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.”

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.

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.

Gwilym Bowen Rhys – “Jeri Bach Gogerddan”.

Hey people! 🙂

I’ve been hearing lately that Gwilym Bowen Rhys is about to release a new album, which is exhilarating news to me! It will be part two of his “Detholiad o Hen Faledi” (Selection of Old Ballads), the first part of which he released in I believe 2018. I don’t know when exactly it’ll come out, I don’t know if there’s any official date and I just haven’t seen it yet, but it seems like it could be any time now.

Before it comes out though, I thought it would be a very good idea to share with you something from his most recent album – “Arenig” from 2019 – about which I wrote a fair bit when it came out, which contains both traditional material and his original music, however somehow I didn’t really share all that much from it on here, I guess only two tracks. So today will be another one.

This is Gwilym’s original composition, which commemorates the Welsh Romani Gypsies community and their influence on Welsh folk music, and, from what I read when the album come out, it is particularly in honour of Abram Wood, also known as the father of the Welsh Gypsies, who was a fiddler and was said to introduce the fiddle to Wales. He had a large family and apparently a LOT of his descendants were great harpists. Here is this little piece.

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.

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.

Y Bandana – “Dal Dy Drwyn” (Hold Your Nose).

Hey people! 🙂

Today, I’ve got quite a quirky song for you. As some of you perhaps remember, Y Bandana is a band fronted by Gwilym Bowen Rhys – my most recent major faza subject. – He was the vocalist and guitarist in it, and apart from him there were also his two cousins – Tomos Jones on keyboards and Siôn Owens on bass guitar – and Gwilym’s school friend Robin Llwyd Jones on percussion. – It was something they were doing in their teens and early twenties, and the band is no longer alive, however it shows in such a cool way how musically versatile Gwilym actually is. For those who don’t know – albeit I write so much about my fazas that I’m not sure there is someone reading this who doesn’t know already – Gwilym’s main musical interest evolve around Welsh folk/acoustic music. Even in this genre alone, he can be very flexible, but it’s fun to see that he’s also had some experience with pop-rock like this and they were really good at it. They had very characteristically catchy songs, and usually somehow mischievous/humourous lyrics. And that’s definitely the case with this song. I really regret that I can’t translate it to you so that you’d have more of a context but my understanding of it is a bit patchy so that probably wouldn’t be the best idea, however I do know enough to say that it’s all about another person being very smelly. I like when people are inventive with song topics, even when they’re sometimes a little gross like that. :DIt really made me laugh when, after having listened to Y Bandana for a while already and starting to learn Welsh, I started picking up some bits of lyrics and figured out very roughly what this song is about, that really made me laugh. It’s funny when listening to music in other languages that you barely know or not at all, to realise that something you’ve been listening to concerns such a fascinating topic.

Gwilym Bowen Rhys – Owain Lawgoch (Owain Red Hand).

I haven’t shared anything from any of my fazas for a while so time to change it! And because I’ve just shared with you Brian Boru by Alan Stivell, here is another great song about another great Celt. Owain Lawgoch (or Owain Red Hand in English) was a Welsh hero and a soldier, a very important figure for Welsh people. What he’s probably most known for is that he fought for the French against the English in the hundred years’ war. This song comes from Gwilym’s debut album “O Groth Y Ddaear” (From The Earth’s Womb) and both the lyrics and the music are his own (I love how much genuine feeling and involvement there is in them as well as in his performance of it). Below is a translation of the song from

Gwilym’s website.

Seven centuries went by since you came to this world,

And your destiny was to travel far and wide

Yes, you sailed to foreign lands

And fought against the English

And your name became famous, from the lineage of princes

You led your company of Welshmen to arms

In many a battle, in many a country

But your intent was to return

To your rightful land and to save it

And to take back your nation from the claws of a forgotten past,

Owain Red Hand

With your path calling to you, you set sail

With your brave band of warriors at your side

But before reaching that fateful shore

There came the frustrating news

Calling you back to the battlefield in a far away land

Owain Red Hand, Owain Red Hand

Your killer was appointed by the English king

To bring your life to an end in a deceitful and violent way

Yes, you were killed with a blade in your back

And thus our hope was also killed

In one traitorous moment our son of destiny was taken

Seven centuries passed on this earth

And it’s witness to the fact that we’re still here

So we’ll remember your cause and your sacrifice

And we’ll rise up in unity and strength

And now, Owain, we need you

To unsheathe your rebellious sword

On your patriotic spirit we call, let’s loudly cry in unison

Owain Red Hand, Owain Red Hand, Owain Red Hand.

Question of the day.

Hi guys! 🙂

What was the title and artist of the last album you bought?

My answer:

It was one of my fazas/crushes Gwilym Bowen Rhys’ last album called Arenig, which I bought last May. It’s a great album and I’ve shared some of the music from this album on my blog.

How about you? 🙂

Gwilym Bowen Rhys – “Jac-Yr-Oil”.

Hi guys! 🙂

I am still very much in love with Gwilym’s last album, Arenig, so thought I’d share something else from it with you, this time an instrumental, three-part piece. And, since I am a Jac(k)ophile, in line with the song of the day that I shared with you yesterday – by Jac Richards – this one has also to do with Jac, with its title being “Jac-Yr-Oil”. I have no idea where the title comes from or what Jac is doing in it, I tried doing some research but it hasn’t made me any wiser. In any case, the track is beautiful. Just as the previous one I showed you a month ago – “Lloer Dirion Lliw’r Dydd” – was haunting, emotional, intense and rather melancholic, “Jac-Yr-Oil” is positive, energetic, refreshing, uplifting and full of enthusiasm, which just shows in a nutshell a wide range of emotions one can feel listening to this album. I love this about it so so much!

As I said, it is a three-part music piece, consisting of three folk tunes, one is composed by Gwilym, the second comes from Anglesey’s 18th century fiddler, John Thomas, and the last is a re-arranged composition of Stephen Rees’ “2 Cardi 3”. Here it is. 🙂

 

Gwilym Bowen Rhys – “Lloer Dirion Lliw’r Dydd” (Gentle moon, colour of the day).

Oh my! I just couldn’t wait to share with you guys something from this album! I was talking about it some time last month, well I guess around the beginning of May, it was released on May 1st. But as you can see it took a while because it’s only available on the streaming services since yesterday so although I have the album since as soon as I got to know it was released, only now I can share something with you. In a way that’s actually good though because I could familiarise myself with the whole album, with my music crushes it always takes me loads of time to wholely satisfy my musical cravings when they release something new and I always want to know it thoroughly and from all the possible angles.

I am really so, so impressed with this album! I wrote about it on my blog already earlier so I won’t be repeating myself but it just made me fall into pieces the first time I listened to it, so fascinated, engrossed, bewitched and just full of emotions I was, and even though I listened to all the songs and the album as a whole for many times already it still has the  power over me, and I’m listening to it right now as well. It’s always hard to pick something you think is the best or that you love the most from things of which you love all, but I wonder whether it’s not the best album of Gwilym so far in my ranking, or whether it would be if I had a ranking. 😀 I am just so happy that my current music crush is so artistically fertile and unlike all my previous music crushes I am actually able to thoroughly celebrate all the joys that come with an appearance of a new album. 😀

This new album is called “Arenig”, which is in reference to Arenig Fawr – a mountain in Snowdonia in North Wales, and also the title track of this album is a poem written and read by Gwilym’s great uncle – Euros Bowen – about this mountain, which is a really beautiful poem. It’s hard to believe for me in a way that this beautiful album is an effect of improvisation, but that’s apparently how it is. I know it’s often so that things come out much better when improvised in music, but it makes me think that they all – Gwilym and all the people who contributed to the album – must be remarkably skillful improvisers, which I think is fairly rare. Talking about the contributors, there is Patrick Rimes on violin, he plays in the Welsh folk band called Calan which I also like, brilliant harpist from Scotland but with Welsh roots and who also speaks Welsh Gwen MaIri (I love her harp skills 😂 ), and they both also played on Gwilym’s first album “O Groth Y Ddaear”, and there is also Marit Fält, who plays viola, and, if I understood correctly, (I suppose I did given her Scandi-sounding name), she’s from Norway, so there’s even a little bit of a Nordic accent here! 🙂

I had a real problem with what I am going to choose as the first piece from this album to share with you, I even thought maybe I’ll just link to the entire album and maybe write some extensive review or something but felt too shy to do such a grandiose thing as seriously publicly review one of my crushes’ album, I always write down my reviews of albums I love for myself and I relish in doing so but never published that anywhere. 😀 But after some deep thinking I came to the conclusion that the most beautiful piece on this album for me, regarding the melody, the performance and the lyrics is “Lloer Dirion Lliw’r Dydd”, which is a traditional song, though the second verse is known to be written by John Ceiriog Hughes. It’s incredibly evocative, magnetic and enchanting, and just don’t know how else to describe it adequately. 😀

The thing I really like about traditional music, one of many things, especially from Gwilym, and there are also a couple other Celtic people I can think of right now, is the words. I mean, when I was listening to this album before I read the lyrics and translations, I understood some bits and pieces, it wasn’t very much, but I could still thoroughly enjoy music because that’s how it is with folk music very often – even if it is in the most out there language you can still understand the language of music itself and connect with it almost as deeply as through the actual language. But when I read the lyrics, I realised that there are not only plenty of new, enticing, luscious, colourful, magical Welsh words for me to discover, (I didn’t even know that moon is lloer, I only knew the word lleuad for moon in Welsh but it seems like they have two! I now can’t stop wondering what’s the difference, will have to do some research after I write this post, I lthink loer sounds even better), but also a fair handful of English words in the translations that I didn’t know previously. I just love such discoveries! And all those linguistic findings also satisfied my synaesthesia very much, so it’s not only the music. The same was with the previous album “Detholiad O Hen Faledi I”, well actually there were even more new English words to me. That shows how sophisticated folk music can be at times, even if it might not always seem so. 🙂

OK, end of my elaborate. Here’s the translation of the song, which I’ve taken from

Gwilym’s website,

and below is the song, although it’s on Spotify, so very sadly only those of you who have Spotify will be able to listen to it whole, I didn’t see it on Youtube or anywhere that would be a bit more inclusive.

 

Gentle moon the colour of day,

in pain and in sorrow, I’m in a sad daydream.

From splendid astonishment,

my heart is so weak I shan’t live much longer.

When I saw your face you wounded me like a sword,

I received an injury without realising it,

tonight I’m ready for my grave.

Oh good gentle goddess, hear this injured man,

save my life, lovely moon the colour of summer.

Some people’s interests lie in material things,

but on the purity of a fair moon

I gave my whole intentions, one and all.

If I could only have you, I would confidently proclaim

that I had more than enough wealth, pure girl.

Gentle moon the colour of day,

I see your light, you with a pleasing face.

From life to the grave, you are my queen,

fair warm farced one.

You are my fire, the inspiration to my song,

the heavens never did behold

through the light of the sun’s cycle,

such a wonderful sight.

I raise up my head, and look to the skies,

shine upon me, white moon the colour of snow.

Some hold the moon responsible

for pulling the threads and strings of the seas,

the ebb and flow of the tides in and out.

But you, my love, are responsible

for pulling the strings of my heart,

gentle moon the colour of day.

Plu – “Calon Wen” (Fair Heart).#DMC

Hi hi hi people!

Today is a very exceptional day. Do you know why? Well chances are you don’t know so I’ll be nice and tell ya. It’s Dydd Miwsig Cymru. And if someone still feels clueless, Dydd Miwsig Cymru is Welsh Language Music Day, yaaaaay! I look forward to it every year at least since I’ve got any idea about Welsh music. So of course I’d like to join the celebrations, and, after listening to Sami music all day long on Wednesday, now I’m listening to Welsh music all the time, and want to share something with you. And since one of my music crushes, my current one, is Welsh and makes lots and lots of very different music, it can’t be from anyone else than him. My crush, as you most probably already know, if you are my loyal reader, is Gwilym Bowen Rhys, and apart from his very interesting solo career in the field of folk music, he is also a member of the band called Plu which also consists of his two sisters – Elan and Marged. – And I want to show you a song by Plu today. Their music is a sort of alt-folk, or psychedelic folk, I’ve written about them here for a couple of times and I’ve said that their music has a sort of otherworldly feel to me which I love about it. They all sing, but also each of them play different instruments, and Gwilym plays guitar and some other string instruments which he does so very well and I like to listen to him playing no less than singing. And I particularly love this song because of Gwilym’s play, and all those intricative, absolutely engrossing harmonies. And Elan’s leading vocals on top of it make it absolutely great.

Y Bandana – “Mins Peis A Chaws” (Mince Pies And Cheese).

Hi guys. 🙂

Today I have for you another very Christmassy song, from another of my crushes – Gwilym Bowen Rhys – and more exactly the first band in which he sang and played guitar, called Y Bandana. It doesn’t exist any longer, but from what I know from a fellow Gwil’s fan from Wales he is most known for being a member of this band as they were so successful on the Welsh language music scene and I guess thanks to the fact that they were making pop music could reach just slightly wider audience. That’s cool and I really like their music, although I think Gwilym’s solo music, folk music, is so very beautiful, so it’s a pity that for many people he is associated only with Y Bandana, and there is also the band called Plu which i also shared here earlier, who make great, sort of psychedelic, otherworldly music.

Anyways, I really like to listen to this song in Christmas season, it’s funny and just great. 🙂

Gwilym Bowen Rhys – Galargan Dŵr Tryweryn (Lament For Tryweryn’s Water).

Hi. 🙂

so as I told you recently, Gwilym Bowen Rhys’ new album has come out in digital version a few days ago, and I’m still so excited about it. I’ve listened to all the songs for a few times very carefully already and has made a review in my diary as I always do with any music by my crushes.

and I thought I’d share one of the songs on this album with you guys. I’ve actually known it before I even knew this album will come out because Gwilym has sung it on various gigs before and there is some earlier version of this song he sang, on Youtube as well.

But this album version is maybe even better, I really like it.

The album itself is of course very folky, as all Gwilym’s solo work, and, what’s interesting, it’s entirely acoustic. It has been apparently recorded over a three-hour session with only one microphone, and there’s only Gwilym and his guitar, or just acapella. The whole album is a set of old, traditional Welsh songs, and its called “Detholiad O Hen Faledi I”, simply Collection Of Old Ballads I. It’s absolutely brilliant and charismatic and energetic. Actually the only potential reservation I could have is that it is so so short (my crushes always make so very short albums lately :/ ), just 9 tracks, while it was a 3 hour session, but hey, you couldn’t contain a 3-hour long live session into one album, and since it’s called “Detholiad O Hen Faledi I”, it suggests that we can expect a “Detholiad O Hen Faledi II” as well. 😀

The song I want to show you is called “Galargan Dŵr
Tryweryn” and was written by Wmffre Ll. Wmffres. It is about Welsh whisky. Wales, just like other Celtic countries has had a rich and long tradition of distilling whisky, although things have changed in 19th century when Welsh whisky wasn’t produced almost at all. Then a guy called R. J. Price Lloyd decided to change it and established his own distillery, producing “Welsh Royal Whisky”, though it turned out to be unsuccessful and didn’t exist for too long. One of the rivers from where the water for the whisky was distilled was Afon Tryweryn (Tryweryn River), hence Tryweryn’s water of course.

So this song is the author’s tribute to that whisky and an expression of his disappointment that it ceased to exist. The melody comes from Brittany. That’s what I got to know about the song from Gwilym’s

BandCamp page.

I thought I’d share this song since in my opinion it’s one of the best on this album, but also to manifest my own appreciation of whisky, which is actually the only alcohol beverage I ever drink nowadays, even though I’ve never had any other Welsh whisky than Penderyn, which is actually I guess the only one Welsh whisky nowadays.

Since, at least as of yet, the song isn’t available on Youtube or Spotify or SoundCloud, I’ll share it via Dropbox with you and the link will expire after 30 days.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/qg0gacmgwt00neb/Gwilym%20Bowen%20Rhys%20-%20Detholiad%20o%20Hen%20Faledi%20I%20-%2002%20Galargan%20Dwr%20Tryweryn.mp3?dl=0

Y Bandana – Y Felan Las (The Blue Melancholy).

Let me give you some background to this post first. 🙂

In the last question of the day post where I asked you what’s on your mind, I forgot one incredibly important thing in my answer.

Oh, a great news I have for you! Um, well… maybe not so much for you, just for me hahahahaha. Despite of all my moodswings, overthinking, bla bla bla, I’m still incredibly hyper elated excited and I CAN”T WAAAAAAAIT!!! I just can’t figure out how could I forget about it in my last post. I guess the baby naming stuff is developing so dynamically. But generally, I’m thinking about this exciting thing ALL THE TIME. And although I got to know about it last week, still, while thinking of this, even while writing this post, I can’t help and I’m still smiling so widely, that I just hope my lips won’t crack and burst soon.

Guys, my crush, my music crush, Gwilym Bowen Rhys, is releasing a new album! On 1st September. I’ve already pre-ordered it and I heard one song from it and it sunds fabulous. HIs last album was very sophisticated, idyllic folk, he has shown us so many of his musical identities in the past few years, in different bands and solo, and this album is going to be folky as well, but I guess even more traditional, and more like lively, I’d say.

That led to me having a crush peak, you know, when you have a crush you have it all the time, but at least in my case there are peaks. If I already have a peak, what will be in September, hehehe. And that reminds me, it will be the first time I’ll be looking forward to 1st September. In all previous years it was a nightmare date to me. Because after long summer holidays I had to go back to Hell, which was the more difficult that a new year always brings changes, and in that place, it always meant sudden, unexpected, awful changes in which you don’t have anything to say, even if you’re the main person whom a change applies to. And even when I got out of the boarding school, there still were memories and I always tend to slip into nasty crises at the beginning of September. So I hope this year will be different thanks to Gwil and thanks to the fact I don’t have to go to any school next year, so maybe the memories won’t be triggered so badly.

OK, let’s go back to today’s song.

Y Bandana was one of the bands of which Gwilym was a part. It doesn’t exist any longer, but it consisted of two brothers, Sion and Tomos Owens, their cousin Gwilym and Gwilym’s friend Robin Llwyd Jones. And they were a sort of boys band, with catchy songs and humourous lyrics, in Welsh language. They were very liked. Gwilym was a vocalist and guitarist. So it’s another of his, as I said, musical identities – a more rocky, garrage one – which I really like. I generally like how musically diverse he is.

So I thought that because of this album coming out soon, I’d share something by Gwilym, and I decided on my favourite song from Y Bandana’s last album, the song is called “Y Felan Las”. I think it means something like the blue melancholy in ENglish, though the word las (or glas) has so many meanings in Welsh, including the fact that it even means a few different colours, that I find it a little confusing. But the piece and the lyrics are blue so I guess that’s it.

I don’t know what I like so much about this song, I just really like it, and I can listen to it over and over when I’m blue, but blue in a particular way, won’t go into details right now. I guess it could be Gwilym’s vocals that I like so much in this song, but I couldn’t precise what’s so special about it in thsi particular song, plus obviously I like hsi vocals everywhere.

The lyrics, I wish I could know more about them. I found a Welsh text somewhere lately and spend half a hour or so at it trying to deciffer. What I sure know it’s about growing up, I mean adolescence, loneliness, love, feeling blue, I guess being single and probably fitting in?… there seems to be more to it, but,a s I said, it just was hard to figure it out. I can’t wait for the day I’ll get more out of it.

For some stupid reason the link to Spotify doesn’t want to work here, so I’ll have to give you just the link to my Dropbox, which will expire after 30 days.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/90dtkaszzoj3l5k/02%20Y%20Felan%20Las.mp3?dl=0

Question of the day.

What was the last thing you listened to?
My answer:
The song I posted as a song of the day for today – “Fyddai’m Yn Ddiarth” by Plu, which apparently means I Won’t Be Strange, whihc is very strange. I absolutely love it because of my music crush Gwilym Bowen Rhys singing it. How about you?

Plu – Fyddai’m Yn Ddiarth (I Won’t Be Strange).

Hi. 🙂

Today I have a special song for you, and let me elaborate a bit more on my impressions related to it. Well it won’t be an elaborate, but a bit longer post than usual song of the day posts. 🙂

I like how it oftentimes happens that blogging, or more exactly, preparing to write a post, makes me actually think a bit more in depth.

I realised that I haven’t posted anything by my current music crush Gwilym Bowen Rhys in the song of the day series, neither by himself or one of the bands he has collaborated with, which is a terrible neglect given how important all my music crushes are to me, so that, as I often said it before, the word crush in reference to them feels a bit ridiculous but I suppose there’s nothing more adequate in English.

Anyway, I thought I’d share with you a song by the band Plu – which consists of the siblings Elan, Marged and Gwilym, and which I introduced to you before. I absolutely love their often very otherworldly sounds. Elan is the main vocalist in Plu but there are a few songs that Gwilym sings and this is one of them. I love both Elan and Marged’s voices but obviously since Gwilym is my crush I particularly love the songs he sings solo, and I love how he’s great on the instrumental side as well, with all the string instruments he plays in Plu, it’s brainmelting. 😀

But then, I started to wonder. What does actually the title of this song mean? You know, usually, when someone is your music crush, you want, and should, know everything possible about their music, their lyrics etc. and that’s just the minimum. But, things look slightly more complicated if your music crush sings in Cymraeg (Welsh), which is such an uncommon language that people rarely are aware it exists, not to mention music in this language, and you’re just a bit more than a beginner in this language. It’s certainly not a norm or even common things for Welsh language songs’ lyrics to be in the Internets, not to mention their English translations. And it’s not always that easy to figure out the lyrics without having them written down, particularly if you’re just a little bit more than a beginner, in any language, right?

I sometimes am able to figure out the lyrics or some big part of it, but that’s not a usual thing. So, if I have completely no idea, I usually just enjoy the music itself, and the sound of the language, and sometimes it enlightens me after the months of listening to a particular song as for what it is about. And I never particularly wondered what this one is about. Or rather, yes, I did, but it wasn’t something incredibly important for me.

And so now I had a dilemma and realised I can’t even figure out the title of this song. I felt my linguistic self-esteem dropping. Well actually there was just one word, I didn’t understand, but it seemed very significant. I knew what fyddai’m yn (I won’t) means, but what puzzled me was what the check does ddiarth (or actually diarth) means.

It took me a while to find out, its meaning and everything seemed to point that diarth means – yes, it means strange. Hmm, and that made me wonder even more. Does that mean “I Won’t Be Strange” then? That sounds, well, strange! And very enigmatic for a song title, doesn’t it?

So I started to wonder, what it can be about. What’s so bad about being strange? I actually like it (mostly), if I wouldn’t, it’s doubtful I would learn Welsh language or listen to Welsh music, not to mention all of my other quirks, be them linguistic or not. 😀 I always thought this song is more or less about love, so I started to make up with more or less crazy ideas how being strange can disturb one’s relationships with his loved ones, and how to change it. 😀 I was so intrigued what the meaning behind the title could be, that I listened to the song for a few times, focusing solely on the language and finding as many familiar words as possible. I’ve found quite a few of them, but not many really consistent phrases so it was still hard for me to figure out all the other words which meanings I didn’t know and fill in the gaps I had. However it was funny to come up with various ideas as for what it could be about, and why it is bad to be strange.

I don’t know, maybe in the case of this song the word diarth has some different, more sophisticated meaning, anyway, it all got me very fascinated. And also, I think the word diarth sounds fabulous. And soo strange, in a way. I love it for some reason.

As for the song itself as I said it’s one of my most favourites by Plu, but it’s also one of my most favourites of all the songs I know sung by Gwilym.

I hope you’ll enjoy it as well. 🙂 It’s a pity though it’s on Spotify and not somewhere else that would be fully accessible for more people to listen fully, but that’s life.

Gwilym Bowen Rhys ft. Gwyneth Glyn – Galargan (Lament).

Hi! 🙂

Time for something else from my current crush Gwilym Bowen Rhys. I was very interested what’s it about for a long time until I discovered the English lyrics on Gwilym’s website. As I’ve found out somewhere else, the lyrics are very old, originally it was a poem written by Edward Richard in 18th century and it had thirty something verses. Gwilym made a song of it combining it with the melody of an old Welsh Christmas carol, and no, it’s not 30 something verses long on his album, just six. 😀 Although it could be interesting to hear it in the original length.

It is a dialogue between two people, one person is grieving after the death of his loved one, and the other is consoling him. On Gwil’s album this other person’s part  is sung by incredibly expressive Gwyneth Glyn, who is a well-known Welsh language singer. To be honest, I didn’t always liked Glyn’s music, dunno, just couldn’t convince myself to her for a long long time, although can’t say why exactly, she has a nice vocal and everything, but just didn’t resonate with me, but recently I did convince myself to her and I think this song has helped a lot with it too.

What else I like about this piece is how it’s written, as I read it in Welsh there were so many intriguing words and the English in the translation sounds so archaic and slightly pathetic, can’t say much about the original text because my Welsh is too poor so I am not able to fully apreciate poetry yet, just can try to get out the words or phrases I do understand or look for some intriguing ones. I also like that the dead woman’s name is Gwenllian, it is one of my most favourite Welsh feminine names.

It is so stunning and expressive in Gwilym’s and Gwyneth’s interpretation.

Here are the English lyrics:

All my days will be without jollity from now on
For Gwenllian’s been placed in the grit and gravel.
The longing I have is like daggers under my ribs
And my brow has become grey
Though she fell into the cold black earth
She will arise like sunshine, joyously from her ashes
For those who turn to him, life doesn’t wither
In their father’s blissful arms
Oh how human nature presses, despite my knowledge
I weep for grief and longing for her
My bruised heart, so painful,
Breaks and splinters despite these words.
In old age and in youth, in health and in sickness
people often move from this life to the grave,
No amount of devices, of wealth or watchfulness
Can keep us, or even the gentry, from this fate.
My days are spinning upwards
While the night draws near to hang my head
There is one I don’t have, I weep in a cold bed
And I’m falling ill, hear my sigh.
It’s raining in Berwyn valley and the shadows are lengthening May my cottage be the end to your journey tonight.
I’ll give you some hearty turnip soup, some cheese
And buttermilk immediately.

As for the music video, the titles of Gwilym’s songs on Youtube seem to be a little messed up, so the title of this one is wrong and confused with a different Gwilym’s song, but the song itself is right, just in case you’d be confused what it is.

Gwilym Bowen Rhys – “Da Gennyf Air O Ganu”.

Hi guys! 🙂

Time for another song by my crush Gwilym, from that album I’ve been mentioning recently – “Rhwng Y Môr A’r Mynydd” (Between the sea and the mountain) which is a collaboration of various artists from Wales and is entirely in Welsh. There are two songs of Gwilym’s on this album, the one I showed you a few days ago – “Yr Hogyn Pren” (The wooden boy) and this one – “Da Gennyf Air O Ganu”. I also told you how I admire his musical versatility – how he can sing kind of raucorously and fiercely such songs like “Yr Hogyn Pren”, but also things more rocky/garrage-like, like with his band Y Bandana, he can also do a bit psychedelic and otherworldly music with another band he’s a part of, which is Plu, and also kind of sophisticated, idyllic and moving folk music like on his debut solo album. And this song I want to show you today – “Da Gennyf Air O Ganu” – is of this last kind. I love when people are so versatile, and I particularly like it in music. I’ve heard this song in a slightly different arrangement before the album was released in Lisa Gwilym’s show on BBC Radio Cymru, and that version was maybe even more expressive. I even thought about posting that version from Radio Cymru, but I love them both so much so literally couldn’t decide. 😀 The thing that finally helped me make the decision was that if I’d choose the radio version, I’d have to cut it out from the programme, which would take me much more time, plus on the computer I am now I don’t even have a decent app for sound editing. So yeah I chose the album version and I put it in my Dropbox and will remove it after a month. I just love it how any kind of music he does is so expressive. I’m curious about your opinion. 🙂

https://www.dropbox.com/s/n449selznj3rlqt/01-014-Da%20Gennyf%20Air%20o%20Ganu.mp3?dl=0