Hiya people! 🙂
Today, I thought we’d listen to a beautiful song by Y Trŵbz, with Jacob Elwy – one of the founders of the group and one of my faza peeps – as the vocalist and guitarist. This song is one of my most favourites by Y Trŵbz. Like Drudwy it is also in honour of Bryn Williams, Jacob and Morgan’s late father. He seems to have been very strongly musically inclined despite not being a professional musician from what I’ve read, and he wrote penillion – a traditional form of Welsh poetry which is sung usually accompanied by the harp. – The boys found them after his death and decided to make some folk-rocky arrangements to a few of them.
I feel a bit frustrated that I still don’t understand the entire lyrics of this song and there are a lot of gaps in what I understand of it. But even from what I do understand currently, this song sounds incredibly sad. I’ve read in Y Selar ( a Welsh music magazine) that Jacob said Bryn struggled with alcoholism, which one can also kind of suspect from the lyrics, so judging from that and the bits of lyrics I understand he must have had a lot of difficult feelings to deal with. I’ve also read on Morgan’s website that this is, if I understood correctly, a longing song for their father, so perhaps since the song is about longing, they can also express their longing for him through the words that he himself wrote.
I translated hiraeth as longing for the post title, because that’s how people usually translate hiraeth into English and what seems to be the most accurate translation of this word, at first glance it almost seems like a literal translation because hir means long in Welsh. But hiraeth is actually a word that isn’t easily translatable into English, as there’s just no English word that would have exactly the same meaning. If you’ve been around here for a while, you may or may not remember that I’ve written a little about hiraeth several times on here, because I really love this word, I love how it has so many aspects and kind of shades to it and is very descriptive, and yet at the same time is far more specific than any other longing-related words in any other language that I know. I think another part of why I like this word so much is that I myself experience hiraeth a lot, or at least I believe I do, though mine is possibly a bit different than Welsh people’s since I’m not Welsh, and for a lot of Welsh people hiraeth has to do with their homeland, I’ve also never personally never experienced my country not being fully independent or my native language being endangered or having to emigrate or anything like that. But in any case many kinds of hiraeth-like feelings are something I know very well.
I’ve read a lot of descriptions and explanations of what hiraeth is, and it’s primarily a longing for a place, be it your home, or your motherland, but a place which doesn’t really exist as such, because you long more either for the imagining of it that you have in your brain, or for what it was like in the past but no longer is the same. It can also be a less specific longing for a place to belong, or for some sort of place that you could feel at home in even if you’ve no idea where that might be. Hiraeth can also generallyy be a feeling of longing and yearning for anything that doesn’t really exist, like something from your past that you idealise in your mind. Or it can be some kind of unspecified longing where you don’t really know what you’re longing for at all, but you are and quite intensely so. It can be a weird feeling of longing when you see something really beautiful. Or, finally, I’ve also read that hiraeth can be a soul’s longing for God as well, which makes total sense, because I’ve heard a lot that when you experience that kind of unspecified longing for not sure what really, it’s your soul longing to be with God, especially for people who don’t believe in God and perhaps aren’t consciously aware of this longing, not that all people who believe always are, and people often tend to either suppress this feeling somehow or quench it with other, more earthly things. Or, like in this song, it can be a grief-filled longing for someone who is no longer physically here.