Song of the day (3rd June) – Gwilym Bowen Rhys – “Hogyn Gyrru’r Wedd” (The Ploughboy).

   Hey people! 🙂 

   I’d like to share with you all one more song from Gwilym Bowen Rhys’ album Detholiad o hen Faledi I (Selection of Old Ballads I). This song is actually a translation from English, the original traditional English song is called The Farmer’s Boy. It is said to have been written by Charles Whitehead, the brother-in-law of the Reverend Thomas Fownes Smith who was a Baptist minister in Little Leigh in England and the song is allegedly based on Reverend Smith’s life, though it was popular all around England. It’s sung to the tune of the Napoleonic Wars song called Ye Sons of ALbion. The Welsh version was written by the poet Richard Davies Mynyddog. I like this version a lot more than the English one, both in terms of the lyrics, which feel a bit more evocative, and Gwilym’s interpretation. The translation below comes, as is usually the case with Gwilym’s songs on my blog, from Gwilym’s website.  Please keep in mind that, like I said, it’s Gwilym’s English translation of the Welsh translation, rather than the English original. I emphasise that because I’ve had quite a few confused non-Welsh speakers coming here and wondering about Welsh versions of English songs that I’ve shared on here and why the lyrics on my blog aren’t the same that they are familiar with. 🙂 

The sun it sinks over the hill
into the depths like some giant
When a frightful pale boy knocks
on the door of a big farmhouse.
He asks from ‘neath his sack
With his cheeks all grey;
“where can I earn a little poor wage
As a ploughboy?
As a ploughboy?”

“There’s seven of us with my mother
And my father’s in a damp grave
And worse than this, me myself
Is the eldest of all seven,
I’ll do my part, despite my small size
And despite how grey my cheeks are,
If I can only earn a little poor wage
As a ploughboy,
As a ploughboy.”

“If my help is not needed
May I have from you
Some shelter through the wet night
From the cold of the black winter.
After a long night I’ll look for work
So that my cheeks can be restored,
If I can only earn a little poor wage
As a ploughboy
As a ploughboy”

Well the wife of the house lovingly said;
“Take him for goodness sake!”
“ Yes father!” says the daughter
With her tears flowing down.
“It’s a pity that there’s anyone now
Still wandering with grey cheeks”
If he could only earn a little poor wage
As a ploughboy,
As a ploughboy.

The father and mother went before long
To Tan-y-Graig cemetery,
And the house became property of the lad
And the daughter became his wife.
In a pure home he sings a song
With gentle and healthy cheeks,
Remembering the day he came to the house
As a ploughboy
As a Ploughboy.


Declan Galbraith – “Danny Boy”.

Hey people! 🙂

Today I’d like to share with you a piece from another of my faza people – Declan Galbraith, these days also known as Child of Mind. – This song, however, was sung by him long before the Child of Mind project, as it’s from his very first, self-titled album from 2002, which he recorded at the age of 10. Some songs on it are original material, but mostly they’re covers of either pop classics or, as in this case, quite well-known Celtic folk songs. Declan definitely has a special relationship with Celtic music, even if it’s less apparent in his later music. This is because he is of both Irish and Scottish descent, and his grandfather – affectionately called Poppy Ben by Declan – with whom he had a very close relationship because he was looked after by his grandparents a lot as a child; played several instruments in a Celtic music bands, and would often take Declan along on rehearsals and concerts.

“Danny Boy” was written at the beginning of 20th century by an English lawyer and lyricist, Frederic Weatherly. He was introduced to the song “Londonderry Air” by his sister, and set this new song of his to its melody. It is not known how exactly this song should be interpreted and what the author had in mind writing it, but what comes to mind for many people is that it’s from the perspective of a parent, whose son is leaving home for war or an uprising, which makes sense to me.

Clannad – “Buachaill An Éirne” (Boy From Ireland).

Hey guys! 🙂

Today I’m sharing from you something from Clannad, which I’m fairly sure is a traditional Irish song. To me, it sounds a lot like some old school marriage ad. 😀 I’ve found a translation of it, and then another one, albeit incomplete, I believe. The other one seems to be more literal, because it makes more sense, and the first one is more poetic. I normally prefer sharing literal translations because while they’re less fancy, they actually show you better what a song is about. But here, we’re going with the poetic one, since the other one wasn’t full like I said.

 

I am a boy from Ireland and I’d coax a nice young girl,

I wouldn’t ask for a dowry with her, I’m rich enough myself,

I own Cork, big as it is both sides of the glen and Tyrone,

And if I don’t change my ways I’ll be the heir for County Mayo.

Cow herding, my Leo, I did not never practice,

But playing and drinking with new young women by the mountain.

If I lost my wealth and I don’t think I lost my sense,

And your kiss is no more to me than a show worn for a year.

My love and treasure, don’t marry the old grey man,

But marry a young man, my Leo, even though he lives but a year,

Or you’ll still be without a daughter or son above you,

Crying in the afternoon or in the morning hard.

Song of the day (21st March) – Ivory Layne – “Boy Loves Me”.

I found this song on a playlist made by one of the people I follow on Spotify. Our tastes are not super similar, and I am generally not into those kinds of countrypop tunes, but I do like the sound of this one, and I like Ivory’s voice as well, so thought I’d share.

Song of the day (4th May) – Yr Angen – “Boi Bach Skint” (Little Skint Boy).

Hi people! 🙂

Here is another song from the band Yr Angen that I want to share with you on my blog, this one is finally on Youtube so all of you can hear it, regardless if you have that weird thing called Spotify or not.

Geraint Jarman – “Dwyn Yr Hogyn Nol” (Bring The Boy Back).

Hi guys. 🙂

Ok so until the end of this week I’m gonna show you the rest of my favourite songs by Geraint Jarman. Most of them actually will be from the same album from which the last one – “Be Nei Di Janis?” – was, which is his newest album.

This is the title track of this album called “Dwyn Yr Hogyn Nol” (Bring The Boy Back).

Gwilym Bowen Rhys – Yr Hogyn Pren (The wooden boy).

Hi guys! 🙂

About a week ago, i was very thrilled to see on Twitter that my current music crush – Gwilym Bowen Rhys – is collaborating on a new album with various other artists. The album is called “Rhwng Môr A Mynydd” (Between sea and mountain), was produced by the most or at least one of the most significant Welsh language music labels Sain Records, and released on 6th April. After having crushes like Enya – who works on her albums very surely and diligently, but also very slowly – Declan Galbraith – who at the time when my crush on him was full-blown suspended his career for quite a few years – and Cornelis Vreeswijk –
who (although very creative and artistically fertile) has passed away years before my birth – it is nice to have a crush on someone this active and hearing something new from him even more than yearly. It is really thrilling. Needless to say I bought the album almost immediately and, although there were only two Gwil’s songs – carved out an hour from my recently very busy schedule to review the album just for myself. There were good, better and worse pieces (I’ve known most of them before, ha! 😀 ), but overall I enjoyed it a lot, even just because of Gwilym’s part, if not anything else.

As for Gwilym’s songs, I’ve also heard them before, but in different arrangements. A year ago (on my birthday, yay!) he played them in Lisa Gwilym’s programme on BBC Radio Cymru, with his friend Gethin Griffiths, it sounded so good and I was silently hoping to see them released.

The song I want to show you is called “Yr Hogyn Pren” and (I guess) originally made by Tebod Piws. While I’m not crazy about neither Tebod Piws’ music nor his version of this song, I really do like Gwilym’s.

I’ve showed you a few songs by him already – his own, and with his rock band Y Bandana, and with more psychedelic Plu and Bendith – so if you’ve seen them you can see he’s very versatile (all my crushes are!). And what I like the most about his music… well, I don’t know whether it’s what I like the most, there’s so much to like about it, but one thing I like a lot about his music is how rich his possibilities and musical interests are. You can hear him in lovely, gentle, sophisticated folk tunes, like from his own album, then you can hear the band Plu of which he’s one of the members – with their music balancing somewhere between the worlds – then the band Y Bandana – with their garrage-styled, catchy songs and Gwilym’s rockish vocals, and then in tunes like this – kind of fierce, mischievous folk. That’s a huge diversity, innit?

I’ll show you Gwilym’s second song from this album later on, it’s more of the sophisticated/lyrical kind. Another artist that caught my attention immediately and that I’ve NEVER heard about before listening to this album is Magi Tudur, and I’ll be also showing you her music some time in future, as it is definitely worth exposing.

Because the album isn’t available online, or at least not yet, I’ll put it in Dropbox and remove after a month.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/tkfp9x9g73j8rhs/01-006-Yr%20Hogyn%20Pren.mp3?dl=0