For today, I have this pensive, dreamy piece by the Canadian harpist, composer and harp teacher Anne Crosby Gaudet. This is her original piece. As Anne writes herself in the description of the video, it represents a journey, one that is difficult, yet beautiful, and also hopeful in the end.
Today I want to share with you something else by one of my faza peeps Gwilym Bowen Rhys. A hilarious song from the first instalment in his Detholiad o Hen Faledi (A Selection of Welsh Ballads) series of albums. As someone who’s into weird linguistic stuff, I think it’s just as funny because of the Wenglish and the very peculiar grammar (often calqued on Welsh), as the actual story line. I know that Wenglish is still thriving at least in some parts of Wales, which is obviously quite natural for a strongly bilingual area I guess, but I’m curious if some people in Ceredigion actually still speak like this, or perhaps they never have because it was exaggerated for satirical or perhaps mocking purposes?
Cardi is the colloquial term for a person from Ceredigion, or Cardiganshire historically. Gwilym says that this was originally an American song, so Cardis got their own version based on that later on. It is set to the Irish traditional tune called Cill Liadain. The only tune of that name I’ve ever heard is one by Bill Whelan and it does not have the same tune, but it has a very similar rhythmic pattern so probably there must be a few different tunes to which Cill Liadain is sung, or perhaps we’re talking about two totally different things that just happen to have the same title. I’m not sure what’s the situation regarding the author of these lyrics, because on his home page Gwilym writes that this song was written by Rhys Davies, also known as Llew Llywel, whereas on his Bandcamp he writes that it is most likely an anonymous song but possibly written by John David Lewis, who lived in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and about whom I’ve also read that he was also a book collector and founder of a Welsh printing press called Gwasg Gomer.
I decided that, to make things clear for people who are not familiar with Welsh and Wenglish at all, I’ll just include the whole lyrics in this post with all the Welsh/Wenglish words translated into regular English.
I live in Llandysul in Cardiganshire, A letter inform me my uncle was dead, To ask me in a minute to go up to London As hundreds of pounds was left me ‘twas said. So I was determined to go on my journey And book my ticket, first class I was fine. But if I was go third class I was never encounter The little pure widow I was see in the train.
The widow and me side by side sit together In the carriage was no one but us and no more. Silence was broken by my purty companion Who ask me the time by the watch I was wore ‘Of course’ I was tell her and then conversation Was speaking between us, indeed ‘till my brain Was go on the head-spin, I almost went crazy With the little pure widow I was see in the train.
She was so polite I venture to ask her How old was the child she was have on her breast. ‘Ah sir’ she did say, and she did cry shockin And the child she carry to her bosom she prest. ‘When you speak of my child I am quite broken hearted, His father, my husband, oh my heart breaks in pain’ And what she then do, she lean her head on my waistcoat Did the little pure widow I was see in the train.
By this time the train it was come in the station A couple of miles from big big one in town When the widow was say as she look through the window ‘Good gracious alive, why, there goes Mr Brown, He’s my late husband’s brother, dear sir would you kindly Take hold of my baby, I’ll be back again.’ ‘Of course’ I was say, and out to the platform Went the pure little widow I was see in the train.
Three minutes was go by, the guard whistle blowin’, The train was a’ movin’ but no widow appear! With a puff and a puff it was off! I was fear! My watch…where was it? And where was my chain?, My purse and my ticket, loose tickets was all gone! Well damn that old widow I was see in the train.
When I found out my loss indeed I was cryin’ The train did then stop and ‘tickets please!’ I heard. So I tell the collector whilst shaking the baby The loss I was lost, but he doubted my word So he call a policeman and a lot come about me, They take from me the baby…how shall I explain? For indeed ‘twas no baby! ‘twas a wooden doll! A dummy! That devil of a widow I was see in the train!
They let me go when they see I had no money And I was walk home for many a day, When I come in to Merthyr I saw Dai Llanybydder And in his old cart I come home all the way. Now boys of Llandysul now mind you, take warnin’! Mind you those fair widows who do cry like rain, For they sure to rob you of your purse and your pocket Like the little pure widow I was see in the train.
Today I have an interesting piece for you from the Anglo-Welsh group Aberjaber, one of whose members was Delyth Evans (currently Jenkins), the harpist whose solo music I’ve also shared quite a lot with you on here. This piece, as you can see in the title, is called Madog’s Journey in English, and I don’t know that for sure, but it feels quite safe to assume that the Madog is the Welsh prince Madog ab Owain Gwynedd, who is said to have sailed to the Americas some three hundred years before Columbus.
I really love this Maire Brennan’s song. It’s so gentle, but so atmospheric and dream-like. I always like all those journey motives in Enya’s music, and it is present in Maire’s as well, and very much so in this song! I hope you like it too. 🙂
Celtic Woman are one of my most favourite Irish/Celtic groups, yet I’ve only shared one song with you so far. I’ve recently seen that they released something new, including a newer version of “Orinoco Flow” that they also sang before, but I decided I like the older version more and will show it to you. It comes back from the times when they had their good old line-up, with Lisa Kelly, Meav and such, I liked them best at that time in the history of the band, though I still do like them a lot.
The song was originally song and composed by ENya and appeared on one of her earliest albums back in the eighties – “Watermark”. – If you know me and my blog at least a bit, you probably already know Enya has been one of my major music crushes over the years. Curiously however, “Orinoco Flow” is the only song of hers that I really, really don’t like, as much as I love all her other songs and compositions. It was played a lot and is still one of the most recognisable songs by Enya, I believe, and I knew it way before I started loving Enya and discovering her music. In fact, at the beginning I thought I disliked all of her music, it had to grow on me and it did very suddenly. But “Orinoco Flow”, despite my brave attempts to like it, remains the only song of Enya’s that I do not like, and almost hate. Why is that? I don’t even exactly know. 😀 Perhaps I have some bad associations with it that I don’t realise, which is very possible, in any case, for some reason it makes my sensory anxiety come up. Weird, given how relaxing Enya’s music is and how normally it’s very soothing to me. Anyway, I do like it by Celtic Woman, so maybe it depends on an arrangement or whatever. So, here it is. I hope you enjoy. 🙂
OK, time to catch up on some music. 🙂 There is so much great Christmas music out there, and since it’s still Christmas season, and will be until 2nd February, I will throw in some Christmas songs/carols once in a while, and because I love Enya so much, and she has so much great Christmas or simply winter themed music, this winter I’m going to focus particularly on her music when it comes to my Christmas favourites. Hope you’ll find them enjoyable as well. Also I must say that at times like these, when I feel particularly anxious, and can’t do much about it, I find Enya’s music very helpful and soothing. So here’s the beautiful Christmas song, or maybe carol actually, called “Journey Of The Angels”. 🙂