Nansi Richards – “Pwt ar y Bys” (A Bit on the Finger).

   Hey people! 🙂 

   Today I have an interesting little polka piece (or should I say peas 😀 ) for you. I’ve read that it is originally Irish, but it is also known in the north of England, and obviously in Wales. But its history seems to be a bit tangled. Its Welsh title as you can see is Pwt ar y Bys, where pwt means something short or a little bit, so it’s supposed to be something short for the finger, and was apparently meant as a little exercise for harpists (though it’s not like it’s played only on the harp). Curiously, in England, this tune is known as Buttered Peas. The way it must have most likely happened is that some English folks heard it in Wales and heard that it’s called Pwt ar y Bys (poot are uh bees) and were like: “Eh? What? Aha, they’re saying buttered peas!” 😀 I’m not sure how Ireland is fitting into that picture, perhaps that bit of info I’ve got is incorrect, or perhaps it’s just the melody that originates from Ireland maybe some Welsh harpist came across it and “stole” it and gave it their own title. 


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