Caneuon Gwerin

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

Archive for the tag “morgannwg”

Cân Dai’r Cantwr

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Mae nifer fawr iawn o ganeuon gwerin Cymreig efo’r enw ‘Cân person’ neu ‘Cân lle’. Mae’n debyg i’r arferiad efo alawon yng ngweddill Prydain o gael ‘Morrison’s jig’ neu ‘John Ryan’s Polka’. Mae geiriau y gân yma yn swnio fel rhywbeth basau unrhywun sy’n gadael ei gartref am amser hir yn teimlo. Ond, wrth edrych ar y teitl a’r nodiadau sy’n dod efo’r gân gwelwn fod hi’n gân a chanwyd gan rywun penodol yn hanes Cymru.

Merched Beca

Llun o Ferched Beca o http://www.pgfl.org.uk

Yn 1839 – 43 roedd bywyd yn mynd yn anoddach i ffermwyr bychain tlawd oherwydd gostyngiad mewn gwerth da byw a chodiad mewn trethi. Roeddent yn poeni yn arbennig am bris y tollborthau roedd rhaid iddynt defyddio i fynd a’u da byw i’r farchnad neu i fynd a gwrtaith i’w caeau. Daeth grŵp o ddynion oedd wedu eu heffeithio at ei gilydd a ffyrfwyd cynllwyn i fynd allan fel dyrfa i losgi’r tollborthau – rhywbeth pendant a materol oedd yn cynrychioli y gorthrwm roeddent yn teimlo. Ond beth tasau rhywun yn adnabod nhw ac yn dweud wrth yr heddlu pwy oedd yn ymwneud â’r terfysg? Daeth yr arweinydd cyntaf, Thomas Rees (Twm Carnabwth), fyny efo’r syniad o wisgo fyny fel merched a rhoi lludw ar eu gwynebau i osgoi cael eu hadnabod. Dyma sut ddaeth y grŵp i’w adnabod fel Merched Beca. Un o ferched Beca oedd David Davies, neu Dai’r Cantwr (c. 1812 – 1874). Cafodd ei ddal a’i anfon i’r carchar yng Nghaerfyrddin a’i ddedfrydu i gael ei alltudio i Van Deimen’s Land (Tasmania rwan) a dyma pryd ysgrifennodd geiriau y gân yma.

Wnes i ddarganfod y gân yng nghyfrol Canu’r Cymry: Detholiad o ganeuon gwerin (Welsh Folk Songs). Mae’r llyfr yma, a’r ail gyfrol, yn hanfodol i rywun sy’n tyfu fyny yn cystadlu mewn Eisteddfodau gan fod nifer iawn o’r darnau gosod yn dod allan ohonynt. Mae llawer o ganeuon gwerin Cymreig heddiw yn eithaf fyr – fel arfer 4 pennill o hyd, neu 3 pennill efo corws efallai. Maent yn ddigon fyr i’w chwarae ar y radio neu i feirniad eisteddfod cael eistedd trwyddo 15 gwaith mewn awr a hanner o ragbrofion!

Mae’r caneuon Saesneg cafodd eu casglu yn y 20fed ganrif yn aml efo 8,12 neu hyd yn oed 20 pennill. Mae’r baledi hir yma yn cael eu chwarae ar y radio (gweler versiwn Chris Wood o Lord Bateman sy’n para 8 munud) ac yn cael eu canu mewn sessiynau a chlybiau gwerin. Yn bersonnol, dwi weithiau’n diflasu efo’r caneuon hir yma, yn enwedig os nad ydy’r alaw yn un ddiddorol ac os nad ydy’r perfformiwr yn rhoi ameywiaeth ynddo. Dwi’n amau fod llawer o bennillion o ganeuon gwerin Cymreig wedi cael eu colli yn y broses hyn o gasglu, recordio a sgwennu lawr y caneuon roedd pobl yn canu yn y 20fed ganrif gan fod golygwyr llyfrau fel Canu’r Cymry eisiau gwneud i’r caneuon edrych yn fyr a hawdd i’w ddysgu. Mae Cân Dai’r Cantwr yn wahanol i lawr o ganeuon eraill o’r pryd – mae pob un o’i 8 pennill hir wedi eu cyhoeddi yn Canu’r Cymry. Pan dwi wedi perfformio’r gân yma yn Lloegr dwi wedi canu’r 4 pennill gyntaf yn unig rhag ofn i’r gwrandawyr diflasu ond dwi’n meddwl ddylwn ni cantorion gwerin Cymreig dod o hyd i fersiynau llawn o ganeuon gwerin a pherfformio nhw mwy.

Gwreiddiau

Wedi dweud taw Dai’r Cantwr ei hyn sydd wedi sgwennu’r geiriau mae golygwyr Canu’r Cymry, Phyllis Kinney a Meredydd Evans, yn cyflwyno elfen o amheuaeth am hyn. Cafodd Emrys Cleaver y gân yn y post gan y Parch Gomer M Roberts a dwedodd y Parch mewn llythyr ynglŷn a’r gân fod si taw rhywun o’r enw Edward Matthews o Ewenni oedd wedi sgwennu’r gân ar gyfer David Davies. Mae’n well gen i gredu taw Dai’r Cantwr ei hun ysgrifennodd y geiriau ond mae’n mwy realistig meddwl bod rhywun arall wedi bachu ar y cyfle i wneud ceinioig neu ddau allan o sgwennu cân mewn llais troseddwr adnabyddus.

Baled broadside ydy’r gân. Yr arferiad yn y 19fed ganrif oedd i ysgrifennu geiriau newydd ac i roi ar y taflen “i’w ganu ar yr alaw X” basau’n alaw oedd yn adnabyddus yn barod. Mae Cân Dai’r Cantwr yn cael ei ganu ar yr alaw Roslin Castle. Y tro cyntaf clywais ffrind o’r Alban, Fiona Robinson, yn chwarae’r alaw mewn sessiwn yn Durham roeddwn wedi synnu bod hi’n nabod alaw Gymreig. Wrth gwrs, roedd hi’n honi taw alaw traddodiadol Albaneg oedd hi. Mae lle o’r enw Roslin tu allan i Gaeredin felly mae’n debyg taw hi oedd yn iawn!

Ble nesaf

Yn ôl y llyfr Canu’r Cymry mae copiau o’r gân ar gael yn y gyfrolau canlynol:

Hen Faledi’r Ffair, Tegwyn Jones (Y Lolfa Cyf., Talybont, 1970)

Gallwch weld copi gwreiddiol o’r taflen ym Mhrifysgol Aberystwyth

Os gwyddwch am recordiad arall o’r gân gadewch sylw isod!

Patrick Dean o’r Foxglove Trio sy’n chwarae’r soddgrwth ar y recordiad yma.

Geiriau

Drych i fyd wyf i fod,
Collais glod allaswn gael,
Tost yw’r nod, dyrnod wael,
I’w gafael ddaeth â mi.
Yn fy i’enctid drygfyd ddaeth,
Yn lle rhyddid, caethfyd maith,
Chwanegwyd at fy ngofid;
Alltud wyf ar ddechrau ‘nhaith.

Caf fy nanfon o fy ngwlad,
Tŷ fy nhad, er codiad tirion,
I blith y duon gôr,
Dros y môr o’m goror gron.
O’r fath ddrycin imi ddaeth,
Alltud hir, gyr hyn fi’n gaeth
Dros ugain o flynyddoedd,
Tost y’wr modd, cystudd maith.

Can’ ffarwel i fy ngwlad
Annwyl fad, fu wrth fy modd.
Amal les ges ar goedd
Rhwng dy wych aberoedd di.
O ffarwel I Walia gron,
Ei dolydd glwys a’i llwyni llon,
Heb bryder gwn mae Prydain

Yw gardd y byd i gyd o’r bron.
Hil Gomer mwy ffarwel,
I dir Babel fe’m danfonir,
Dros yr heli mae fy nhaith
Arw, faith, Duw fo imi’n fur.
O ffarwel i rianedd glân,
Teca’u bryd a chroywa’u gra’n,
Er penyd mae poen anian,
Dirwyn mae Dewi i’r man.

Plas Tre-gof angof fydd,
Cystudd prudd I Ddafydd ddaeth,
Calon lwys droi’r yn llaith,
Wrth weld y fordaith bell.
Plwyf San Tathan, brasfan bro,
A Thregatwg, treulais dro,
A Phen-y-Bont ar Ogwr,
Ffafwr Duw fo ŷ’nt yn do.

Yn iach Forgannwg wych,
Sŵn dy glych, henffych i’th deulu,
Y fro a’th ddolydd glân,
Hafal fan I Eden fu.
Ffarwel Fynwy lon ei swyn,
O droedrhiw’r Clawdd yn hawdd caf gŵyn,
Tredegar a’i thrigolion,
Hylon fan, bu imi’n fwyn.

Dichon bydd rhai o’u bodd
Yn gofyn pwy yw y bardd,
Gwn nad oes dyn a wardd
Un a dardd o’n hannwyl dir.
O wlad Forgan wiwlan daeth
Yr impyn llon sy’n awr yn llaith
Yng ngharchar sir Gaerfyrddin,
Cur i’m cof, ryw’n eithaf caeth.

Llancarfan ydyw’r plwyf
Lle tarddodd neyf fy nhyfiant dynol,
Fe’m ganed yn Nhre-gof –
Ffwrdd y ffof, ‘ddoi byth yn ôl:
Rhof fy enw I chi’n driw,
David Davies hoenus yw.
Dymunwn i’m hiliogaeth
Hiroes faith uwch gwaith fy Nuw.

Dai the Singer’s Song

There are many Welsh folk songs called ‘Someone’s Song’ or ‘Somewhere’s song’. It’s similar to the practice in the rest of Britain of calling a tune ‘Morrison’s Jig’ or ‘John Ryan’s Polka’. The words of this song talk about the feelings anyone leaving home for a long time would experience. But, when you look at the title and the notes which accompany the song, we see that it this song was sung by a very specific character in Welsh history.

Dai'r Cantwr

Sketch of Dai’r Cantwr by John Wynne Hopkins, Chairman of Llanelli Community Heritage. From http://www.llanellich.org.uk

In 1839 – 43 life was getting more and more difficult for poor smallholders and land labourers because of a drop in the value of livestock and a rise in taxes. They were particularly concerned about the price of using toll gates which they had to use in order to take livestock to markets or even to take lime fertiliser to their fields. A group of men who were affected by these issues came together and they formed a mob to burn the tollgates – something tangible and physical which represented the oppression they felt they were experiencing. But what if someone recognised them and told the police who was involved? The first leader, Thomas Rees (Twm Carnabwth), came up with the idea of dressing up as women and putting soot on their faces as a disguise. This is how they came to be called Merched Beca (Rebecca’s Daughters). David Davies, or Dai’r Cantwr ( Dai the Singer c. 1812 – 1874), was one of Beca’s Daughters. He was caught and sent to prison in Carmarthen and was sentenced to be transported to Tasmania. It’s at this point that he wrote this song.

I discovered this song in a book called Canu’r Cymry: Detholiad o ganeuon gwerin (Welsh Folk Songs). This book, and the second volume (Canu’r Cymry II) were essential for anyone growing up competing in Eisteddfods as I did because the majority of competition set pieces came from them. Lots of Welsh folk songs today are quite short – usually 4 verses long, or perhaps 3 verses with a chorus. They’re short enough to play on the radio or for an Eisteddfod judge to be able to sit through 15 times in an hour and a half at a prelim!

English songs collected in the 20th century, by comparison, often have 8, 12 or even 20 verses. These long ballads are played on the radio (see Chris Wood’s version of Lord Bateman which is 8 minutes long) and are sung in sessions and folk clubs. I personally sometimes get a bit bored during these long songs, especially if the tune isn’t very interesting or if it isn’t performed with much variation. I suspect that a lot of Welsh folk song verse were lost in the 20th century process of collecting, recording and writing down the songs which people were singing at the time because editors of books like Canu’r Cymry wanted to make the songs look short and easy to learn. Cân Dai’r Cantwr is different from a lot of songs from the period – all 8 of its long verses are printed in Canu’r Cymry. When I perform this song in England I only sing the first 4 verses in case the listeners get bored but I think it’s time we Welsh folk singers started finding the full versions of folk songs and performing them more.

Origins

Having said that Dai’r Cantwr himself wrote these lyrics, the Canu’r Cymry editors, Phyllis Kinney and Meredydd Evans, introduce an element of doubt about this. Emrys Cleaver got this song in the post from Rev Gomer M Roberts and the vicar said in a letter about the song that there was a rumour that Edward Matthews from Ewenni wrote it for David Davies. I prefer to believe that Dai’r Cantwr wrote it himself but it’s more realistic to think that someone else seized the opportunity to make a penny or two by writing a song from the point of view of a well known criminal.

This song is a broadside ballad. In the 19th century lyrics were often written to well known tunes and the author would write “to be sung on the tune of X” on the sheet. Cân Dai’r Cantwr is sung on the melody Roslin Castle. The first time I heard a Scottish friend, Fiona Robinson, playing the tune at a session in Durham I was surprised that she knew a Welsh tune. Of course, she claimed that it was a traditional Scottish tune. There’s a place called Roslin just outside Edinburgh so it seems she was right after all!

Where next

According to the Canu’r Cymry book there are copies of the song available in:

Hen Faledi’r Ffair, Tegwyn Jones (Y Lolfa Cyf., Talybont, 1970)

You can see a copy of the original sheet in Swansea University

If you know of any other recordings of this song please leave a comment below!

Patrick Dean from The Foxglove Trio plays the cello on this recording.

Lyrics

If anyone would like to suggest any changes to this translation please leave a comment below.

I’m looking into a world which could have been,
I lost the praise I could have had,
It’s a sore ambition, a poor blow,
Has been dealt to me.
In my youth a bad world emerged,
Instead of freedom, a long imprisonment,
To add to my worry;
I’m exiled at the beginning of my journey

I’m being sent away from my country,
From my father’s house, where I had had a gentle upbringing,
To a dark core,
Over the sea from all borders I know.
O such foul weather came upon me,
A long exile, which will imprison me
For over twenty years,
Such severe means, a long affliction.

I sing farewell to my fair, dear country,
in which I was contented.
I’ve received many benefits from living
Between your wonderful estuaries.
O farewell to all of Wales,
Her holy meadows and happy groves,
Without a doubt I know that Britain
Is the garden of the whole wide world.

Farewell sons of Gomer,
I’m being sent to a Babel land,
My long, rough journey will take me over the oceans,
God will protect me.
O farewell to my pure maiden,
Her fair complexion,
Despite my penance I have an instinctive pain,
Dewi is winding his way towards the apointed place.

I will forget Tregof Hall, 
Dafydd was struck with a sad afflicition,
His heart becomes damp,  
At seeing the far sea-voyage.
Saint Athan's parish, a well-heeled area,
And Tregatwg, where I've spent some time,
And Bridgend 
I hope God will look favourably upon them.

In brilliant, healthy Morgannwg,
The sound of your bells, hail to your family,
The area and it's pure meadows
Are equal to Eden. 
Farewell Fynwy and its merry magic,
From Droedrhiw'r Clawdd I'll easily get a complaint,
Tredegar and its inhabitants, 
Is a place which has been gentle to me.

Perhaps some will be overjoyed
Asking who is the bard,
I know there is no man 
One who hails from my dear land. 
From worthy Glamorgan he came
The happy descendent who is now getting damp
In Carmarthen jail,
My memory aches, I am imprisoned. 

Llancarfan is the parish
Where my human growth began,
I was born in Tregof -
Away I'll go, I'll never come back:
I'll tell you my name truthfully
I'm joyous David Davies,
I wish my descendents 
Long lives, according to the work of my God. 
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