Hi guys! 🙂
Today I’d like to share with you another traditional Welsh love song, a very popular one in Wales as far as I’m aware. I remember that I first heard some very electronic-sounding variation of this song, possibly a remix or something, on a compilation album that I got hold of quite early in the development of my Celtic fascinations, when I was already reasonably familiar with Irish folk, a bit less, but still somewhat familiar with Scottish, but had very little idea about Welsh music, or the Welsh language, for that matter, even though I was definitely curious and often wondered why “Celtic” only seems to mean Irish and Scottish for most people, but not Manx, Welsh, Cornish and Breton. Nowadays, I get that the Welsh-language folk scene perhaps is indeed very slightly less vibrant than Irish for example, which is compensated by the very prolific Welsh-language pop/rock/electronic etc. scenes, a lot more prolific than the corresponding scenes in Ireland or Scotland. But it still irks me when people say Celtic music and mean only Irish and Scottish or even solely Irish. Anyways, that compilation album I got wasn’t even that much good, most of it was more new age-y and Celtic-inspired rather than actual, wholesome Celtic stuff (which is another thing that bugs me, by the way, the overuse of the word “Celtic”:D ), and that rendition of Dacw Nghariad was the only Welsh-language song on it if I remember correctly (though I could be wrong because I no longer have that album and I don’t even remember what it was called, other than that it was “Celtic-something and it was pretty huge”).
The next time I heard it in a different version was a lot later, when I started discovering Welsh music, and I believe the first more traditional version of it that I heard was by the group Allan yn y Fan. The funny thing about Eve Goodman’s version is that I first heard it in our Polish public radio, more exactly Polish Radio Programme 1, which was, well, really weird, because it’s not like they play Welsh-language music regularly or anything. 😀 Polish Radio 2 does sometimes, because they are a bit more niche and mostly play classical music and some folk as well, and it’s thanks to them that I discovered Welsh classical harpist Catrin Finch. But there happened to be a programme in Polish Radio 1 about the first Welsh-language novel that was translated into Polish – Un Nos Ola Leuad (One Moonlit Night) by Caradog Prichard, and my Mum happened to be listening to it then and so she yelled for me to come because “They’re talking about Welsh language!” And in between the talking, they played some Welsh songs, and Dacw Nghariad by Eve Goodman was one of them.
And I think her version is my favourite out of all that I know now, though I generally like Eve Goodman’s music. She is not only a singer but also writes her own songs. She is from North Wales and grew up in Caernarfon.
The translation below is from here.
There is my sweetheart down in the orchard,
Oh how I wish I were there myself,
There is the house and there is the barn;
There is the door of the cow house open.
There is the gallant, branching oak,
A vision, lovingly crowned.
I will wait in her shade
Until my love comes to meet me.
There is the harp, there are her strings;
What better am I, without anyone to play her for?
There’s the delicate fair one, exquisite and full of life;
What nearer am I, without having her attention?