Song of the day (8th January) – Yr Angen – “Dros Gefnfor” (Over An Ocean).

And this is another song on my blog from one of my most favourite Welsh bands, which I still love no less than the last time I shared their song with you guys, and still didn’t come up with an idea why I like them so much. ๐Ÿ˜€ It’s gorgeous, and so is Jac Davies, the vocalist! ๐Ÿ™‚

Keeping it Peel – Cerddoriaeth heb Saesneg

As someone who is deeply interested in Welsh culture, loves Welsh language music and generally likes to explore music in different languages, I think this post is really worth reading!

Squimple

The BBC have produced a program compiling bits of various sessions of Welsh language rock music that were broadcast as part of John Peelโ€™s regular radio show. Thereโ€™s even been a re-mix of Datblyguโ€™s hit โ€œMaes Eโ€ and one of my favourite bands of the time Melys have a new LP due out next year; exciting times.

This was of interest to me as I used to listen to these sessions when I was a younger man and also because I can now speak Welsh. So, listening to these recordings was strange as I was listening to something I used to hear in an unknown language to one I now speak; a big wow basically.

Iโ€™ve never quite understood this English language bias in the British media. There is an awful lot of English language music out there and sure, you can be perfectly happy only listening to Englishโ€ฆ

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Ifan Dafydd ft. Alys Williams – Llonydd (Still).

Hi. ๐Ÿ™‚

Here’s another song from Alys Williams and Ifann Dafydd of those two I promised you. As I said, I really like them both, don’t know which one I prefer. As for the word llonydd, from what I know it means still, as in quiet, peaceful.

Song of the day (2nd October) – Ifan Dafydd ft. Alys Williams – “Celwydd” (Lie).

Hi guys. ๐Ÿ™‚

I’m very sorry I didn’t finish the 3 Day Lyric Challenge, I was feeling very crappy physically yesterday and am still not doing very well, and just wasn’t feeling like writing anything at all. So instead my song for yesterday is from ALys Williams. If you’re with me since some longer time you may remember her from my previous song of the day posts, I shared with you her performance in The Voice, as well as other songs she’s made in both English and Welsh. This is a bit different, because even the genre of this song is definitely different. All the previous songs by Alys I’ve shown you were kinda pop or rock(ish) stuff, she has done also some folk music, but this is made in collaboration with a Welsh electronic musician – Ifan Dafydd. He has made two songs with Alys as the vocalist. I’m gonna show you both of them, the second one will be probably tomorrow. This one is called “Celwydd”, which, according to what I’ve read, means “lie” in Welsh. I’m not really sure because actually I’ve heard that lie is gorwedd in Welsh, but maybe that’s just a synonym, or something like this. Anyway, I really like this. I think Alys’s vocals make this very interesting to listen to.

Hope you enjoy. ๐Ÿ™‚

Gwilym – Cysgod (Shadow).

Hi guys. ๐Ÿ™‚

Sme time ago I’ve showed you a few songs from the Welsh-language band called Gwilym. Well actually those were all of their songs as they’re quite a new band. But, as they are showing, a very dynamic one, because all the time there’s something new from them, and they get a lot of attention on the Welsh language music scene. So far, I like all their songs, so I follow all the new stuff they’re doing.

And here’s a brand new song from them, I really like it, and I hope you will too. ๐Ÿ™‚

Hywel Pitts – “Cรขn O’r Galon” (A Song From The Heart).

Hi. ๐Ÿ™‚

I must admit that I don’t really understand the lyrics of this song, which is quite frustrating, given that I’m a Welsh learner since quite a while, and managing pretty decently as for my level usually, plus from what I was able to get out of the song, it sounds very interesting, and I would like to know what it’s exactly about. So that sucks a bit, but the song is still lovely, even though I understand only some phrases, a few sentences

and a lot of single words out of context.

I don’t know much about Hywel Pitts either, other than he’s from North Wales, which is very easy to guess from his accent, and that he’s a vocalist in a Welsh band called I Fight Lions, which I really like and which seems to be a new band, getting a lot of attention in its musical environment. I got the song out of the compillation of songs of various artists, and there are lots of interesting pieces, but this one is certainly one of my most favourites on it.

 

Yws Gwynedd – Codi/Cysgu (Rising/Sleeping).

Hi. ๐Ÿ™‚

Here’s another of my favourite Welsh music groups, of which I’d like to show you a few of my favourite songs. Here’s one of them, the first I’ve heard from them. The name Yws Gwynedd comes from the name of the founder and vocalist in this band – Ywain Gwynedd. They’re from north Wales.

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

Hi. ๐Ÿ™‚

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. ๐Ÿ˜€

The song I want to show you is called “Galargan Dลตr
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

Yr Angen – Yr Opsiwn Hawdd (The Easy Option).

Hi people. ๐Ÿ™‚

I’m listening to Yr Angen a lot today, I am just in a very appropriate mood, and I still can’t get over it how much I like Jac Davies – their vocalist – and these guys in general, and I still don’t know why actually I like them so much. Jac is just sooo cute in my opinion, and their music awakes something very weird in me, or rather not awakes, but lets it be expressed in a fuller way, if it makes any sense for anyone else than me. ๐Ÿ˜€ So here’s the song from them I chose for today.

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

Let me give you some background to this post first. ๐Ÿ™‚

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

Song of the day (16th July) – TrwynaU Coch – Wastod Ar Y Tu Fas.

Hi. ๐Ÿ™‚

I’m sorry I haven’t posted anything yesterday, I had a Zombie day and was way too Zombie, or so I felt.

Sometime at the very beginnings of this blog I showed you a song by Trwynau Coch called Radio Cymru, and I told you that I really like this band, not only because the only one album of them that seems to be available is really good IMO, but also because I have a soft spot for them because of the fact that their vocalist – Rhys harris – is my music crush’s – Gwilym Bowen Rhys – father.

The band doesn’t exist anymore, but they were pretty popular and liked in their era, as one of the first bands making music in Welsh. Their punk sound and humourous, weird lyrics are quite characteristic.

I made numerous trials to understand their lyrics more, as to most songs they’re not available in English anywhere, and with varying success.

As for this one, I can’t even figure out what its title means so far, I only know that wastod is always, or actually, as far as I know, it should be wastad, but they seem to have a lot of fuss between vowels in different dialects in Welsh, so i guess that’s still the same? The only thing I know is that at least in some part, it’s about dancing, and discos, or more exactly about how the person speaking doesn’t like to dance and doesn’t want to go to the disco, in T-shirt and jeans from Tesco, lol… although I may be wrong somewhere and not understand something exactly. The rest of the song I only somewhat understand, some phrases or words, not always enough to get the context out of it. Well, that sounds interesting for me, the more that I myself have a disco related life long aversion as well, you may actually call it a full blown phobia. So much that it really doesn’t matter to me in what I’d go to it in, I just don’t want.

Word of the week – gwyliau.

This week’s word is a Welsh one, and, like the last one which was Polish, it is also very summery, and, to me, sounds very cute.

This word is gwyliau, gwyliau means holidays. I don’t think there is a better word in any language to describe holidays.

The singular form of gwyliau is gwyl, which, in the accent I am learning – which is northern welsh – is pronounced: /ษกuหษจฬฏl/ .

Why do I like this word so much?

First of all, because it sounds just like summer holidays. So idyllic and warm. And cute. It sounds different than the last week’s word, but it has so many similar associations for me.

When I hear the word gwyliau, my synesthetic associations that come to my mind are berry fruit, their shape and taste, lapping streams, shining sun, laughing children. Another association – rather unrelated to the holidays, but definitely sensory – are balls of a ball bearing, a rather small one. I was often playing with balls from bearings as a kid and there are words that I associate with them for some reason. ๐Ÿ˜€ I often associate words with things I touched often as a little child. Gwyliau, also similarly to the last week’s word lipiec, sounds quite “round” to me, and maybe that’s why I associate it with it. Also, when I think of gwyliau, I think of fresh peas, also quite summery thing.

But, there’s yet another reason to why I love the word gwyliau. It sounds quite similar to my crush’s name, Gwilym, or Gwil. There are lots of similar words in Welsh, that sound similar to the name Gwilym, like gwylio – to watch – for example. And I LOVE them all!!! They’re so cute, so beautiful, so… gwilicious! ๐Ÿ˜€

I also have an audiofile for you, with my Welsh speech synthesiser saying gwyliau, so that you know how it sounds exactly. Her accent is southern, if it makes any difference for you.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/uke5tkw8il3t1cw/Gwyliau.mp3?dl=0

What comes to your mind when you hear gwyliau? DO you like this word? Does it remind you of holidays, or rather something different?

Swnami – Gwenwyn (Poison).

Hi guys. ๐Ÿ™‚

This is one of the first Welsh language bands that I’ve ever heard, and one of my most favourites. They are an indie rock band from Dolgellau, and I think they’re really good. “Gwenwyn” is my most favourite song by them.

I actually like the word gwenwyn a lot. I don’t know if I’ve ever told you how I once fell in love with the word gwanwyn, which means spring in Welsh. I was like “Oh wow! That would make for such a beautiful, fresh and unique girl name. I don’t think it would be usable anywhere else than English-speaking countries, as it is pretty easy to pronounce for an English native, but still I really liked the idea, even as a character name. As you may know, there are lots of -wyn names in Welsh. The -wyn ending is traditionally reserved for boys as far as I know, and -wen is for girls, but since it’s gwanwy, not gwanwen, I thought it should stay in this form, and that it would be better for a girl despite a -wyn ending, because a name that means spring, in my opinion, is more usable on a girl than a boy.

So I even used Gwanwyn as a name of one of the characters in one of my Celtic mythology inspired short stories. And then I discovered this Swnami song, and again, was like “Wow, gwenwyn! Wouldn’t it make a brilliant baby name? Kinda modern and with a Celtic twist to it. It’s even way better than Gwanwyn!”. I really loved the word. Quite foolishly though I didn’t even look up its meaning lol. I wrote about it to one of my Welsh friends, how I think Gwenwyn sounds fabulous, and could make a briliant girl name, that it’s gonna be my most favourite Welsh word. and he was like: “Well but, do you know it means poison?”. It was ridiculous, but I was sorta disappointed that such a beautiful word has such a negative meaning. Now I think though, that the meaning ads even more spice to the word, however I wouldn’t name anyone Gwenwyn just because it sounds beautiful. ๐Ÿ˜€

The song is very cool as well, and I hope you enjoy it. ๐Ÿ™‚ Here are the English Lyrics:

Step by step
One by one the pieces fall in place
The perfect picture to fill the void
Before the door opens to the crowd
Donโ€™t make the mistake
Donโ€™t believe for one second
The hollow words you have been fed
The hour is coming
Youโ€™ll be ready to fight
Donโ€™t lose your hold on yourself
And donโ€™t descend into the water too fast
You must let go
But the deceptive claws hold tight
While the poison still flows through the bond
Turn your back on the voices you drag behind you
Break the link that joins you
And walls demolish the wall
Donโ€™t make the mistake
Donโ€™t believe for one second
The hollow words you have been fed
The hour is coming
Youโ€™ll be ready to fight
Donโ€™t lose your hold on yourself
And donโ€™t descend into the water too fast
You must let go
But the deceptive claws hold tight
While the poison still flows through the bond
Youโ€™re trying to let go
But the deceptive claws hold tight
While the poison still flows through the bond
You must let go
But the deceptive claws hold tight
While the poison still flows through the bond
Just turn your back, scatter the cards, fall back

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

Hi. ๐Ÿ™‚

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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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. ๐Ÿ˜€

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. ๐Ÿ˜€ 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. ๐Ÿ˜€ 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. ๐Ÿ™‚ 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.

art Bandini – Heb Ffydd (Without Faith).

I don’t know actually anything about this Welsh band. I just heard them in the radio once, this particular song, and I liked it, but when I searched for them I didn’t get much info. They’re not even on Youtube, Spotify or SoundCloud, so the link to the song I’ll give you will be to my Dropbox and it will expire after 30 days.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/h4x3jw3gf9a6uyz/Heb%20Ffydd.mp3?dl=0