department of the Education Board in London established a project to collect Welsh folk songs and traditions. They planned to get Welsh head teachers to use their pupils as collectors. The children had to ask their older relatives about the songs, customs, sayings etc which they could remember. Interesting idea – I wonder if attempting something similar today would unearth some new songs. In the 1920s the Education Board’s Assistant Inspector  in Ceredigion was a man called David Thomas. He was very keen on the project so used his authority to encourage Ceredigion’s schools to take part. According to Dafydd Ifans (‘Casglu Alawon yn Ysgolion Ceredigion, 1921 – 6’, Canu Gwerin, 2010, Y Lolfa) one of the songs collected by a pupil from Pont-siân School was a song called ‘Cân Y Bachgen Main’ (The Slender Lad’s Song) but it started with ‘Fel yr oedwwn i’n rhodio’r gaeaf’ (As I wandered in winter) so perhaps this is a different song.

Where next?

Gallwch clywed Y Bachgen Main ar y CDs canlynol:

  • William Rowlands, Caneuon Plygain & Lloft-Stabal, Sain (SCD 2389), 2003
  • Ffynnon, Debatable Lands, Barcud Coch Red Kite
  • Julie Murphy a Dylan Fowler, Ffawd, Fflach Tradd ‎(CD248H), 2001
  • The Gentle Good, Yr Wylan Fry, Stiwdio Gwellt, 2012

I would very much like to hear your comments on the song, the words and this blog in general. Do you know any more about the origins of the song or any other artists who have recorded it? Do you have a favourite recording? Do you sing it with a different tune or different lyrics? Please leave comments below!

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