Nansi Richards – “Nes Atat Ti” (Nearer To Thee).

Hey people! 🙂

Today, let’s listen to the rendition of this Christian hymn played by the Welsh harpist Nansi Richards, otherwise known as Telynores Maldwyn. Its original, English title is “Nearer, My God, to Thee” and was written by Sarah F. Adams, with the melody composed by Lowell Mason. I found it interesting when I first heard this piece played by Nansi Richards that not only do I know it, as a hymn with this melody is also known in Polish Catholic church (don’t know how about the Catholic church in other countries) but even under more or less the same title as the Welsh version. I was later quite surprised to learn that the author of the lyrics, Sarah F. Adams, was actually a Unitarian, and while when I had a look to compare the English and Polish lyrics they’re quite different and the Polish ones are only loosely based on the original theme, it’s interesting that this hymn made its way here.

Delyth Jenkins & Angharad Jenkins – “Can y Bachgen Main/Ebenezer” (Song of the Slender Lad/Ebenezer).

Hey people! 🙂

For today I decided to share with you a set of pieces from this great Welsh mother-daughter, harp-fiddle duo, also collectively known as DNA. I like their arrangement of these tunes very much, I like their arrangements in general. The first one is called “Can Y Bachgen Main”, also known simply as “Y Bachgen Main”, and it does originally have lyrics. It’s about a boy who is walking in the forest when he hears two women talking with each other. As it happens, they turn out to be his lover and her mother arguing. The mother tries to persuade the girl that she should find herself a wealthy husband and that she’s going to find her the right match, but she disagrees and says she’s happy with the boy with whom she is. She emphasises that even if she would be offered all the riches in the world she’d stick to him anyway. That really pisses the mummy, who says she’ll have to sleep on a bed of torns if she doesn’t change her mind. Then we can assume that the girl eventually did what she wanted, as we hear that the girl who sleeps in the lad’s arms is happy, but then in the next verse he goes off to sea, and we don’t even know why. Perhaps he couldn’t deal with the mother-in-law.

The second tune, “Ebenezer” is a hymn, it’s alternate name being Ton-y-Botel (Tune From the Bottle), which I think is a very funny name for a hymn, but it is called so for a very simple reason, namely that it is said to have been found in a bottle along the Welsh coast. It was composed by Thomas John Williams.

Song of the day (27th December) – Lisa Pedrick – “Fel Yr Hydd” (As A Hart).

Hey people! 🙂

I decided that, since it’s Christmas time, I’d share a hymn with you – not such that would be particularly connected with Christmas, but any Christian hymns really seem very right to share at this time of year to me. –

Lisa Pedrick is a relatively new artist to me, I come across her music listening to Cymru FM and quite liked her. Lisa was the winner of the first series of a Welsh music talent show Waw Ffactor – the same one that Duffy competed in, in case that tells you something more. –

This song, as you may easily recognise if you’re a Christian yourself or somehow acquainted with Christian hymns, is just the Welsh version of the English well-known hymn “As The Deer”. It’s also known here in Poland, and here it’s neither the deer or the hart, but the doe. This hymn was composed by Martin Nystrom and based on psalm 42. I really like the way it sounds in Welsh. I think generally Welsh is a great language for praying in.

Song of the day (10th June) – Helene Boksle – Fagret Er Landet (Fair Is The Country).

Hi lovely people! 🙂

Something a bit different I have for you today. Well not like completely different – it’s just Norwegian, there’s been some Norwegian music in the past, quite a few pieces even, but this is a relatively old song and it is actually a hymn.

It’s called “Fagert Er Landet”, which means Fair Is The Country, and it was written by a Lutheran clergyman – Anders Hovden – in 1907, and the melody was composed by Melchior Vilpius, much earlier – in 1609. It is a Norwegian national hymn.

Helene Boksle on the other hand is much younger, born in 1981, she is I guess one of more popular Norwegian traditional singers, she also makes some pop. I really like how her voice is bright and clear and just so Nordic.

Her accent is incredibly confusing at the best of times, I mean for me. You know I speak Swedish, not Norwegian, and, although I’ve been learning for like 10 years, and usually don’t have much issues understanding people, but people who’ve been always more or less difficult for me to understand are people from the very south, from Skåne. Their accent is almost like Danish and very guttural, and I can’t get Danish either, unless when written, then it’s usually better. Norwegian when someone speaks in Norwegian bokmål I can understand briefly, but Helene’s accent is just one of those guttural ones that are incredibly hard for me. Apart from some single words and phrases and words that gave me some basic context I couldn’t get what she’s singing. 😀 Thought it may go better if I’d find Norwegian lyrics written, but couldn’t find them anywhere, not to mention English, so unfortunately there is no translation and unless you speak any Scandinavian languages yourself, you have to rely on my vague description of the lyrics.

From what I’ve understood it’s a prayer, in which the Norwegian ask God their Father to bless their country – from the mountains to the sea or something like this – bless their fields and the land, and the people, etc. and from what I think I’ve heard it is also a sort of a praise of Norway and simply how fair it is.

Nevertheless, although Helene’s accent seems to be a bit of the barrier for me, it’s still charming. Honestly, isn’t it? Well I think it fits her and I think I wouldn’t like her as much as I do if she sang in a sorta normal bokmål, whatever actually a normal Norwegia bokmål is hahaha I’m pretty ignorant about this language, would have to educate more, I see now.

Here it is: