Llio Rhydderch – “Mwynen Machno” (The Enjoyment of Machno).

    Hey people! 🙂 

   Today, I want to share with you a traditional tune from the Conwy Valley, played on the Welsh triple harp by Llio Rhydderch. I know that there is a Machno Valley somewhere in Conwy, and a village called Penmachno and some other similar placenames in that area, so the tune’s name must have to do with one of them or the whole area. 

Delyth Jenkins – “Crwtyn Llwyd” (The Grey Lad).

   Hey people! 🙂 

   Today I have a traditional Welsh polka tune for you, played by Delyth Jenkins. It comes from the collaborative album that she recorded together with poet Emily Hinshelwood, from which I’ve already shared a couple of other pieces in the past. 

Y Bandana – “Dant y Llew” (Dandelion).

   Hiya people! 🙂 

   Today, I’d like to share with you another song from the Welsh pop rock group Y Bandana, from their album Fel Tôn Gron, the last one they released before disbanding. This is one of their more popular songs in Wales as far as I’m aware. Unfortunately I was not able to find written lyrics for this one anywhere online, and while I think I understand a fair bit from it, it’s still definitely not everything, so I didn’t really have the courage to attempt doing a translation by ear for the purpose of this post. But basically, it is about girls, who are called Cadi and Mabli, and the lyrical subject of this song finds very attractive, and their hair is the colour of a dandelion. 

   Y Bandana – “Dant y Llew”

The Lovely Wars – “Brân i Frân” (Crow for Crow).

   Hey people! 🙂 

   We’ve had a lot of Welsh music on here. But as much as in the beginnings of this blog it was mostly pop/rock, lately there’s been a lot more of Welsh folk on here, which happens to reflect a slight shift in my own listening habits where Welsh music specifically is concerned, so today I thought it would be a good idea to go back to pop for a bit. The Lovely Wars is a five-piece band from Cardiff, formed by Ani Saunders and her former school friends – Alice and Ceri. – The other two members – Bill and Dan – joined a little later. The band’s name was inspired by a 1965 satirical musical  by Joan Littlewood called Oh, It’s a Lovely War. It tackled serious, difficult issues in a witty and humourous way, and Ani says she wanted to do the same with her band. Together with her sister Gwenno (whose music I love and shared two songs from her album Tir Ha Mor (Land and Sea) in the VERY early days of this blog) Ani was also a member of an English indie pop girl group called the Pipettes. At the moment she’s doing quite well on the Welsh-language music scene as a solo artist under the name  Ani Glass. Her father is the Cornish poet and linguist Tim Saunders, who writes in several Celtic languages but mostly Cornish, and he is also a fluent Cornish speaker, so both Ani and Gwenno speak Cornish in addition to Welsh and English. Ani is actually an illustrator by trade and has worked on album artwork for various musicians. 

Nansi Richards – “Y Ferch o’r Sger” (The Maid of Sker).

   Hey people! 🙂 

   Today, I’d like to share with you another traditional tune from the Welsh harpist Nansi Richards. This song was composed by a Welsh harper from Carmarthen called Thomas Evans, who died in 1819. He fell in love with a maid who lived in Sker, a farm house in Glamorgan which took  its name from a headland nearby called Sker Point. And this song is about her. 

Bendith – “ANgel”.

   Hey people! 🙂 

   Today I thought I’d share with you this soothing piece by Bendith. For anyone unfamiliar with Bendith, it was a collaborative project between the alt-folk sibling trio Plu (who are very frequently featured on here since one of its members, Gwilym Bowen Rhys, is one of my faza  people) and Carwyn Ellis from the indie band Colorama. I was even able to translate this song for you guys, though it probably does have some mistakes or things that perhaps could have been phrased more aptly or something. There are some phrases in it that were completely new to me, like “sana i’n”, which is a colloquial phrase used in southwest Wales and means “I don’t”, but I was totally unfamiliar with it and it took me quite a while to figure out what it actually was. 

   And if something worries me 

She is the one who comes to my mind 

Nothing can stop her 

From coming to my side 

She is my angel 

 

If it all got too much for me 

So she waits, she comes straight away 

Just say the word and that’s all 

She’ll do it, by my side 

She is my angel 

Beside me, that’s where she will be 

Any time of the day or night 

If anything comes to bother me 

She is by my side 

She is my angel 

 

And if I’ll need a hand to help me 

I don’t worry, she’s still here 

To share the burdens between us 

Here by my side 

She is my angel 

Llio Rhydderch – “Anhawdd Ymadael” (Difficult to Depart).

   Hey dear people! 🙂 

   Today I’d like to share with you yet another piece from the great Welsh harpist from Anglesey, Llio Rhydderch, who plays the Welsh triple harp. Her music has been featured on here quite a few times, and this particular tune comes from her album titled Sir Fôn Bach (Little Anglesey). This is a traditional Welsh farewell tune, but sadly I don’t really know anything beyond that about it. Still, I think it is beautiful. 

Gwenan Gibbard – “Trafaeliais y Byd” (I Travelled the World).

   Hey people! 🙂 

   Today I’d like to share with you a traditional Welsh song performed by Welsh harpist and singer Gwenan Gibbard. It comes from her album Sidan Glas (Blue Silk). I don’t understand the entire lyrics, but from what I do gather it is about someone who was travelling (sailing, I’m pretty sure) through the world and had to say goodbye to his native country – Wales – and a lot of places in North Wales are mentioned by name that have been dear to the lyrical subject as well as things he enjoyed doing there. 

Plu – “Gollwng Gafael” (Letting Go).

   Hey dear people! 🙂 

   Today I’d like to share with you this lovely song by the Welsh alt-folk trio Plu, whose music is fairly frequently featured on here. It comes from their album Tir a Golau (Lad and Lights). Quite surprisingly for myself, I was even able to translate it. You guys know that I’m still pretty bad at translating Welsh music solely by ear, and when you’re into some small languages, it’s not always as comfy as googling “Artist Song lyrics” and finding said lyrics right away, because often it might require a bit more perseverance to find what you’re looking for at the bottom of the Internet, or it might not be available online at all. Plu’s lyrics usually don’t seem to be, but what I always try to do in such cases is fish out a part of lyrics that I can completely understand and that at the same time is not too generic and distinct enough that it’s not likely to pop up in too many other contexts except what I’m looking for, and then I google it in quotes. And this time round, I happened to be lucky, because I found an S4C (Welsh-language television channel) transscript of a programme where Plu were singing this song. And the lyrics are pretty easy linguistically so I was able to translate it with no particular issues, though again, it’s not like I’m an experienced Welsh-English translator or a native speaker of either of these languages so it’s definitely possible that it has some mistakes or that it just could be better, but as always it’s just to give you more or less of an idea of what it is about. I am sharing with you a live version of this song which they sang at a Celtic music festival called Cwlwm Celtaidd. They precede the song with two verses of a traditional Welsh lullaby called Mil Harddach (A Thousand Times More Beautiful), for which the below translation comes from Mama Lisa’s website

   You’re a thousand times more beautiful than the white rose
Or the red rose on the hillside,
Or the proud swan swimming in the lake,
My little baby.
A thousand times better than all the gold in the world
Is to see your smiles in your crib,
You are my fortune and my blessing,
My little baby.

And here’s Bibielz translation of Gollwng Gafael. 

      You love the land more than the earth 

And the wave more than the water 

You love “was” more than “will” 

And what is the world without its story? 

Without sky, there are no horizons 

Without tomorrow, there is no yesterday 

Open your eyes 

To experience letting go 

For you, the inspiration is in a song 

And the bleak books in front of you 

The inspiration is everyday 

Uncovering the truth 

By pulling off every layer 

Without sky, there are no horizons 

Without tomorrow, there is no yesterday 

Open your eyes 

To experience letting go 

   You love the land more than the earth 

More than the truth 

Cynefin – “Y Fwyalchen Du Bigfelen” (The Yellow-beaked Blackbird).

   Hey people! 🙂 

   Today, I’d like to share  a really beautiful Welsh tune with you that I have first heard on Radio Cymru some two years ago and it  resonated with me right away. The tune is from Cynefin, a project by Owen Shiers from the Clettwr Valley, which focuses on preserving  the traditional songs and heritage of Ceredigion in the west of Wales, many of which had never been recorded before or have become nearly lost over time. One could have thought that nowadays, when even musicians from non-Anglophone countries whose official languages are doing very well and are not as threatened by English as Welsh is; oftentimes sing their music in English and make it sound very universal and global, it’s enough of an obscure niche when you focus on folk music of Wales in general, let alone just  a small piece of Wales. But I really like it and am happy about it that there are people like Owen Shiers who are strongly connected to and proud of not only just their country, but also their local area and its heritage. 

   If you look up “cynefin” inn a dictionary or a translator or something like that, it is most commonly translated as “habitat”. But in fact, this is one of those deep, untranslatable (at least to English) words, with a meaning that is oddly specific, yet also quite broad at the same time. Much like hiraeth  about which I’ve already written on here several times, and which, by the way, also happens to occupy the central place in this song I’m sharing with you all today. Cynefin has originated as a farming term for paths and trails  frequently used by animals, but over time it’s meaning has become broader and a bit more abstract and deeper, as it is used to mean a place that one is very familiar with and rooted in, and feels a sense of belonging to it. I believe it is also used to describe the relationship one has with such a place. 

   The tune I am sharing with you today is a so-called llatai (love messenger) song. Usually, in this type of songs, or poems, the lyrical subject directly addresses the love messenger, who is usually some animal or creature, often a bird, and sends it to their beloved with a message, because they’re far apart from each other. One example of such tune could be “Ei Di’r Deryn Du?” (Will You Go, Blackbird?) which I shared not long ago. However, this particular llatai song is quite different, because there is no human lover. Instead, the young boy who is the lyrical subject here is feeling a longing (hiraeth) for his home country – Wales – while he is away in England. His longing is emphasised by the singing of a blackbird, which reminds him all the more of the home he left behind. I really like the idea of writing/singing a love song about your home country kind of as if it was a person. 

   According to Cynefin’s Bandcamp page, this song was collected from Mrs. J Emlyn Jones near Llandysul and recorded in the Cymdeithas Alawon Gwerin Cymru (Welsh Folk Song Society) magazine. However because some words were changed by the collector, the words in Cynefin’s song were written by Llew Tegid. The translation below also comes from Cynefin’s Bandcamp. 

   Oh, yellow beaked black bird, 

Enchant the heart with your early song. 

Sweet notes of a merry heart 

Wakes the choir of little birds. 

 

Come and listen to the complaint of a boy 

Who is in heartache night and day: 

A cruel longing pursues him, 

Longing breaks his sad heart. 

 

Leaving the elegant vales of Wales, 

Leaving the enchantment of the land of song, 

O so difficult is separating 

A pure Welshman from fair Wales. 

 

Your notes evoke the hearts longing 

As you tarry in the Englishman’s land, 

In memories of Coed-fron 

Where once your voice was so dear.

Ffynnon – “Llys Ifor Hael” (The Court of Ifor the Generous).

   Hey dear people! 🙂 

   For today, I have another song by Ffynnon for you. This time, it is a medieval englyn – a short poetic form traditional to Wales and Cornwall – written by Ieuan Brydydd Hir. It is a lament over the state of the court of Ifor ap Llywelyn of Bassaleg in Gwent, who was a patron of bards, including one of the greatest Welsh poets – Dafydd ap Gwilym. – It was also Dafydd ap Gwilym who gave him the name Ifor Hael (Ifor the Generous). The translation below comes from Ffynnon’s website. 

   The hall of Ifor the generous, poor it looks
A cairn, it lies amongst alders
Thorns and the blight of the thistle own it
Briars, where once there was greatness

The muses are no longer there 
No bards nor joyous tables
No gold within its walls
No armour, no generous giver

Cold grief for Dafydd, skilled in song
The burying of Ifor in the earth
Paths where once there was singing
Are now the haunts of the owl

Despite the brief glory of lords
Their greatness and their walls end
Houses on the sand
Are a strange place for there to be pride

Eve Goodman – “Dacw Nghariad” (There is My Sweetheart).

   Hi guys! 🙂 

   Today I’d like to share with you another traditional Welsh love song, a very popular one in Wales as far as I’m aware. I remember that I first heard some very electronic-sounding variation of this song, possibly a remix or something, on a compilation album that I got hold of quite early in the development of my Celtic fascinations, when I was already reasonably familiar with Irish folk, a bit less, but still somewhat familiar with Scottish, but had very little idea about Welsh music, or the Welsh language, for that matter, even though I was definitely curious and often wondered why “Celtic” only seems to mean Irish and Scottish for most people, but not Manx, Welsh, Cornish and Breton. Nowadays, I get that the Welsh-language folk scene perhaps is indeed very slightly less vibrant than Irish for example, which is compensated by the very prolific Welsh-language pop/rock/electronic etc. scenes, a lot more prolific than the corresponding scenes in Ireland or Scotland. But it still irks me when people say Celtic music and mean only Irish and Scottish or even solely Irish. Anyways, that compilation album I got wasn’t even that much good, most of it was more new age-y and Celtic-inspired rather than actual, wholesome Celtic stuff (which is another thing that bugs me, by the way, the overuse of the word “Celtic”:D ), and that rendition of Dacw Nghariad was the only Welsh-language song on it if I remember correctly (though I could be wrong because I no longer have that album and I don’t even remember what it was called, other than that it was “Celtic-something and it was pretty huge”).

    The next time I heard it in a different version was a lot later, when I started discovering Welsh music, and I believe the first more traditional version of it that I heard was by the group Allan yn y Fan. The funny thing about Eve Goodman’s version is that I first heard it in our Polish public radio, more exactly Polish Radio Programme 1, which was, well, really weird, because it’s not like they play Welsh-language music regularly or anything. 😀 Polish Radio 2 does sometimes, because they are a bit more niche and mostly play classical music and some folk as well, and it’s thanks to them that I discovered Welsh classical harpist Catrin Finch. But there happened to be a programme in Polish Radio 1 about the first Welsh-language novel that was translated into Polish – Un Nos Ola Leuad (One Moonlit Night) by Caradog Prichard, and my Mum happened to be listening to it then and so she yelled for me to come because “They’re talking about Welsh language!” And in between the talking, they played some Welsh songs, and Dacw Nghariad by Eve Goodman was one of them. 

   And I think her version is my favourite out of all that I know now, though I generally like Eve Goodman’s music. She is not only a singer but also writes her own songs. She is from North Wales and grew up in Caernarfon. 

   The translation below is from here

   There is my sweetheart down in the orchard,

 

Oh how I wish I were there myself,

There is the house and there is the barn;

There is the door of the cow house open.

 

There is the gallant, branching oak,

A vision, lovingly crowned.

I will wait in her shade

Until my love comes to meet me.

 

There is the harp, there are her strings;

What better am I, without anyone to play her for?

There’s the delicate fair one, exquisite and full of life;

What nearer am I, without having her attention?

Siân James – “Ei Di’r Deryn Du?” (Will You Go, Black Bird?)

   Hey people! 🙂 

   Today I would like to share with you a traditional Welsh song, another one on here sung and played on the harp by Siân James. As you will notice, the song is in Welsh and English, and the languages switch with one another every line. The translation below was written by Richard B Gillion 

 

   Will you go, Black Bird

  To my dearest love?

O quest for my dear lass,

  For I’m so deep in love.

 

I cannot see anywhere

  such a damsel in my sight

As the girl fair of colour –

  She is a beauty bright.

 

Her hair is golden yellow,

  Just like a ring of gold,

And her countenance like white snow –

  The truth it must be told.

Ffynnon – “Pais Dinogad” (Dinogad’s Smock).

   For today’s song of the day, I have a deliciously old nursery rhyme, or lullaby, for you. It possibly originates as far back as the 7th century. It was originally written in Old Welsh, and is interesting linguistically because it provides possible evidence of some features of the Cumbric language, which was a language closely related to Welsh or Breton, which was in use in Cumbria and southern Scotland until about the 12th century. It’s the lullaby of a mother who tells her baby son – Dinogad – about his dead father, and what a great hunter he was, while little Dinogad is wrapped in a smock made of marten skins. The poem also mentions “the waterfall of Derwennydd” which is thought to be a river called Derwent in the north of England. Unsurprisingly, the original tune has sadly not survived along with the poem, but the Welsh folk trio Ffynnon have set it to music. I have shared several songs by them on here before, but for anyone unfamiliar with their music, Ffynnon consists of Lynne Denman (vocals), Stacy Blythe (harp) and Emma Trend (fiddle). Their name means “fountain” in Welsh. They have also combined Pais Dinogad with two set of numbers from one to eight, where the first one is in Welsh, and the second one is the Cumbrian sheep-counting rhyme. Also in their version the number of slaves every time they’re mentioned is decreased, as is common in nursery rhymes. 

   I think the whole Pais Dinogad thing is very interesting, so in case you think so as well and have never heard of this lullaby, here is a long and exhaustive article on it from Wikipedia  including a translation which I’m also pasting below. 

   Dinogad’s smock, speckled, speckled,

 

I made from the skins of Martens.

 

Whistle, whistle, whistly

 

we sing, the eight slaves sing.

 

When your father used to go to hunt,

 

with his shaft on his shoulder and his club in his hand,

 

he would call his speedy dogs,

 

“Giff, Gaff, catch, catch, fetch, fetch!”,

 

he would kill a fish in a coracle,

 

as a lion kills an animal.

 

When your father used to go to the mountain,

 

he would bring back a roebuck, a wild pig, a stag,

 

a speckled grouse from the mountain,

 

a fish from the waterfall of Derwennydd

 

Whatever your father would hit with his spear,

 

whether wild pig or lynx or fox,

 

nothing that was without wings would escape.

Cerys Matthews – “Sosban Fach” (A Little Saucepan).

   Hi people! 🙂 

   Today I’d like to share with you this very popular Welsh folk song, I guess it must be one of those Welsh-language songs that all Welsh people know, probably even those who don’t speak that much Welsh, or at least they sure must be familiar with it. I’ve already shared it in a lovely instrumental version played by Delyth & Angharad Jenkins and I included the lyrics to this song in that post. I quite like it because, as I wrote in that post, it sounds like whoever wrote it must have had dysthymia or something, as it’s  all sad and woeful there and everything goes wrong for everyone. My faza peep, Gwilym Bowen Rhys, who sometimes sings this song at his gigs, actually says that it’s like a Welsh national blues song. And, well, since I have dysthymia and I like gloomy, as well as quirky stuff that doesn’t seem to make too much sense, I quite like this tune. 

   This is definitely not a debut for Cerys Matthews here on My Inner Mishmash, because I’ve already shared a few of her other Welsh songs, as well as one by Catatonia, a rock group in which she was the vocalist, for what she is best known. Her version of Sosban Fach comes from her solo album called Tir (Land), containing Welsh folk songs. It also contains one more verse which is not present in that translation I included in the post with Delyth & Angharad’s version, which is all about little Dai the soldier and his shirt tail and how the lyrical subject wishes that he would tuck it in, we also learn that his shirt was white with a blue stripe, which, you have to agree with me, is a vital piece of information from the listener’s perspective. 😀 

Y Bandana – “Heno yn yr Anglesey” (Tonight in the Anglesey).

   Hey people! 🙂 

   For the first song of the day this year, I thought I would share with you a song from Y Bandana, a Welsh-language pop-rock group that consisted of Gwilym Bowen Rhys (one of my faza peeps, if you’re still not aware of that for some reason 😀 ), his cousins Siôn and Tomos Owens, and his school friend Robin Llwyd Jones. They were very successful on the Welsh-language music scene and I’ve shared a few songs by them already, and they’re well-known for writing a bit cheeky lyrics, since they were teens when starting out. The group has disbanded in 2016 as  the members wanted to try doing some different things, Gwilym is now as successful (or even more so, perhaps), and I believe Robin is a producer for the Welsh-language record label Sain. 

   Heno yn yr Anglesey” is arguably their most popular and well-known song, next to “Can y Tan”. 

   I did a translation of it, and I’d like to ramble a bit about the process, because, well, I’m still very unexperienced when it comes to translating Welsh stuff, and find it a lot more challenging than translating from Swedish, I think not just because my Welsh skills are worse than my Swedish skills, but also due to other, more practical reasons. For example,  I currently don’t have a Welsh speech synthesiser so read Welsh-language stuff either with a Polish or an English one, which makes the whole process of reading anything in Welsh a lot slower. And finding information about any sort of Welsh words, structures, not to mention idioms is more difficult than in Swedish because it is a so much smaller language. There are more Swedish resources, whether ones for learners or more generally about Swedish language, and there’s even simply more Swedish in Google, so you can often just Google some weird thing you’re not understanding to find out if it occurs anywhere else and try to figure out if it’s a common thing, if it’s an idiom or whatever, while when you do that in Welsh you’re more likely not to get a lot of results even if a specific phrase is in wide-ish use. So I’m absolutely sure that this translation contains some mistakes, and I want to tell you which bits I think may be wrong, so that you know that Bibielz may not necessarily be right, and in case some Welsh or Welsh-speaking peep comes around here some day, perhaps they’ll be willing to enlighten me or something. And maybe it’ll be interesting for some language geeks. 

   I actually found one translation of it that already exists that was decent, but it still seems to have some odd bits so I wanted to try and write my own that would be a bit better. But I’ll let you decide which one actually is better, in any case at least now there is more than one translation out there in the web so there’s choice. 😀 I still used that translation above as a bit of a crutch to help me out. My other crutches were the Welsh-English dictionary that I use on my Mac, as it’s the fastest for me to use of all dictionaries that I know of, Google Translate, various online resources, and, when other things failed to support my faltering brain adequately, I used my most recently discovered language toy, ChatGPT, because yes, ChatGPT does understand Welsh, even though it has random times where it is adamant that it doesn’t, or does understand what you write to it in Welsh but persistently responds in English (kinda like Swedes when you try to talk to them in Swedish but they realise you’re not a Swede 😀 ), and of course it’s very fallible, a lot more so than in English. ChatGPT likes to make stuff up so you have to be very very careful when asking it anything, but really, tools like Google Translate can also be oddly deceptive and random with Welsh translations, sometimes I truly have no idea where they get their ideas from. 

   So, the first line that I’m not sure whether it’s right is the second one which in the original contains the word “tennar”. The translation that I linked above translates it to “tenner” which makes sense, because “e” often changes to “a” in North Welsh, and “tennar” could be a sort of Cymricisation (Welshification, if you like 😀 ) of “tenner”. But I’m not even sure what “breaking into the tenner” could mean (perhaps because I’m not a native English-speaker or something), and I couldn’t find any evidence of “tenner” actually being used like that. So not sure it’s correct. 

   In the second verse there’s a line that is oddly translated as “You’re never with me when I want” which I have no idea why it is the way it is because it doesn’t make much sense compared with the original. I translated it as: “You tell me that I don’t get” which imho is more accurate but perhaps still not perfect. 

   Then there’s a line where they are holding hands “hyd law y byd”, which is translated to “above the crowd” in the first translation. I had no idea what “hyd law y byd” could mean, but I didn’t believe it could mean that, and Google wasn’t a whole lot of help either. ChatGPT said that it means “forever”, and I found the phrase “hyd law y byd” somewhere else on the Internet, didn’t understand the whole long sophisticated sentence that it was part of but from what I did understand it seemed to me like it could well be a more eloquent way of saying “forever”, a sort of equivalent to “until the end of time/world without end” in English. I have no more sound evidence for it but I went with my intuition and decided to agree and listen to ChatGPT in this instance. 

   The last verse was the toughest for me. First, there’s the  intriguing word “hegar”. The other translation translates the whole line as: “And it’s been a peaceful evening”, wherein “hegar” is supposed to mean “peaceful”. Meanwhile, Google Translate translated this line as: “It’s not going to be a wild night”. I’m curious to know where it got the “It’s not going to be” part from, I mean it’s obviously not like “It’s been” and “It’s not going to be” mean the same thing, and “Mae ‘di bod” definitely means “It’s been”. And does “hegar” mean “peaceful” or “wild”, after all? My dictionary doesn’t know the word “hegar”, and I wasn’t easily able to find any definitions in Google, so I asked ChatGPT and it said “peaceful” too. I thought, well, “peace” is “hedd/heddwch”, so they both start with  H, maybe that’s enough to make them family. But I searched once again more thoroughly for some examples of this word in use and found “hegar law” meaning “fierce rain”. So I went with “wild”, because “a fierce night” sounded odd in English. But I’m curious what’s the deal with peaceful and why it showed up, maybe this word has two meanings or something, though it would be funny to have one word with two opposite meanings. Like: try and guess what I mean now. 😀 Also given how seemingly obscure “hegar” is, I wonder if perhaps it’s some archaism, and I like the idea of an archaism being thrown into a “normal” song like this. 😀 

   Then there are “old women” and “square boys”, at least literally. The word “merched” in the original actually means “girls” rather than women, but I think each language uses its equivalent word for a girl as a slangy word for a woman. But I’m not entirely sure if “merched hen” (literally old girls), is supposed to mean old women, or perhaps more like older girls, or simply adult women who, after all, kind of are “old girls” in a way, because they’re older than the actual literal girls but still girls. 😀 Sticking with “old women” felt safest though, so that’s what I did. And square boys? No idea what that might be. I have a feeling that the word “sgwâr” has some other, colloquial meaning that I’m not familiar with, or else it’s an English calque of something. Are they “square” as in boring/mainstream or oldfashioned maybe? 

   And lastly, the next line contains the word “sgwario” which literally means “to square”, and in that other translation it’s translated as “square to us”. I tried to find some other meanings of “to square” in English, thinking it’s a calque, but found nothing else that would make sense to me in the context. ChatGPT told me that apparently “sgwario`’ is a slangy way of saying “to roam”, but I found nothing that would make me believe it. So I left “squaring to us”, even though I’m not convinced that this is what the “old women and square boys” are seriously doing. The “sgwâr” thing sounds like it could be wordplay and not all wordplay is easily translatable, so perhaps that’s the case here. 

   But anyway, I still hope this translation is reasonably good, and in any case, the song is cool. 

   You’re standing with me at the bar

You don’t want to break into the tenner

You ask me for a spare copper

To save, to spend

Your mysteriously blue eyes

Cause my heart to run a race

 You’re leaning on the black pillar

Which stands at the front of the pub

You’re burning in my mind

And it’s not the beer talking

I want you more than anyone

And there’s no one I want more than you

 Tonight in the Anglesey

Tonight in the Anglesey 

You’re sitting with me on the wall 

But as the night begins to take hold 

You tell me that I don’t get 

To leave you, I won’t leave 

The giant shadow of a black castle 

We are holding hands forever 

Tonight in the Anglesey 

Tonight in the Anglesey 

Tonight in the Anglesey 

The bell is ringing at the bar 

And it’s been a wild night 

The old women and the square boys 

Squaring up to us, passing by 

It’s about time we moved on 

But I want to stay here with you 

Tonight in the Anglesey 

Tonight in the Anglesey 

Tonight in the Anglesey 

Georgia Ruth – “When I Was Blue”.

   Hey dear people! 🙂 

   To finish this year off here at My Inner Mishmash, today I’d like to share with you this melancholic song from Georgia Ruth’s album Fossil Scale, which, as is very typical for this artist, is quite interesting lyrically. 

Siân James – “Arglwydd, Dyma Fi” (Lord, Here I Come).

   Hey all you people! 🙂 

   I’ve shared a few Christian songs/carols this month already, but I decided to share another one today, except this one isn’t about Christmas. In fact, it is a hymn about Jesus shedding His precious Blood on Calvary to save us from our sins. But Christmas is the foreshadowing of Christ’s Passion and our redemption, after all. 

   It is a hymn in Welsh, but I was really surprised when I learned that originally, it’s actually American, because I’ve heard it sung in Welsh many times by many people but never came across it sung in English. Then again, it’s not like I know all that much about English Protestant hymns, or even about Welsh ones, for that matter, but I do get an impression that it’s a lot more popular among Welsh speakers. It was written by a Methodist minister called Lewis Hartsough and I believe it is known as I Hear Thy Welcome Voice. And then translated into Welsh by a Welsh Methodist minister called John Roberts, also known by his bardic name of Ieuan Gwyllt (which translates to Wild John in English). The more common Welsh title is Gwahoddiad (Invitation) as in invitation from Jesus. 

   This version by Siân James is a bit different, because she doesn’t sing it to the traditional tune and it doesn’t really sound much like your typical hymn anymore. But I like her arrangement, as it makes the song more interesting and contemporary-sounding but not in a way that would create a dissonance with the godly lyrics, which I think is a problem with a lot of modern Gospel music. Here’s Bibiel’s translation of the three out of of the original four verses that she sings. 

   I hear Thy gentle Voice 

Calling me 

To come and wash all my sins 

In the river of Calvary. 

Lord, here I am 

At Thy call 

Wash my soul in the Blood 

That flowed on Calvary. 

It is Jesus who invites me 

To receive with His saints 

Faith, hope, pure love and peace 

And every heavenly privilege .

Lord, here I am 

At Thy call 

Wash my soul in the Blood 

That flowed on Calvary. 

Glory ever for ordering 

The reconciliation and the cleansing 

I will receive Jesus as I am 

And sing about the Blood. 

Lord, here I am 

At Thy call 

Wash my soul in the Blood 

That flowed on Calvary. 

Y Trŵbz – “Cwsg ar y Stryd” (Sleep on the Street).

   Hey people! 🙂 

   For today, I thought I’d share with you another song from Y Trŵbz’s EP called Croesa’r Afon (Cross the Bridge). This one has been written by Morgan Elwy (the bassist in the group) and his cousin Tomo Lloyd Evans (the guitarist).