Caneuon Gwerin

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

Archive for the tag “love”

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!

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Myn Mair

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Gan ein bod ni dipyn o’r ffordd mewn i adfent yn barod dwi’n teimlo y ddylwn i fod yn sgwennu am gân Plygain. Yn anffodus dwi ddim wedi cael y cyfle i recordio carol Plygain tri llais eto ond dwi’n gobeithio gwneud yr erthygl nesaf ar gân Plygain adnabyddus. Yn lle, dyma gân sydd yn ymddangos mewn rhai llyfrau Plygain (megis Hen Garolau Cymru: 60 o Garolau Plygain gan Arfon Gwilym a Sioned Webb) ond sydd, yn fy marn i, ddim yn gân Plygain go iawn. Rydym yn meddwl amdani fel gân Plygain oherwydd ei bod hi’n dod o’r oes cywir ac yn gân grefyddol a Phabyddol. Ond mae pwrpas y gân yn wahanol i’r caneuon Plygain arferol.

Candle

Canwyll. Gan @Kkalyan ar flick

Byddaf yn egluro mwy am y draddodiad Plygain y tro nesaf ond, yn fras, mae carolau Plygain yn cael eu canu adeg Nadolig er mwyn dathlu geni Crist (fel carolau Nadolig pob diwylliant!) ond hefyd er mwyn meddwl am ymhlygiadau o fywyd a marwolaeth Iesu. Yn aml maen’t yn efengylaidd ac yn ganeuon mawr swmpus sy’n cael eu canu efo balchder a lleisiau uchel.

Mae Myn Mair yn wahanol – mae’n gân mewnblyg, trist a theimladwy sy’n cael ei ganu o safbwynt galarwr. Mae’r alarwr yn cynnig popeth gallai – arian, canwyllion a gweddion – er mwyn achub enaid ei ffrind / cariad felly mae pwrpas y gân yn wahanol i’r ganeuon Plygain arferol. Am ryw reswm dwi wastad yn dychmygu taw merch ifanc sy’n canu’r gân a bod ei gŵr wedi cael ei ladd mewn rhyfel a bod y merch ddim yn mynd i gael ei gorff yn ôl i’w gladdu. Mae’r nodiadau yng nghefn Canu’r Cymry II gan Phyllis Kinney a Meredydd Evans yn awgrymu rhywbeth ychydig llai rhamantus…

Gwreiddiau

Yn ôl Canu’r Cymry II cafodd Myn Mair ei gasglu gan Myra Evans o Geinewydd, Ceredigion. Roedd hi wedi dysgu’r gân oddi wrth ei hendaid Daniel Williams, hefyd o Geinewydd, a dwedodd o bod y gân arfer cael ei ganu mewn achlysuron ‘gwylnos’, sef y noson cyn angladd. Mae hwn yn awgrymu bod y cân yn cael ei ganu gan ffrindiau, nid partneriad torcalonus yn unig.

Mae’r geiriau yn gwneud hi’n amlwg taw gân Babyddol yw hi ac mae hi felly yn dyddio nôl i’r adegau cyn y diwygiad Protestanaidd yn y 16fed ganrif. Rydym hefyd yn gwybod bod hyn yn gân Babyddol gan fod Daniel Williams wedi dweud wrth mam Myra i beidio canu’r gân neu bydd y ddau ohonynt yn cael eu taflu allan o’r capel roeddent yn mynychu!

Ble nesaf

Gallwch dod o hyd i’r geiriau yn:
Hen Garolau Cymru: 60 o Garolau Plygain gan Arfon Gwilym a Sioned Webb, Cwmni Cyhoeddi Gwynn, 2006
Caneuon Traddodiadol y Cymry / Traditional Songs of the Welsh gan Arfon Gwilym, Cwmni Cyhoeddi Gwynn, 2006
Canu’r Cymry II: Detholiad o Ganeuon Gwerin (Welsh Folk Songs) gan Phyllis Kinney a Meredydd Evans, Cymdeithas Alawon Gwerin Cymru, 1997.

Mae ychydig o gorau yn canu gosodiad clasurol o’r gân:
Cantorian Cywrig, 101 o Garolau, Sain, 2010
Cor Coleg Sant Ioan Caergrawnt (conductor George Guest), Sain, 1988

Ychydig o flynyddoedd yn ôl gwneaeth Rhys Mwyn, cyn gerddor pync, penderfynnu archwilio i’w gefndir cerddorol (mae’n dod yn wreiddiol o Lanfair Caereinion ym Maldwyn lle mae’r traddodiad Plygain dal yn gryf). Aeth i sawl gwasanaeth Plygain a gwnaeth rhaglen deledu ynglŷn â’r traddodiad. Yn ogystal, gwahoddodd nifer o gantorion gwerin cyfoes Cymru i ail-drefnu a recordio fersiynnau newydd o ganeuon Plygain. 9Bach cafodd y fraint o wneud Myn Mair:
9Bach, Never Mind the Bollocks Here’s the Plygain, Anhrefn Records, 2010

Fel arfer dwi’n hoff iawn o fandiau cyfoes yn chwarae o gwmpas efo caneuon gwerin, yn ychwanegu alawon newydd ac yn defnyddio offerynnau sydd ddim yn draddodiadol i ddehongli’r hen ganeuon mewn ffyrdd newydd. Ond am ryw reswm, efallai gan fy mod i wedi tyfu fyny yn mynychu gwasauthau Plygain traddodiadol, mae’n well gen i berfformiadau o ganeuon Plygain sy’n ddigyfeiliant ac heb ormod o addurniad, megis rhein:
Meredydd Evans, Merêd, Sain, 2010
Elin Manahan Thomas, In Memoriam: Music for Funerals, WMC Records, 2007 – gwrandewch ger youtube

Geiriau

Fy hatling offrymaf dros enaid dan glo,
Fy nghanwyll gyflwynaf yn eglwys y fro,
‘R offeren weddïa’ saith seithwaith yn daer
Er cadw ei enaid anfarwol, Myn Mair.
Myn Mair, Myn Mair.

Sant Pawl a Sant Peder, holl seintiau y nef,
A Mair, Mam y Duwdod, eiriolwch yn gref
Dros iddo gael heddwch, a gwerthfawr ryddhad,
Paradwys agored, a breichiau ei Dad.
Myn Mair, Myn Mair.

Mam Iesu’r brydferthaf o ferched y byd,
Morwynig Frenhines y nefoedd i gyd,
Dlos lili y dyffryn, gwiw rosyn y nef,
Eiriolwch dros enaid fy nghyfaill yn gref.
Myn Mair, Myn Mair.

Nodyn bach ar Trad2Mad

Efallai byddwch wedi sylwi fy mod i’n cyflwyno’r fideo uchod trwy dweud rhywbeth am “Trad2Mad”. Dyma gystadleuaeth wych sy’n cael ei redeg gan Clwb Gwerin Islington yn Llundian. I gymryd rhan mae’n rhaid recordio eich hyn yn canu cân ddigyfeiliant – unrhywbeth o gân draddodiadol (trad) hyd at gân ychydig yn ddoniol neu wallgof (mad) – a’i roi ar youtube. Mae’n gystadleuaeth mor dda achos gall unrhywun cymryd rhan o unrhywle yn y byd. Dwi wedi cymryd rhan am y dair mlynedd dwethaf, yn rhannol gan bod hi’n esgus da i ddysgu a recordio cân sy’n newydd i mi, ond dyma’r tro cyntaf i mi ganu cân Cymreig. Basau’n dda gweld mwy o gystadleuwyr o Gymru yn 2014!

In Mary’s Name

As we’re a fair way into advent already I feel I should write about a Plygain song. Unfortunately I haven’t yet had a chance to record a three part Plygain carol but I’m hoping to do the next article on a well known Plygain song. Instead, here’s a song which appears in some Plygain books (such as Hen Garolau Cymru: 60 o Garolau Plygain by Arfon Gwilym) but which, in my opinion, isn’t really a Plygain song. We think of it as a Plygain song because it comes from the right period and because it has religious and Catholic lyrics. But the purpose of the song is different from that of the typical Plygain song.

Hail Mary, Full of Grace

Mary by @Raymond Brown via flickr

I’ll explain more about the Plygain tradition next time but, briefly, Plygain carols are sung at Christmas time to celebrate the birth of Christ (as with every culture’s Christmas carols!) but also to think about the implications of Jesus’ life and death. Often the lyrics are evangelistic and they are big songs which are sung proudly in loud voices.

Myn Mair is different – it’s an introverted, sad and poignant song which is sung by a mourner. The mourner offers everything – money, candles and prayers – in order to save the soul of their friend / lover so the purpose of the song is very different from the usual Plygain songs. For some reason I always imagine the song to be sung from the point of view of a young woman whose husband has been killed in a war and that she won’t be getting his body back to bury him. The notes in the back of Canu’r Cymry II by Phyllis Kinney and Meredydd Evans suggest something a little less romantic…

Origins

According to Canu’r Cymry II, Myn Mair was collected from Myra Evans from Newquay, Ceredigion. She’d learnt the song from her great-grandfather Daniel Williams, also from Newquay, who said that the song used to be sung in ‘gwylnos’ evenings (a vigil, literally ‘night festival’) the night before a funeral. This implies that it was often sung by friends, not just heartbroken partners.

The lyrics make it obvious that this is a Catholic song so it dates back to the times before the 16th century Protestant reformation. We also know it’s a Catholic song because Daniel Williams told Myra’s mother that they shouldn’t sing it or they’d both be thrown out of the chapel they belonged to!

Lyrics

I’ve translated the title as In Mary’s Name although this isn’t strictly what it means. Other people translate the song as ‘O Mary’ which I think sounds a little weak for such a powerful song. Others, including Phyllis Kinney and Meredydd Evans, translate is as ‘By Mary’ because ‘myn’ is used in expressions such as ‘myn Duw’ (the equivalent of ‘by Jove’). However the word ‘mynnu’ in Welsh means to insist so I think Myn Mair literally means ‘I insist on it Mary’, which isn’t a very poetic title. If anyone can offer a better translation I’d be interested in hearing it!

My half farthing I offer for a soul in prison,
My candle I present in the district church,
The Mass I’ll pray earnestly, seven times seven,
To save his immortal soul, O Mary.
O Mary, O Mary.

St. Paul and St. Peter, all the saints of heaven,
And Mary, God’s Mother, plead strongly
That he may have peace and precious relief,
Paradise open, and the arms of his Father.
O Mary, O Mary.

Mother of Jesus, the most beautiful of earth’s women,
Maidenly Queen of all of the heavens,
Lovely lily of the valley, worthy rose of heaven,
Intercede strongly for the soul of my friend.
O Mary, O Mary.

Where next

You can find the lyrics and tune printed in:
Hen Garolau Cymru: 60 o Garolau Plygain by Arfon Gwilym and Sioned Webb, Cwmni Cyhoeddi Gwynn, 2006
Caneuon Traddodiadol y Cymry / Traditional Songs of the Welsh by Arfon Gwilym, Cwmni Cyhoeddi Gwynn, 2006
Canu’r Cymry II: Detholiad o Ganeuon Gwerin (Welsh Folk Songs) by Phyllis Kinney and Meredydd Evans, Cymdeithas Alawon Gwerin Cymru, 1997.

A few choirs sing a classical arrangement:
Cantorian Cywrig, 101 o Garolau, Sain, 2010
Cor Coleg Sant Ioan Caergrawnt (conductor George Guest), Sain, 1988

A few years ago Rhys Mwyn, the former punk musician, decided to research his musical background (he comes from Llanfair Caereinion in Montgomeryshire where the Plygain tradition is still very strong). He went to several Plygain services and make a TV programme about the tradition. He also invited some contemporary Welsh folk musicians to rearrange and record new versions of Plygain songs. 9Bach had the privilege of doing Myn Mair:
9Bach, Never Mind the Bollocks Here’s the Plygain, Anhrefn Records, 2010

I usually really like it when contemporary bands play around with folk songs, adding new tunes and using non-traditional instruments to interpret the old songs in new ways. But, for some reason, perhaps because I grew up attending traditional Plygain services, I prefer Plygain songs to be performed unaccompanied and with minimal ornamentation, such as these:
Meredydd Evans, Merêd, Sain, 2010
Elin Manahan Thomas, In Memoriam: Music for Funerals, WMC Records, 2007 – listen via youtube

A note about Trad2Mad

You might have noticed that I introduce the video above by saying something about “Trad2Mad”. This is a great competition which is run by Islington Folk Club in London. To take part you record yourself singing an unaccompanied song – anything from a traditional song (trad) to something a little more humorous or crazy (mad) – and put it on youtube. It’s a good competition because anyone can take part from anywhere in the world. I’ve entered three times, partly because it’s a good excuse to learn and record a new song, but this is the first time I’ve entered with a Welsh song. It would be great to see more competitors from Wales in 2014!

Cariad Cynaf

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Un o fy hoff gantorion gwerin yw Julie Murphy. Des i ar draws hi’n gyntaf pan cefais CD hi a Dylan Fowler, Ffawd, yn anrheg Dolig pan oeddwn i’n 16 mlwydd oed. Ar y pryd roeddwn i’n mynychu Coleg Rhyngwladol Unedig yr Iwerydd yn Llanilltud Fawr, Bro Morgannwg, sydd yn coleg chweched dosbarth preswyl. Mae hi’n CD arbennig a doeddwn i methu mynd a llawer o CDs efo fi i’r coleg felly gwrandewais ar yr un yma drosodd a throsodd a throsodd. Ymunais â band gwerin yn y coleg a roedd y CD yma – a ffordd unigrwy Julie o gyflwyno caneuon – yn ddylanwad mawr ar y ffordd roeddwn i’n dechrau dysgu a gosod caneuon i’r band.

Erbyn hyn dwi wedi dysgu ac yn perffromio tua hanner y caneuon ar y CD (gweler y post ar Y Bachgen Main) ond dyma’r cyntaf i mi ddysgu oddi ar y CD. Fel Dod Dy Law mae Cariad Cyntaf yn gân fyr ond pwerus iawn. Mae pob pennill yn cyflwyno dedlwedd newydd o gariad a serch cryf a mae fel petai’r holl gân yn adeiladu tuag at y llinell prydferth “Yn dy lygaid caf wirionedd / Yn serenu gras a rhinwedd” yn y bennill olaf.

calon ar y traeth, gan chsh/il via flickr

Calon ar y traeth, gan chsh/il via flickr

Yn y gân clywn rhywun yn dweud wrth ei gariad bod o’n caru hi a bod o eisiau priodi hi. Monolog yw’r gân felly dyden ni ddim yn clywed ateb y ferch. Dwi wastad yn dweud wrth gynulleidfaoedd bod rhaid iddyn nhw dyfalu beth oedd ateb y ferch ond bod yr alaw drist yn rhoi syniad i ni. Ond efallai dydy hi ddim yn fater syml o ddyn yn caru merch sydd ddim yn caru fo yn ôl – efallai bod y ferch yn ei garu ond bod rhywbeth, megis rhieni ymyrrus, yn mynd i gadw’r ddau ar wahan a dyna pam mae’r bachgen yn ‘glaf’ ac mae’r alaw mor alarus.

Gall y llinell olaf cael ei ymestyn i agor y possibilrwydd o arbrofi yn gerddorol. Dwi wedi perfformio’r gân yma ar ben fy hun, efo Shanti (fy nghyn grŵp gwerin), fel deuawd efo Patrick Dean ac efo’r Foxglove Trio a’r llinell olaf yw’r un mwyaf diddorol yn gerddorol bob tro. Daw’r recordiad uchod o’n parti i lansio CD cyntaf Y Foxglove Trio o’r enw Like Diamond Glances. Gallwch prynnu copi o’r CD (£5 +P&P) drwy ebostio thefoxglovetrio @ gmail.com.

Gwreiddiau

Dwi wedi methu dod o hyd i lawer o wybodaeth am y gân brydferth yma. Dywedai Merêd bod y gân yn dod o’r 18fed ganrif ac ar wefan prifysgol Rydychen mae’n dweud bod hi wedi cael ei gasglu yn c.1912. Dwi ddim yn gwybod, serch hyn, pwy wnaeth casglu’r gân gan bwy na phryd. Os ydych chi’n gwybod, gadewch sylw isod!

Mae’n ddiddorol i nodi bod llawer o gantorion yn gadael allan y trydydd pennill. Dwi ddim yn meddwl bod yn pennill yma wedi cael ei fenthyg gan gân arall – rhywbeth sy’n digwydd yn aml – felly os oes unrhywun yn gwybod o ble mae’r pennill yma wedi dod gadewch sylw!

Ble nesaf

Mae Gustav Holst wedi gwneud gosodiad corawl o Cariad Cyntaf a gwnaeth Bryn Terfel canu’r gân fel rhan o noson olaf y proms yn 2008. Mae fideo ar gael ar vimeo. Mae’r gosodiad yma (3 pennill yn unig) ar gael ar ei CD o’r enw First Love: Songs from the British Isles (Deutsche Grammaphon, 2008).

Dyma lle gallwch dod o hyd i fersiynnau mwy gwerinol:

  • The Foxglove Trio, Like Diamond Glances, 2013 – 4 pennill
  • Sian James, Gweini Tymor, Sain, 2010 A Pur, Recordiau Bos Records, 2001 – 3 pennill. Gwrandewch at youtube.
  • Ríoghnach Connolly – 4 pennill. Gwrandewch ar soundcloud.
  • 9bach, 9bach, Sain, 2009 – 4 pennill
  • Eleri Llwyd, Welsh Rare Beat 2, Finders Keepers Records, 2007 – 4 pennill
  • Meredydd Evans, Traditional Welsh Songs, Essential Media Group LLC, 2009 – 4 pennill. Gwelwch mwy o wybodaeth a’r nodiadau llawes ar wefan Folkways.
  • Huw M, Cân o’r enw Michelle Michelle (Cariad Cyntaf), Os Mewn Sŵn, 2010 Rasal Miwsig, – gyda geiriau gwreiddiol ychwanegol.
  • John Eifion, cân o’r enw Y Cariad Cyntaf (Mae Prydferthwch Ail I Eden), John Eifion, Sain, 2009.
  • Carreg Lafar, Profiad, Sain, 2002 – 4 pennill
  • Rachel, O’r Dwy Ochr / Both Sides, Sain, 2003 – 3 pennill.
  • Julie Murphy & Dylan Fowler, Ffawd, Fflach, 2001 – 4 pennill.

Hefyd…
Mae trac o’r enw Lliw Gwyn Rhosyn yr Haf / Cariad Cyntaf ar CD Carwyn Tywyn o’r enw Alawon o’r Stryd (2011) ond nid dyma alaw y gân Cariad Cyntaf.
Mae Ghazalaw yn defnyddio Cariad Cyntaf mewn un o’u caneuon ond dyd hi ddim ar gael ar CD eto.

Geiriau

Mae prydferthwch ail i Eden
Yn dy fynwes gynnes, feinwen,
Fwyn gariadus liwus lawen.
Seren syw, clyw di’r claf.

Addo’th gariad i mi heno,
Gwnawn amodau cyn ymado
I ymrwymo, doed a ddelo;
Rho dy gred, a dwed y doi.

Liwus lonnach, serch fy mynwes,
Wiwdeg orau ‘rioed a gerais
Mi’th gymeraf yn gymhares;
Rho dy gred, a d’wed y doi.

Yn dy lygaid caf wirionedd
Yn serennu gras a rhinwedd,
Mae dy weld i mi’n orfoledd:
Seren syw, clyw di’r claf.

First Love

One of my favourite folk singers is Julie Murphy. I first came across her when I got hers and Dylan Fowler’s CD, Ffawd, as a Christmas present when I was 16 years old. At the time I was attending an international sixth form boarding college called United World College of the Atlantic in Llantwit Major, Vale of Glamorgan. Partly because it’s an incredible album and partly because I wasn’t able to take many of my CDs with me to college I listened to this CD over and over again. I joined a folk band at the college and this CD – and especially Julie’s unique way of presenting songs – was a big influence on the way I started to learn and arrange songs for the band.

By now I’ve learnt and regularly perform about half of the songs on the CD (see the post on Y Bachgen Main) but this is the first song I learnt. Like Dod Dy Law it’s a short but powerful song. Each verse portrays a different image of strong love and lust and it’s as if the whole song builds towards the beautiful line “Yn dy lygaid caf wirionedd / Yn serenu gras a rhinwedd” (“In your eyes I find truth / That shines like stars of grace and virtue”) in the last verse.

First love, from sodahead.com

First love, from sodahead.com

In the song we hear someone telling his lover that he loves her and that he wants to marry her. It’s a monologue so we don’t get to hear her response. I always tell audiences that they have to guess what her answer was to the question about getting married but that the sad melody gives us a clue. But perhaps it’s not a simple matter of unrequited love – perhaps the girl does love him back but something, such as meddling parents, is going to keep them apart which is why the boy is lovesick and the tune is so mournful.

The last line of the song can be extended to open up all sorts of musical experiments. I’ve performed this song as a soloist, with Shanti (one of my previous folk groups), as a duet with Patrick Dean and with The Foxglove Trio and it’s always the last line which provides the most musical interest. The above recording comes from the launch party for The Foxglove Trio’s debut EP, Like Diamond Glances. You can buy a copy of the CD (£5 +p&p) by emailing thefoxglovetrio @ gmail.com.

Origins

I haven’t been able to find much information about this beautiful song. Merêd says that the song comes from the 18th century and the Oxford University website says that it was collected in c.1912. I don’t know, however, who collected the song from whom or when. If you know, please leave a comment below!

It’s interesting to note that lots of singers leave out the third verse. I don’t think this verse has been borrowed from another song – as is often the case – so if anyone knows its origin please leave a comment!

Where next

Gustav Holst has written a choral arrangement of Cariad Cyntaf and Bryn Terfel sang it as part of his Last Night of the Proms performance in 2008. There’s a video of this on vimeo. This arrangement (3 verses only) is available on a CD called First Love: Songs from the British Isles (Deutsche Grammaphon, 2008).

Here’s where you can find some more folky arrangements:

  • The Foxglove Trio, Like Diamond Glances, 2013 – 4 verses
  • Sian James, Gweini Tymor, Sain, 2010 A Pur, Recordiau Bos Records, 2001 – 3 verses. Listen on youtube.
  • Ríoghnach Connolly – 4 verses. Listen on soundcloud.
  • 9bach, 9bach, Sain, 2009 – 4 verses
  • Eleri Llwyd, Welsh Rare Beat 2, Finders Keepers Records, 2007 – 4 verses
  • Meredydd Evans, Traditional Welsh Songs, Essential Media Group LLC, 2009 – 4 verses. See more information and the sleeve notes on the Folkways website.
  • Huw M, a song called ‘Michelle Michelle (Cariad Cyntaf)’, Os Mewn Sŵn, Rasal Miwsig, 2010 – with additional original lyrics.
  • John Eifion, a song called ‘Y Cariad Cyntaf (Mae Prydferthwch Ail i Eden)’, John Eifion, Sain, 2009
  • Carreg Lafar, Profiad, Sain, 2002 – 4 verses
  • Rachel, O’r Dwy Ochr / Both Sides, Sain, 2003 – 3 verses.
  • Julie Murphy & Dylan Fowler, Ffawd, Fflach, 2001 – 4 verses.

Also…
There’s a track called Lliw Gwyn Rhosyn yr Haf / Cariad Cyntaf on Carwyn Tywyn’s CD called Alawon o’r Stryd (2011) but it isn’t the tune for the song Cariad Cyntaf.
Ghazalaw use Cariad Cyntaf in one of their songs but it isn’t available on CD yet.

Lyrics

In the sleeve notes of Meredydd Evans, Traditional Welsh Songs, originally released on LP in 1954, Merêd wrote “the words are highly metophorical in parts and hence no translation could convey the beauty of them.” I think it’s worth trying nevertheless! This translation is adapted slightly from martindardis.com

There is beauty only second to Eden
In your warm bosom, fair maiden.
Dear loved one, bright and happy;
Beautiful star, hear this lovesick one.

Promise your love to me tonight,
We’ll make vows before we leave
To engage, come what may.
Place your trust, and say you’ll come.

Bright happier one, love of my breast
Best and fairest that I ever loved
I will take you as a partner
Place your trust, and say you’ll come.

In your eyes I find truth
That shines like stars of grace and virtue;
For me, seeing you is a joy.
Beautiful star, hear this lovesick one.

 

Y Deryn Pur

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Dyma gân gydag alaw hynod o brydferth sy’n gân arall dwi’n teimlo fy mod i wedi hanner nabod erioed. Serch hyn, gwnes i ddim penderfynnu ei ddysgu’n iawn tan i mi glywed fy ffrind Caradog Williams yn chwarae ei osodiad diddorol yng ngŵyl rhyng-Geltaidd An Orient yn ôl yn 2006. Ysgrifennodd o’r geiriau yn fy llyfr bach o alawon gwerin ac es i i ffwrdd yn syth ar ôl y gŵyl i ddysgu hi.

Mae nifer fawr o fersiynnau o’r gân ar gael, o un dyn a’i gitar mewn tafarn i osodoadau mawr corawl. Y llais mwyaf adnabyddus sy’n ei ganu, am wn i, yw un Mary Hopkins. Dydw i ddim yn canu’r gân efo’r rhythm ‘syth’, traddodiadol, ond dwi’n ceisio pwysleisio darnau mwy emosiwn yn y gân.

Yn y gân hon clywn rhywun – dwi wastad yn dychmygu taw dyn ifanc yn pwyso ar ei hof wrth gymryd saib o weithio’r tir yw hi – yn dweud wrth aderyn bod o wedi gweld y ferch brydferthaf erioed ond bod o angen i’r aderyn mynd a’i neges serch at y ferch. Dwi’n cymryd bod hyn oherwydd bod y bachgen yn rhy swil ond efallai mae hi oherwydd dydy o ddim yn gwybod chyferiad y ferch neu hyd yn oed ei enw. Er bod y bachgen dim wedi cyrraedd y pwynt o hyd yn oed siarad efo’r ferch mae Y Deryn Pur yn gân llon sy’n dangos bachgen sy’n hapus bod o wedi dod o hyd i rhywun gall fod yn ‘besotted’ ynddi.

Fy hoff linellau yn y gân, oherwydd bod nhw mor tyner yw: “Ac o, o’i chariad yn ffaelu a cherdded” (hynny yw, mae o’n teimlo mor ‘love sick’ fel nad ydy o hyd yn oed yn gallu cerdded) a “Ni fynswn gredu un dyn fyw nad oedd hi’n ryw angyles”.

Gwreiddiau

Mae yna llawer o ganeuon gwerin Cymraeg, fel Y Deryn Pur, sy’n ymwneud â pherson yn siarad efo aderyn. Dwi weithiau’n smalio bod hyn oherwydd fod cyn lleued o bobl yn byw yng Nghymru wledig. Ond, mewn gwirionedd, mae’r caneuon hyn yn rhan o grŵp lenyddol o ganeuon ‘llatai’ sef ble mae rhywbeth – fel arfer aderyn neu rhyw anifail arall – yn cael ei ddefnyddio fel negesydd serch. Mae llawer o gerddi cywyddwyr y 14fed ganrif, megis Dafydd ap Gwilym, yn gerddi llatai. Mae traddodiad cyffelyb yng ngwaith Trwbadwriaid Profens a Ffrainc (11fed – 13fed ganrofoedd) yn ôl Meic Stephens yn Cydymaith i Lenyddiaeth Cymru (Gwasg Prifysgol Cymru; 2Rev Ed edition, 1997) ac mae’n siwr fod hi’n rhywbeth sy’n dod fyny mewn traddodiadau gwerin o ddiwylliannau eraill hefyd – gadewch sylw isod os ydych chi’n gwybod mwy am hyn!

Cafodd Y Deryn Pur ei chasglu gan Miss Jane Williams (Aberpergwm) yn y 1800au cynar, mwy na thebyg yng Nglyn Nedd. Roedd hi’n rhan o’r casgliad gwnaeth rhoi’r gwobr gyntaf iddi yn Eisteddfod Hydref 1837 am “y casgliad gorau o gerddoriaeth Gymreig heb ei gyhoeddi”. Cafodd y casgliad ei gyhoeddi un 1844 fel y llyfr Ancient National Airs of Gwent and Morganwg.

Geiriau

Y deryn pur â’r adain las
Bydd i mi’n was dibrydar
O! brysur brysia at y ferch
Lle rhois i’m serch a’m hyder,
Dos di ati, dywed wrthi
Mod i’n wylo’r dwr yn heli,
Mod i’n irad am ei gwelad
Ac o’i chariad yn ffaelu â cherddad, O!
Duw faddeuo’r hardd ei llun
Am boeni dyn mor galad!
Pan o’wn yn hoenus iawn fy hwyl
Ddiwrnod gwyl yn gwylio,
Canfyddais fenyw lana’ rioed
Ar ysgafn droed yn rhodio.
Pan fe’i gwelais, syth mi sefais,
Yn fy nghalon mi feddyliais
Dyma ddynes lana’r deyrnas
A’i gwên yn harddu’r oll o’i chwmpas,
Ni fynswn gredu un dyn byw
Nad oedd hi’n ryw angyles!

Ble nesaf

Mae nifer fawr o recordiadau o’r gân ar gael ond mae’r rhan helaeth yn y genre classurol neu pop-classurol. Dwi’n teimlo efallai bod hi’n bryd i ni cantorion gwerin adennill y gân oddi wrth ein ffrindiau classurol! Dyma lle cewch clywed fersiynnau o’r gân yn cael ei ganu (mae llawer o osodiadau offerynol pleserol) mewn steil mwy gwerinol:

  • Sian James, Pur, Recordiau Bos, 2000
  • Pedwar Patagonia, 4 Patagonia, Sain, 2005
  • Mari Griffiths, The Welsh Valley’s Call, Mood Media 2009
  • Mary Hopkin, Blodeugerdd: Song of the Flowers – An Anthology of Welsh Music and Song, Smithsonian Folkways Recordings (SFW40552), 2009.

Mae gan Bragod CD yn dod allan yn fuan o’r enw Llatai a bydd hi’n ddiddorol gweld os ydy’r Deryn Pur yn ymddangos arni.

The Pure Bird

This is a song with an extremely beautiful melody which is another one I feel I’ve always half known. I didn’t decide to properly learn it, though, until I heard my friend Caradog Williams play his interesting arrangement at the Inter-Celtic Festival in Lorient back in 2006. He wrote the words in my little folk song note book and I went and learnt the words straight after the festival.

There are loads of versions of this song available from one man and his guitar at a pub open mic to big choral arrangements. I suppose Mary Hopkin’s is the most well know voice to have sung it. I don’t usually sing the song with its traditional ‘straight’ rhythm but try to bend the rhythms to emphasise its more emotional points.

In this song we hear someone – I always imagine a young man leaning on his hoe whilst taking a break from working in the fields – telling a bird that he’s seen the most beautiful woman ever but that he needs the bird to take her his message of love. I assume this is because he’s too shy to approach her himself but perhaps it’s because he doesn’t know her address or even her name. Even though the boy hasn’t even reached the stage of talking to the girl yet Y Deryn Pur is a happy song which shows us someone who’s glad they’ve found someone to be besotted with.

My two favourite lines in the songs are the most touching ones: “Ac o, o’i chariad yn ffaelu a cherdded” (And o, because of her love I can’t even walk) and “Ni fynswn gredu un dyn fyw nad oedd hi’n ryw angyles” (I wouldn’t believe any man who told me she wasn’t some sort of angel).

Origins

There are lots of Welsh folk songs, like Y Deryn Pur, which are about a person talking to a bird. I sometimes joke that this is because there are so few people living in rural Wales that people in days gone by had no choice but to talk to the birds. But these songs are actually part of a literary group called ‘llatai’ songs which is where something – usually a bird or another animal – is used as a love-messenger. Lots of the 14th century cywyddwyr (poets for the nobility) such as Dafydd ap Gwilym wrote llatai poems. There is a similar tradition in the 11th – 14th century Troubadour poetry from Provence and France according to Meic Stephens in Cydymaith i Lenyddiaeth Cymru (Gwasg Prifysgol Cymru; 2Rev Ed edition, 1997) and I’m sure that this love-messenger practice must come up in other traditions and cultures – leave a comment below if you know more about this!

Y Deryn Pur was collected by Miss Jane Williams (Aberpergwm) in the early 1800s, probably in the Vale of Neath. It formed part of her collection which won her the first prize at the October 1837 Eisteddfod for the “best collection of unpublished Welsh music”. The collection was published in 1844 as Ancient National Airs of Gwent and Morganwg.

Lyrics

There are lots of translations on the internet but this one by Richard B Gillion sticks closely to the meaning of the Welsh words.

The pure bird with the blue wing
Will be a sincere servant to me
O speed with haste to the girl
To whom I offered my affection and my confidence
Go to her, say to her
That I am weeping salt water
That I am grieving to see her
And from her love failing to walk, O
God forgive the beauty of her vision
For hurting a man so severely!

When my spirits were so gleeful
On a day celebrating a holiday
I discried a girl more comely than ever
With lightsome feet strolling.
When I saw her
I immediately came to a standstill
In my heart I thought
Behold the most comely woman of the realm
And her smile beautifying all around her
I would not believe one man alive
That she was not some angel!

Where next

There are loads of recordings of this song but the majority are in the classical or the pop-classical genres. I feel that maybe we folk singers need to reclaim the song from our classical friends! Here is where you’ll find the more folky versions being sung (there are lots of very pleasing instrumental arrangements available too):

  • Sian James, Pur, Recordiau Bos, 2000
  • Pedwar Patagonia, 4 Patagonia, Sain, 2005
  • Mari Griffiths, The Welsh Valley’s Call, Mood Media 2009
  • Mary Hopkin, Blodeugerdd: Song of the Flowers – An Anthology of Welsh Music and Song, Smithsonian Folkways Recordings (SFW40552), 2009

Bragod have a CD coming out soon called Llatai and it will be interesting to see if Y Deryn Pur appears on it.

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