Today I have a special song for you, and let me elaborate a bit more on my impressions related to it. 🙂
I like how it oftentimes happens that blogging, or more exactly, preparing to write a post, makes me actually think a bit more indepth about a song.
I realised that I haven’t posted anything by my current faza peep Gwilym Bowen Rhys in the song of the day series, neither by himself nor with one of the bands he has collaborated with, which is a terrible neglect given how important all my faza peeps are to me. . So today I decided to make up for it and share with you all a song that he performs together with the band called Plu – which consists of the siblings Elan, Marged and said Gwilym, and which I have already introduced to you before. I absolutely love their often very otherworldly sounds.
But then, when preparing to write this post and trying to figure out as much as I could about this song, I started to wonder. What does the title of this song actually mean? You know, usually, when someone is your faza peep, 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 faza peep 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 a common thing for Welsh language songs’ lyrics to be readily available online, 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 meaningful part of them, but that’s not something that happens regularly. 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’d never particularly wondered what this one could be about. Or rather, yes, I did, but it wasn’t something incredibly important for me in the grand scheme of things.
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 heck 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. 🙂
Edited to Add (after four years): hi people, this is Bibiel from the future. Thanks to one of my readers and fellow Welsh learners (Ollie), I now know what this mysterious, “strange” song is about. Ollie wrote to me asking if I knew any more about this song’s lyrics now, which I sadly did not, so he contacted Plu directly and got a response from Gwilym saying that this is their Welsh translation of a traditional American tune called “I Won’t be a Stranger” sung by Cahalen Morrison & Eli West. (So one of the commenters under this post – Henacynflin – was right that it’s a stranger not strange! 😂 ) The following is Gwilym’s translation of Plu’s Welsh translation of the English original that he kindly sent to Ollie and that Ollie kindly shared with me:
through the rain, through the hammering rain, and up the winding road, there shines the light of your heartwarming hearth. after many frustrating obsticales [sic]
and feelings of worthlessness, the cosyness of your embrace draws near.
(chorus-) too long, too long without the velvet of your skin,
after the hard toil, we’ll rid ourselves of this pain,
no I won’t be a stranger, and I won’t run away either, you know I’m here to stay.
no I won’t be a stranger, and I won’t run away either, the journey has been a long one, the road is narrowing now and you’re getting nearer now; a treasurer at the end of the journey.
no I won’t be a stranger and I won’t run away either, the quilt is my consolation and solace.
you await me with such darling patience,
a treasure at the end of the journey.