Enya – “Dan Y Dŵr” (Beneath The Waters_).

Hey people! 🙂

Today I have a Welsh song for you, a Welsh song sung by Enya, and the only Welsh song that she’s ever released. This song commemorates the little village of Capel Celyn (which literally means Holly Chapel in Welsh) in the Tryweryn valley in Gwynedd in North Wales, which was drowned in 1965 and disappeared entirely, which was a carefully planned out thing. This song is featured on Enya’s album The Celts. I’ve already shared with you a song which deals with the submerging of Capel Celyn, by another of my faza people Jacob Elwy and his band Y Trŵbz, and the song is called

Annibyniaeth.

The lyrics, as always, are written by Roma Ryan.

And now I’m going to be a bit nitpicky, because this song actually sparks my curiosity a little and something about the Welsh feels off. While I’m almost 100% sure Enya doesn’t speak Welsh, because I’ve never heard of her being able to do that and her Welsh doesn’t sound convincing or particularly understandable to me at all even when I read the lyrics along with her singing (granted, I’m a learner myself, of course, and song lyrics online often have tons of weird errors in them, especially if they’re in minority languages), I wonder if Roma is able to fluently speak all the languages that she writes lyrics for Enya in. It’s very interesting. To me these lyrics look a bit odd and like things are phrased in a weird way, which could be just that it’s some more formal Welsh that I’m not really accustomed to, or it’s some older way of writing in it, and it’s clearly more South Welsh while I am more accustomed to North Welsh. Then there’s a translation, which I’ve found on

Enya Blues

, which I suppose originally comes from the album’s liner notes, and either the translation is not fully accurate, or the lyrics are a bit off to begin with, or the translation is not really literal. Like, in the original lyrics, there’s a line that goes: “Dan y dŵr, tawelwch sydd” which is translated as: ”

Beneath the waters, there is silence”. Again, I am still learning Welsh myself, and I don’t know LOADS of things, for example I don’t know a lot about formal or more poetic ways of expressing yourself in Welsh, but “tawelwch sydd” seems to me like a weird way to say “there is silence”. To my best knowledge, it literally means “silence which”. Then the next line is: “Dan y dŵr, galwaf i” which is translated as: “Beneath the waters, I call you”. Now here I’m absolutely sure that galwaf i does not mean I call you but only “I call”. And then she sings: “Nid yw’r swn gyda fi” which apparently translates to “There is no companyy withh me”, whereas I am sure that swn means sound, not company. Company is cwmni in Welsh. Later there is further reference to the sound, and then the word for it is translated properly.

Regardless whether this song is written in good Welsh or not, I’ve always felt that it’s so cool that Enya has released a song in this language that I love so much, and paid a tribute to Capel Celyn. And I’m going to include the translation anyway, because maybe it’s meant to be just as it is, and I’ve always found Enya Blues quite reliable for info about Enya and her music, and even if it isn’t exactly great, it always gives some idea about the song’s meaning.

 

Beneath the waters, there is silence.

Beneath the waters, I call you.

There is no company with me.

Beneath the waters, silent forever.

Beneath the waters, I call you.

The sound is no longer with me.

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