Pendevig – “Lliw Gwyn” (White Colour).

Hi hi hi people, and very happy Easter to you all! 🙂

I’m late with today’s song of the day, as it’s Easter so I’ve been spending a lot of time with my family.

For today, I chose a really hilarious Welsh folk tune, performed by Pendevig. Pendevig is a project evolving around traditional music, but also heavily infused with influences from lots of other genres. It is made up of a group of young talented folk musicians who are already well-known on the Welsh-language music scene, most of them from the band Calan. However, I first became interested in it because one of my faza people – Gwilym Bowen Rhys – is also part of it. It is also he – together with Bethan Rhiannon, the vocalist of Calann – who sings the song I’m about to share with you.

Its actual, full title is “Lliw Gwyn Rhosyn Yr Haf” which has been apparently translated to English in a lot of ways, but the most literal translation that makes sense is White Colour Of A Summer Rose. It’s basically a conversation between a mann and a woman, where the man tries to chat her up by comparing her to a white summer rose, and some other things as well, and she wittily rejects his advances, only to finally admit that she’s actually just as madly in love with him as he is with her. When I first heard this song, I had no idea what it was about, but as my Welsh kept developing and I was able to understand enough of it to figure out the context, I was snorting out with laughter.

While preparing to share this song with you, I’ve found this fantastic and very thoroughly researched post about it by

Ffion Mair from The Foxglove Trio

which I would highly recommend to read if you’re interested to find out more. – According to Ffion’s post, this song was written by Richard Williams – a 19th-century blind poet born in north Wales, also known as Dic Dywyll, or Dark Dick in English. – I just love how creative it’s original title was – “A new song, which is a conversation between a young boy and a girl about getting married”. 😀

In Pendevig’s version, at the end of the song, there is also a beautiful poem written by Iestyn Tyne – one of the members of the group – which, as Pendevig explain, is about the loss of a lover and healing from it.

Here is the translation of Lliw Gwyn from Ffion’s post, including one verse which Pendevig actually don’t sing, (the third one), but which does appear also on Pendevig’s website, plus it’s funny and I like it.

 

“Good day to you my final star,

As white as a summer’s rose,

You are the fine girl that I love,

As white as a summer’s rose.”

“Well, shut your mouth you vain old man,

The nastiest ever on the face of the land!

I will hang myself before I come to court you,

In a word, that is the truth.”

“Your kiss, my darling one

As white as a summer’s rose,

Is like honeycomb every minute,

As white as a summer’s rose.”

“And so is your kiss,

The nastiest ever on the face of the land,

Second only to being wronged,

You old big-mouth, that is the truth.”

“Tell me when we can marry,
As white as a summer’s rose,
I know you belong to me,
As white as a summer’s rose.”
“When you see the cat eating the pudding,
The nastiest ever on the face of the land!
And Siôn Puw’s cow making the butter,
You old big-mouth, that is the truth.”

“If you are going to refuse me,

As white as a summer’s rose,

Give me a kiss before we say farewell,

As white as a summer’s rose.”

“Well… I might as well tell you the truth as not,

O kindest ever on the face of the land,

You had two before, you can have another fifteen,

In a word, that is the truth.”

Gwen Màiri – “Hwyr” (Late).

Hey people! 🙂

Today I felt like sharing with you something from this great Celtic harpist and also singer. She comes from a Welsh-speaking family but was raised in Scotland and I believe can also speak Scottish Gaelic. I first learned about her because of Gwilym Bowen Rhys, with whom she’s been collaborating as a harpist on all his albums as far as I’m aware. The piece I’m sharing with you comes from her album Mentro (Venture) on which, in turn, we can also hear Gwilym playing guitar, mandolin, fiddle and shruti. She’s also supported by Jordan Price Williams – who is also very active on the Welsh-language folk music scene – on cello.

This particular piece was inspired by Gwen Màiri’s memory of her grandfather and the passing of time from the perspective of old age.

Radio Luxembourg – “Lisa, Magic A Porfa” (Lisa, Magic And Grass).

Hey guys! 🙂

Today I’m sharing with you a song with which I have lots of cool associations. I first heard it somewhere at the beginning of my Welsh music journey, or at least when this journey has started in a more serious way, together with my Welsh language skills starting to develop a little bit. I guess this is the most popular song from this band. They were initially known as Radio Luxembourg, but then some time later on decided to change their name to Race Horses, to avoid legal problems with the radio station. I guess that as Race Horses they also started to record more in English, rather than in Welsh. Now, both Radio Luxembourg and Race Horses are a thing of the past, but the people who made this band continue to make great music in other projects or on their own.

I like this song because it’s so positive and energetic in its own right, and also I have a lot of my own happy memories with the time when I was listening to it a lot. It’s really cool so I hope you’ll enjoy it too.

Both the Welsh lyrics and the translation are in the description of the video, so I won’t be sharing the translation in the post as well.

Plu – “Fel Llwynog” (Like A Fox”.

Hey people! 🙂

I feel like I haven’t shared anything by Plu on here in quite some time, so let’s do it today. This is a song from their first, self-titled album. In case you don’t know or don’t remember, Plu is a Welsh alt-folk/psychedelic folk trio made up of Gwilym Bowen Rhys – one of my faza people – and his two sisters, Elan and Marged. I really like how Gwilym once described what they do on BBC Radio Wales where he was interviewed by Lynn Bowles two years ago after the release of his third solo album Arenig. He said that it started off because he wanted to make folk music, and he wasn’t doing anything solo yet, and he says that it’s his sisters “writing these lovely words and me trying to think of weird harmonies to go with them”. 😀 They’re really weird sometimes but I think that’s what I like most about Plu! 😂

Y Bandana – “Dim Byd Tebyg” (Nothing Like).

Hi people! 🙂

Today I have for you a very cool song from Y Bandana – the Welsh rock group which no longer exists now but was comprised of Gwilymm Bowen Rhys, his cousins and his friend – from their second album called Bywyd Gwyn.

Siân James – “Y Deryn Pur” (The Blue Bird).

Hey people! 🙂

Today I’m sharing with you a traditional love song, performed by Welsh Celtic harpist and singer Siân James. As it happens, one of the songs by her that I’ve already shared with you previously is about a bird, and so is the case with this one. 🙂 The author of the lyrics is unknown, but I’ve found a translation for you, written by

Richard B. Gillion,

and here it is:

 

THE PURE BIRD

The pure bird with the blue wing

Will be a sincere servant to me

O speed with haste to the girl

To whom I offered my affection early

Go to her, say to her

That I am weeping salt water

That I am grieving to see her

And from her love failing to walk, O

God forgive the beauty of her vision

For hurting a man so severely!

When my spirits were so gleeful

On a day celebrating a holiday

I discried a girl more comely than ever

With lightsome feet strolling.

When I saw her

I immediately came to a standstill

In my heart I thought

Behold the most comely woman of the realm

And her smile beautifying all around her

I would not believe one man alive

That she was not some angel!

Gwilym Bowen Rhys “Y Gwydr Glas” (The Blue Glass) & Mared Williams “Gwydr Glas”.

Hey people! 🙂

Today I chose to share with you two versions of a traditional folk song in Welsh. As is often the case with me, I just couldn’t decide for one because I think they’re both great each in its own way and also that it will be cool to have more than just one version so that you can compare them for yourselves and see which one speaks to you more.

The first one comes from Gwilym Bowen Rhys and it’s the final track from his debut albumm “O Groth Y Ddaear” (From The Earth’s Womb). As is often the case with folk songs like this, they often have a lot of tunes associated with them and their lyrics can vary. Gwilym decided to go with a less commonly known melody, the last recording of which, before his, was from the 1950’s. I really like the minimalism of his interpretation.

The second version – by Mared Williams – whom you may recall as a vocalist in the Welsh rock band Y Trwbz whose music I’ve shared on here a few times (both Gwilym and Mared are quite mind-blowingly versatile whenn it comes to musical genres) also appeared on her debut album, however in the video I’m sharing with you she sings it from her home. It has the more common melody and is a bit longer, but I got the English translation of the lyrics for you from

Gwilym’s website

so it doesn’t include the additional verses in Mared’s version, which is a pity because from what I understand from them, that’s where the things get more interesting and captivating, but I don’t feel fully capable of translating them myself just by ear without at least looking at the lyrics and I can’t find these verses anywhere. It has a bit of a jazzy feel as a lot of her solo music does which makes it really interesting.

I think it’s cool that while this is such a very traditional song, I guess both these versions could be quite easily digestible to people who aren’t really into folk, or that’s how it seems to me, although I’m probably not very objective since I’m very much into Celtic folk so it’s just me trying to put myself in other people’s shoes really. 😀

Just as a fun trivia sort of thing, the “glas” in the title doesn’t mean glas, it means blue. 😀 I guess it could be confusing for people since the title means The Blue Glass. Actually, the Welsh word glas can also mean other colours, I’ve come across this word also being used for green, grey and silver. The blue glass in the title, from what I read, most likely refers to the window panes which used to be bluish green.

Here is the English translation:

 

If my love comes here tonight to knock on the blue glass

Give him a seemly answer, don’t answer him crossly,

That the girl isn’t home and her good will isn’t in the house,

A young lad from the next parish has taken her away.

Pigyn Clust – “Merched” (Girls).

Hey people! 🙂

The band I want to introduce you today has probably one of the most unfortunate names I’ve ever come across when it comes to bands. Because pigyn clust means ear ache in Welsh! How creative! But I’m pretty sure that listening to their music won’t cause you an ear ache, it’s beautiful. They’re mostly people from Gwynedd, and they make amazing folk music. This song here, that I want to share with you, I’m pretty sure it’s a traditional oone. I really like it in their interpretation.

Y Trwynau Coch – “Byw Ar Arian Fy Rhieni” (Living On My Parents’ Money).

Hi guys! 🙂

I shared two songs from this 70’s Welsh band in the past, and I thought I’d share another one today. Their career was relatively short and it’s entirely possible that I wouldn’t stumble upon their music if not the fact that the lead singer of the band – Rhys Harris – is also father of one of my faza subjects – Gwilym Bowen Rhys – and so I learned at some point about Gwilym’s dad being part of this band in the past and obviously had to check them out. Y Trwynau Coch (or The Red Noses in English), who were known for their lyrics being generally very much tongue-in-cheek (much like Gwilym’s former band Y Bandana), are the perfect example of how sometimes people take advantage of their language being small and not widely spoken, and write some rather mind-boggling lyrics, because no one’s going to understand them anyway so why not. 😀 To not look too far for examples, Welsh-Cornish singer Gwenno Saunders wrote a song all about cheese in Cornish. Well, I don’t know if that’s seriously a frequent motive behind what minority languages speakers write their music about, but the amount of weird lyrics in smaller languages music makes you think. I’ve come across a lot of such bands and artists in a lot of languages, even though usually they just go for weird or sometimes nonsensical lyrics, which I can’t blame them for because I think I would also feel very tempted to make fun of people in such a way if I were a minority language musician. 😀 But Trwynau Coch, in one of their songs – “Merched Dan Bumtheg” (Girls Under Fifteen) take the weirdness to the next level, and go all the way to where weird turns into creepy. That song was really… ewww, I don’t think anyone in any language would get away with this these days! This was shocking even for the 70’s standards and apparently they were even banned from radio stations who were niche enough to play them until then. Mostly though, from what I’ve heard people had a lot of distance to it, probably because it was a minority language so they mostly didn’t see it as a very big deal. I generally have a lot of distance to things and appreciate cheeky, mischievous lyrics, which is why I do like Y Trwynau Coch overall, but the case of that particular song is really awful and not fun at all imho.

That was just a bit of trivia and obviously I’m not going to show that song to you. The one I chose is, as you can figure out from the title, all about parasitising one’s parents and having the attitude of taking things for granted. 😀

The band didn’t reach higher popularity because they dissolved in the 80’s, probably because of seeking some more stable incomes because doing music in a small language isn’t very lucrative, and you have to live somehow (unless you have parents who let you live on their money and you’re okay with it 😀 ), and so they ended up doing something different in their lives long-term, except for Huw Chiswell, who I’ve heard was also a member of this band and he’s still a singer and songwriter and quite renowned in Wales.

Y bandana – “Dŵr, Tân, Cân” (Water, Fire, Song).

Hey people! 🙂

Today I’d like to share with you a song from Y Bandana – one of the bands which Gwilym Bowen Rhys (one of my faza subjects) used to be a member of. – I said it already before on here but I really like how it shows Gwilym’s musical versatility and diversity – when you’ll listen to what he does with Y Bandana, with Plu and then solo, it all feels quite a lot different yet he’s thriving in all those music realms. Y Bandana was a rock band that he and his cousins and his friend founded as teens, and they were really successful in Wales, and recognisable for their humorous, kind of cheeky, mischievous and sometimes a bit silly lyrics. The song that I want to share with you however is different, because it really has quite a different style than all of their other songs. It comes from their final album Fel Ton Gron, which to me has a bit more musically adventurous and mature feel to it but at the same time is still very much their style and I think it’s my favourite album of theirs. But, like I said, this one song has a different feel to it than their music in general or the rest of the album, more folky in a modern way than rocky definitely, yet at the same time it complements the album as a whole very well and it doesn’t feel out of place at all. And I like the differentness of it, so that’s mostly why I want to share it with you.

Jacob Elwy a’r Trŵbz – “Zion”.

Hey people! 🙂

When I get a new faza,

I listen to their music almost all the time, and it is no exception with Jacob Elwy. I also like sharing my fazas’ music with other people, but as you may have noticed I haven’t been so generous with sharing Jacob’s music on here. I indeed try to be a bit more sparing, because it’s not like he’s released a lot of music so far, it’s only singles, and I don’t want to run out of it too quickly. On the other hand I also don’t want to be too monothematical and if this series was to thoroughly reflect my listening activity, this blog would be heavily Jacob-dominated right now. 😀 I think I’ll be featuring something with him once a month or so.

Today, it’s another song that he sang with Y Trwbz – a Welsh-language rock band founded by him and his brother, also including their cousin Tomo Lloyd, friend Gruff Roberts and Mared Williams who is also an accomplished solo artist. – This particular song has never so far been actually officially released by them,but they often seem to play it live. It differs a bit from their usual style, since they are a rock band and this song has a very strong reggae feel, but it’s not incongruent in any way since both Morgan (who wrote the song) and Jacob, seem to be very much into reggae music. I’ve heard Jacob saying that if he could get to choose anyone that he’d like to work with, it would be Bob Marley, so, that says a lot, I guess. I think it’s cool because, while I’m no longer as crazy about it as I used to, before I discovered my love for folk, I was very much into reggae myself so even if it’s not a genre that I’d be listening to very consistently these days, I really have to be in the mood, I definitely like a lot and have a lot of very positive feelings and associations with it.

The recording I’m sharing with you is from 2019, when they were playing at Gwobrau’r Selar event. Gwobrau’r Selar, or Y Selar Awards, are music awards are annual awards for Welsh-language music, awarded by a Welsh music magazine called Y Selar. Y Trwbz themselves were awarded in the Best EP or Single category for their EP “Croesa’r Afon” (Cross The River) just a year before this performance.

Very sadly, I’m afraid my understanding of the lyrics is a tad bit too patchy to be able to translate them for you in any sensible way. It’s like, I guess I get them quite well but I don’t know a fair few words and I don’t really know how to go about translating this somehow. But it’s still really good musically and I hope you can enjoy it in this aspect, and when I’ll feel more confident about my translator skills in this case I’ll update the post.

Omaloma – “Aros O Gwmpas” (Waiting around).

Hey people! 🙂

Today I thought I’d share with you a song from a Welsh psychedelic pop band that I really like. I like the spacey, dreamy feel of their music, and this piece shows it especiallyy well. The band is comprised of George Amor (who is a former member of another Welsh band with psychedelic inclinations called Sen Segur which I really like), Llyr Pari and Leusa Rhys. I’m not sure if I’m translating the title correctly, because the Welsh word aros can mean two things – wait and stay – and from what I understand from the lyrics both would make sense. Perhaps it just doesn’t matter because it’s supposed to mean a bit of both.

y Trŵbz – “Paid Aros Am Y Glaw” (Don’t wait for the rain).

Hey people! 🙂

So recently I’ve written about my

new faza,

as you may recall, and today I thought I’d share with you another song by Y Trŵbz, only this time with Mared Williams as the vocalist. I really love how versatile she is and how she sounds great in very diverse genres, and it’s always a pleasure to listen to her powerful vocals. Like I said in that post, while I have a faza on Jacob Elwy, I think I like them with Mared equally. This song comes from their debut album – Yn Y Dechrau (In The Beginning).

Miriamm Isaac – “Tyrd Yn Agos” (Come Close).

Hey people! 🙂

So today, let’s listen to another Cân I Gymru (Song for Wales) song from 2019, this time by Miriam Isaac. She comes from ann artistic family, her mother is Caryl Parry Jones, whose one song I once shared on here in the past as well, as well as one of her sisters – Greta’s. – Her other siblings also work in arts, and she is also granddaughter of musician Rhys Jones. This piece was composed by Emyr Rhys.

People of the blogosphere, come rejoice with me, and let me introduce my brand new, long awaited faza subject…!! 😊 😂 🎉 🧠

Finally, it happened! I still find it a bit difficult to actually believe in, but I am now sure that it’s for real. My new faza has actually started some time ago already – on 13th January – but I felt like I needed some time to process things and to feel really sure that it’s a proper, long-term faza to be able to write about it publicly, I wouldn’t even tell people in private, except for Sofi, who it was because I always feel a bit, hm, insecure kind of, at the start of a new faza, and also I wasn’t sure if it was for real, I didn’t want to regret sharing something with someone too early on.

But, before I’ll write anything more, I want to tell you that if you’re a newbie here and have totally no idea what I’m talking about when I say “faza”, or maybe you’re even a regular but still find the concept a little confusing (because it certainly can be a bit confusing), I’ve got a

new page here,

which I hope will make things clearer for you. Please let me know if you’d like to know something and it’s not clear on there, because it’s difficult to explain stuff that is going on your brain level to outside people. If you’re not really familiar with what I mean by fazas and you want to be , I suggest you read that page before this post as otherwise it might be hard to make sense of what I’ll write here and I don’t want to clutter the post with explaining things on the go, as it’ll probably be a long post anyway. On that page you’ll also learn who it is I’m going to be talking about…

So yeah, I’m in the midst of a fabulous faza peak, which means I’ve been having quite a good time lately. What this new faza has certainly already taught me is: you can’t just make such things happen at will, just because you want. If you have been following me all that time ever since my faza on Gwil has started to fade and it didn’t seem like anyone was on the horizon to replace him on the dominant spot, perhaps you know a bit about my frantic search for a potential faza subject, especially in the music world as that’s where I most often get my fazas from. I tried to narrow down my criteria and especially looked for all sorts of musicians named Jack in whom, or in whose music alone at the very least, I could become passionately interested. Not because it’s any kind of requirement for my faza subject to be called Jack, or anything specific, for that matter, but, just like I said, it was just some sort of a criterion I used to narrow down what I was searching for, and I really love the name Jack so I thought it would be cool to finally have a faza subject named Jack. Later on I also started looking for people called Hamish because quite recently, being a name nerd who often falls in and out of love with different names, I’ve become enamoured with this name, according to my Mum it’s because it almost sounds like “Hey, Mish”, which is possible but in my opinion it’s mostly just because it’s so Scottish and both strong and kind of cute at the same time.

Despite my huge efforts, it just failed massively. Well, I did find a lot of great music so that was a plus, but none of these people were seriously interesting for me enough as individuals, nor did I feel their music enough to be able to consider them as my faza candidates for long. In fact most of them always turned out to be more Sofi’s thing, which means they just absolutely couldn’t be my thing because our tastes in most things vary a whole lot and thus it was just almost physically impossible. 😀

On January 13, I decided to finally do as mundane a thing as cleaning of all my gem stones and their appartments (which I normally make sure to do regularly and generally like doing but now somehow hadn’t done in quite some time and totally didn’t feel motivated as it really takes some time because different stones often need different kind of handling, and I’ve got lots of semi-precious and precious stones). So on January 13 I just got down to doing it. I put some music on just to play in the background , and even Misha came to entertain me with his company.

I think I was listening to one of Spotify’s Daily Mixes (if you’re not familiar with Spotify, Daily Mixes are mixes of music that it makes for you based on your listening activity, with stuff you’ve liked and things you might like but might also not have heard, there’s up to six of them depending on how  varied your music taste is). I wasn’t really paying much attention to it, being deeply engrossed in my own thoughts, but just as I was polishing my lovely Fulk the Pyrite, I suddenly did start paying attention to the music because there was a rock piece I’ve never ever heard before and someone was “singing about [Welsh] independence” in a way that first made my heart wrench because of the hopeless lyrics, and then all of my brains melt with delight because it was so good overall and my synaesthetic experiences were bliss when listening to it. I had a quick look to see what that song was and by whom and that’s how I’ve first heard about a band called Y Trŵbz. It’s interesting how even small, minority language music scenes have just so much going on that even if you’re as familiar as I am/feel I am with the Welsh-language music scene, there always seems to be something you won’t know about, even if it’s not exactly very new.

Much later on that same day, just out of plain old curiosity, I looked Y Trŵbz up. What was my surprise to learn that one of the people in this band is Jacob Elwy – the same

Jacob Elwy

whose song (together with Mared Williams) I shared just two days prior to that, saying that I didn’t really know much at all about him. How fabulously ironic! 😀 In hintsight, I botched that post properly, because I even wrote that Mared Williams was from Gwynedd even though I knew full well that she was from Conwy, I don’t know what happened to my brain, but now it’s edited so hopefully my crime is forgiven and forgotten. While I’ve always found that song of Jacob and Mared that I posted really nice, it hadn’t exactly made me feel anything special which could suggest any forthcoming fazas, and I’ve listened to it many times, it was just that – very nice and pleasant. –

That in turn sparked my interest with Jacob himself, and, while I couldn’t find a whole lot about him, I thought I’d see if he’s doing anything solo. It appears like he’s just started spreading his wings in this respect last year, starting with the 2020 edition of Cân i Gymru (so the second one in a row in which he took part), where he sang a song called “Pan Fyddai’n 80 Oed” (When I’ll Be 80), which I could vaguely recall and I knew I loved it to bits but I didn’t know who did it or how it was called or anything, I just heard it once on Radio Cymru while laying in bed half asleep with a migraine or something and thinking that it was really cool and reminded me of something very pleasant.

So I had a listen to his solo pieces as well and with time that priceless feeling I always get when having a new faza was getting stronger and stronger. I only had some doubts because I still knew precious little about him as an individual, and this is so key with fazas, but he has both rock and folk leanings, and also seems very much into reggae (which is cool because I used to be madly into reggae before I discovered folk so I have a bit of a sentiment for it) so at least musically I believe I feel him, although, a little surprisingly for me, even though I am a bit more into folk than rock, in his case I somehow prefer his more rocky side so far.

At the same time, as I was listening to him, somewhere in a corner of my mind I could feel that his music reminded me of something very vaguely but persistently. Something I couldn’t identify. And then I had a realisation! His voice, particularly in the lower register, reminds me of Jacek from Helsinki – my Polish Finnophile friend whom I’ve written a bit about on here who passed away from cancer a couple years ago. – Jacek was a rather musical creature who liked to sing sometimes, but most of all play the cello, which instrument I will probably associate with him forever and ever so it always makes me a little nostalgic. I really needed some validation of my experience so I even reached out to our mutual Polonophile Swedish friend although we’ve barely been in touch since his passing and I showed her the song of Jacob which he sang at last year’s Cân i Gymru, where he sounds the most like Jacek in my opinion and asked her if she feels the same. She said she wouldn’t be surprised if Jacob could also play the cello. Honestly, I would be very surprised, because while they sound very similar sometimes, I don’t suppose they are very similar in other ways and I just can’t imagine Jacob playing cello! 😀 But, if he does, that would be a cool surprise.

But I didn’t want this faza to be just based on the fact that Jacob reminds me of Jacek, that would be just so bloody unfair, especially that by then I’ve already started to like him overall, not just because of some sort of similarity to Jacek! So, to avoid that, I am starting to get to know him the best I can without actually knowing much about him directly – because it’s not like he’s very popular outside of Wales or perhaps north England so naturally I won’t be able to find a lot of information about him like I could with one of my previous faza subjects, Cornelis Vreeswijk, for example. I am also limited by the fact that I can’t see (and when you can see you can figure out a lot of things about a person easier, obviously), and that I’m not on most social media, but oh well, we can deal with that. With my own online research I actually learned more about his family rather than himself, which was also interesting.

Jacob is from a village called Tan y Fron near Llansannan in Denbigh in the Vale of Clwyd, however currently I believe he’s studying music in Manchester or was doing so not very long ago. If I’m guessing right (I may be guessing totally wrong because I’m shitty with counting as you know and I only guessed it based on other things I knew) he’s probably 26-27 and he has a lot of siblings for these days’ standards which I think is so fun and they all sound very cool! Sadly what also seems to be the case is that his family has been through a lot of hardships, I personally think more than what would be considered a fair share, which is perhaps just the reason why they make an impression of being very close with each other. I’m not sure I can talk about this because I didn’t really find most of it as something in relation to his music career, the only thing that does somehow connect to his music out of these is that his father had an alcohol problem, and died quite early on, when, I believe, some of his siblings were still teenagers. He left behind a book of penillions – which are, if I understand that correctly, poems which are sung to music – and they discovered them later and Y Trwbz made a few of them into great songs, they also wrote a song about him.

I always ask Sofi to tell me what my faza subjects look like and what she thinks about them subjectively (she summed her description of him up saying that she thinks he looks like Justin Timberlake 😀 ), and Sofi’s usually the first to know about my new fazas. And she made me notice a thing I didn’t even realise before. I told her that I’ve got a faza on a guy called Jacob Elwy and she was like “Oh wow, so your dream has come true! You’ve got your Jac- someone”. I was dumbstruck for a moment. Yes, I am a Jackophile, so I was looking for a Jack, or a Jac, or a Jacqueline, or a Jacek, or a Hyacinth (because it’s etymologically related to the Polish Jacek as you may recall from

this post)

but despite the name Jacob obviously starts with Jac-, and even despite Jack Vreeswijk’s full name is Lars Jacob, it never fell under the same category for me because it neither sounds like Jack, nor shares the etymology with either Jacek or Jack. And then I realised one more thing. Namely that, after all,

Hamish is a, somewhat distant, but still, etymological cousin of Jacob.

And then poor Sofi got quite confused, because I just couldn’t help myself and started laughing my brains out. It was as if God – or perhaps my Guardian Angel or one of my purgatory soul friends, because God probably has more urgent stuff to deal with, especially right now in these hectic times, than my fazas – was smiling at me mischievously and saying: “Hey you, Bibielle, you wanted a Jack or a Hamish, why not all in one, eh?”” I was always rather neutral about the name Jacob, given that it’s so popular for children in the US and I’ve got a lot to do with baby names every day so it seems a tad bit overused to me, and here Jakub has been nauseatingly popular for baby boys for decades, but I’m gradually changing my view on it now, obviously. Edited to add: a few days after writing this post I learned that, in case of this Jacob, his name is pronounced like Jack, as opposed to like Jay, which makes the situation even more hilarious and also really cool because I actually like this pronunciation a lot more, and don’t know why I couldn’t figure it out on my ownn that this must be the way it is pronounced in his case, since with Welsh phonetics it makes all the sense in the world.

I also had my doubts about whether it will really be so cool to have yet another Welsh faza in a row after Gwilym, but now I think it’s the perfect situation. Because I’m nowhere near fluent with my Welsh yet, and if I got a faza subject who would speak another of my favourite languages, I’d get distracted. Last year was very fruitless for me Welsh-wise because it was such a techy year, with my eventful computer transition and then the iPhone and getting used to the touchscreen reality which for me took a lot of time even though it went much better than expected. This year, even before I got the faza, I’ve decided to catch up on this and that’s what I’m doing. It’s good to be back on track again.

Because I believe that when getting to know a person, it’s good to know their background and things like that, I made my Dad feel appreciated by asking him to have a look at what Jacob’s area looks like. My Dad loves Google travelling (he’s often like: “When I was in Mexico a few days ago…” and sometimes people get confused but he only was there on Google Maps 😀 ), and so I always give him that mission with my new fazas, to go on Google Maps and have a look around where they live or grew up or something and tell me what he thinks, like generally about the place, what it looks like, what there is, whatever. I don’t talk with my Dad about my fazas, he doesn’t know about it, he’s just used to me having weird whims like that sometimes and wanting to travel virtually to some often a little obscure corners of the world, but he seems to enjoy these Google rides a lot and they are very useful for me to form a bit of an idea. He also helped me a bit with my geography, because while I’ve got quite a good idea of north-western Wales, with north-central/north-east I didn’t really know where exactly all these counties are and what distances between different places there are and couldn’t make sense of it on my own. Fazas, you see, can be very educating experiences.

I’ve also figured out (which I may be wrong about, it’s just my suspicion/gut feeling), that while it doesn’t seem like he has written any of his Welsh lyrics because most or all of them are by Rhydian Meilir with whom he collaborates a lot, nor I guess any of the lyrics for Y Trŵbz that he has sung with them, all his solo music in English (he has released only one English song officially but I’ve seen more unofficial songs of his) may have been written by him, and some of it has been written by him for sure. Which is a good news for me because people’s own lyrics usually can tell a fair bit about them. Perhaps not everyone is somehow super exhibitionist but still, it’s hard not to reveal yourself at all.

I’ve also looked at his Instagram even though I’m not on there myself and even though of course it’s not a very friendly place for blind people with so much pics, but still, I made use of all the image recognition stuff I have on my phone (Sofi was out, and I wouldn’t want to take an advantage of her too much) to get any idea of the pics, with mixed results, and luckily Instagram is not pics alone. So now I have a bit more of an idea of what he’s like, for example that he’s very keen on travelling as it seems, and has been to quite a few countries, I guess most recently Brazil before the pandemic has started. I’d read before that he went to Australia for a year, and, nosy as I am about my faza subjects and anything that may fascinate me (I should probably really work on this and become less nosy when it comes to people but oh well I’m an Aquarius and curiosity, which sometimes goes overboard, is the only Aquarius trait I seem to truly have so if I eradicated it out of myself I’d feel like a very fake Aquarius, this is my only excuse), I was wondering a lot about why, I mean whether it was something to do with the music or some other kind of career/education thing he was doing or just for fun, and now the latter seems most likely.

Okay, so, to finally close this lengthy post, I have a bonus song of the day for you. The one which originally caught my attention so much – “Annibyniaeth” (Independence) by Y Trŵbz.

Y Trŵbz is very much a family business, as originally it was created by Jacob as the vocalist and his younger brother Morgan as the bass, and then two other members – their cousin and Morgan’s friend – joined. Later on, Jacob was replaced by Mared Williams who is Morgan’s girlfriend, and then when Mared had other artistic things going on Jacob was with them again. Despite I’ve got a faza on Jacob, I like Y Trwbz with Mared just as much, it’s equally great but in a totally different way.

 

The lyrics are written by Morgan Elwy and I don’t feel like I can translate them for you literally because I don’t know the meaning of some words, but I do understand the point of it well and I can tell you that this song shows how one feels when their own country is not independent and basically facing a lot of unnecessary difficulties which surely wouldn’t happen otherwise, like the flooding of Capel Celyn, which was carefully planned ahead, about losing hope and not seeing the point in fighting for your rights when no one hears you anyway. So there’s a question, when will the day finally come that their country will be strong again, and the Welsh will be singing about independence. I dearly hope for it to happen as soon as it’s only possible, and wish them good luck with regaining their autonomy, just as I do with all of “my” other countries which also can’t enjoy independence.

Melys – “Llawenydd” (Joy).

Hi hi people! 🙂

Today I’d like to share with you a song from a band of whose existence I’ve known for a couple years but only recently started listening to their music more. They are from the Conwy area in Wales and are quite a successful band, not only on the strictly Welsh-language music scene but also more broadly, which is probably thanks to John Peel – a BBC Radio 1 DJ and presenter who, while not being Welsh himself, had a great interest in Welsh music and promoted it a fair bit, and seemed to be a particularly big fan of Melys. –

Their name means sweet in Welsh (the word melys does taste really sweet indeed in my synaesthetic, lexical-gustatory brain 😀 ). While there are Welsh rock bands that I like more and I’m not crazy about Melys, I definitely do like them and have been listening to a lot. The single I want to share with you is from 2019.

Ffynnon – “Yr Adar Gwylltion” (The Wild Birds).

Hi guys! 🙂

Today I have a beautiful folk piece for you from a Welsh band called Ffynnon. It is comprised of two women – Stacey Blythe (who also takes part in several other folk music projects as far as I’m aware and is the harpist here however she can also play other instruments) and the vocalist Lynne Denman. Their name derives from the Welsh word ffynnon meaning fountain. I really like something about this word, I must say. Not because it sounds somehow particularly interesting, but because it’s very picturesque and even before I knew what I mean, for some reason I associated it with some sort of a stream or something else to do with the water. Maybe it’s just me.

The song I want to share with you is a traditional piece, and there is even a translation for it, which I’ve taken directly from

Ffynnon’s website,

where you can also find the original lyrics.

 

Perfect their world, the wild birds

That fly by the roadway and the fountain

Sometimes to the sea, sometimes to the mountain

And come blameless home

Perfect my world, though I cannot fly

Hill and dale and fellside

I want to know, however bad

Where the cuckoo sleeps in the winter

In the wood she sleeps

And in the gorse she nests

In the bush, under birch leaves

That is the place where she will die

Perfect my world, though I cannot fly

Hill and dale and fellside

Sometimes to the sea, sometimes to the mountain

And come blameless home

Plu – “Milgi Milgi” (Greyhound Greyhound”.

Hey people! 🙂

Today, I’d like to share with you a little children’s song by Plu. You may remember, if you have been around here for a while, that Plu is a Welsh alt-folk trio, consisting of Gwilym Bowen Rhys (who has been my most recent faza subject) and his two sisters Elan and Marged, with Elan being the leader of the group. They have recorded an album solely dedicated to songs about animals for children, it’s called Holl Anifeiliaid I Goedwig (All The Animals of the Forest). Naturally, being a children’s songs album, it feels a bit different from their usual, otherworldly, psychedelic music, but I really like it. It has such a fun, carefree, innocent feel to it. I believe that at least some of these songs are traditional, but I have no clue as for who wrote/composed this one, Spotify credits don’t say anything and I don’t know any other version of this song. Milgi means greyhound in Welsh, and that’s exactly what this song is about, and also about a little hare. I think that, musically, it’s my favourite one from this album. Well maybe except Melangell which I shared a few years ago.

Mari Mathias – “Ysbryd Y Ty” (Spirit of the House).

Hey people! 🙂

Today I’ve got a song from an exciting artist for you. I’ve first come across Mari Mathias on radio Cymru FM, and the song I’m sharing with you was the first one from her that I’ve heard and instantly liked its folksy but at the same time quite contemporary and indie feel, her voice is also great. I had a listen to more of her music and also really enjoyed it. But still, that first song, which generally seems to be the most popular of hers, is my favourite.

Mared Williams ft. Jacob Elwy – “Gewn Ni Weld Sut Eith Hi”.

Hey people! 🙂

Time for yet another Cân I Gymru song, this time from 2019. I honestly found this one of my most favourites in that edition, I think it’s so nice and cool.

Both Jacob Elwy and Mared Williams are from north-eastern Wales. Mared has already been known to me as a great singer, and had been a part of Côr Glanaethwy, a great choir at Ysgol Glanaethwy, a Welsh drama school in Bangor. Right now she has her own YouTube channel and I’m a big fan of hers. I didn’t translate the title of this song this time around in the post title as I’m not exactly sure myself what it means, but my guess is something like We Shall See How It Goes (?)… I may be wrong though.