Gwenan Gibbard – “Lliw Gwyn Rhosyn Yr Haf” (White Colour Of A Summer Rose).

Today, I want to share with you another version of a traditional song that I previously shared with you on here, this time a more acoustic one from the harpist Gwenan Gibbard. I think this is the first tune by her that I’m sharing where she’s also singing. For more background information about this song, you can click the link below, where I shared the

version by the band Pendevig,

with one of my faza peeps – Gwilym Bowen Rhys – and Bethan Rhiannon as vocalists.

While obviously I really like both versions or otherwise I wouldn’t be sharing them here, I think I lean more towards the Pendevig one, as, in my opinion, it shows its spirit better, and also, well, fazas are fazas, Gwilym rules! But the big pluses of Gwenan Gibbard’s interpretation are that it’s more traditional, and, of course, features the harp.

Song of the day (15th June) – Nansi Richards – “Pibddawns Gwyr Wrecsam” (Men of Wrexham’s Hornpipe).

Hey people! 🙂

Let’s listen to this short, traditional tune by Nansi Richards. Or at least I’m pretty sure it is traditional. A hornpipe (or pibddawns in Welsh) is a Celtic and English dance which is danced in a type of hard shoes, like clogs in Wales I think, and which took its name from the instrument which traditionally accompanies it.

Song of the day (12th June) – Llio Rhydderch – “Sir Fôn Bach” (Little Anglesey).

Here is a tune from Llio Rhydderch – “Sir Fôn Bach”, from the album by the same title. It translates to Little Anglesey or perhaps rather Little Angleseyshire, Anglesey being an isle and a historic county in north Wales. This is a traditional tune coming from the tune book of Welsh fiddler Robert Thomas. I was wondering what “little” in the title meant, what sort of significance it might have, and it turns out to simply be a term of endearment. Llio Rhydderch herself is from Anglesey, as I think I’ve mentioned before, and she clearly has a lot of love for her little homeland as this is far from only one piece in her repertoire whose title refers in some way to the isle of Anglesey.

 

Gwilym Bowen Rhys – “Garth Celyn”.

For today, I have an incredibly interesting song for you! It was written by Gwilym together with his mum – Siân – for Cân I Gymru 2012, and it’s about real people from Wales history.

I think I mentioned some time ago on here that I was reading “Here Be Dragons” by Sharon Kay Penman – a historical novel about the Welsh prince Llywelyn (or Llewelyn) Fawr (Llywelyn the Great) which focused very strongly on his relationship with his wife Joan, known in Welsh as Siwan, daughter of king John of England.

Part of why I really wanted to read this book was that I was already introduced to their story by this song, and it really describes it in such a way that you want to learn more, at least that was the case with me, though surely the fact that Gwilym has been one of my faza people had something to say in it as well. I really like the way it’s written, with a lot of understanding of Siwan’s situation and what she might have felt at the time.

Its name, Garth Celyn, comes from what is the most likely site of their palace, this is a place in Gwynedd, whose name may apparently be translated to Holly Enclosure.

While the song has been written from Siwan’s perspective, it’s also cool that you can just as well see it from Llywelyn’s perspective.

The lyrics, as well as English translation and a slightly more detailed background of this song, are in the description of the video.

Georgia Ruth – “7 Rooms”.

Hey people! 🙂

The song for today comes from Georgia Ruth’s latest album – “Mai” (which means May, as I’m sure you can figure out) – and I think is one of my favourite songs from this release. In 2017, Georgia Ruth – who is in relationship with Iwan Huws from the band Cowbois Rhos Botwnnog whose one song I shared on here before too – gave birth to a son (and of course, the baby namer and name nerd in me is super curious what his name is, as I’m always into how people name their babies, and I’ve noticed that British folk singers often have fabulous ideas in this department, 😀 but I don’t think they felt like sharing this information with the whole huge world which is absolutely understandable). Anyways, this song is one of a few on this album which have been inspired by her motherhood. It’s about her hospital stay after childbirth and feeling quite lost in there, I suppose as much emotionally in the new situation as literally in all those rooms and other complex structures hospitals tend to have. I like how it starts of a bit depressive and confused, and then becomes more joyous and hopeful.

Plu – “Ambell I Gan” (An Occasional Song).

Hiya people! 🙂

For today I chose one of the songs by Plu from their album “Tir A Golau” (Land And Lights), which is definitely one of my most favourites from that album. This is the only traditional song on it, and I’ve come across quite a few different renditions of it ever since I’ve started to listen to Welsh music more seriously and learning the language. But Plu’s arrangement is definitely the best I’ve heard, I love absolutely everything about it! The lyrics are great too, capturing it very well how inspiring music can be. I’ve found an English translation of the Welsh lyrics, which has been written by

Richard B. Gillion.

An occasional song will keep my breast

From sinking down under the frequent wave;

The muse is so cheerful,

so attractive, so pure,

I give heart-felt thanks

for an occasional song.

An occasional to song

as the night turns dark,

So light is the day, so cheerful the rose,

Misty, hopeless clouds – like wool

They turn, if I can

get an occasional song.

An occasional song

gives strength in the limb,

And the shoulder to carry

many a burden,

And the force of difficulties

to be crushed completely

If I can get to sing an occasional song.

An occasional song I will get in the world,

But I travel to a land

which is all singing,

And after I leave the desert completely

I hope to get to sing,

not an occasional song.

Plu – “Ambell I Gan”.

Llio Rhydderch – “Marwnad Yr Ehedydd” (Death Of The Skylark).

Hey people! 🙂

This is another of my most favourite songs by Llio Rhydderch. It comes from her collaborative album with Tomos Williams and Mark O’Connor – “Carn Ingli” – but it’s a solo piece. I like its depth and melancholy.

Song of the day (27th May) – “Gwilym Bowen Rhys – “Clychau’r Gog” (Bluebells).

Hey people! 🙂

I wanted to share with you something by Gwilym today (or rather yesterday, but yesterday was quite chaotic so I didn’t manage in the end) and was very surprised to realise that I’ve never shared this one with you before, because it’s definitely one of my most favourite songs from his last album – “Arenig”. – It is one of the more contemporary-sounding songs on this album. I like how it’s so calmly joyful and thus makes an interesting contrast with the preceding

“Lloer Dirion Lliw’r Dydd” (Gentle Moon, Colour Of The Day),

which is also a love song, and also one of my most favourite songs on this album, but feels so vastly different, being a much older composition and filled with anguish. Yet they both fit in there perfectly and the contrast probably just shows the beauty of each of them even more.

The song I want to show you today was originally composed and written by Gwilym and has really beautiful and captivating lyrics, although even I – being just a Welsh learner – can see that they sound way more natural in their actual language than any English translation would. Welsh is just so much better for this kind of thing. The translation is also Gwilym’s, and comes from

Gwilym’s website.

The sun was insisting that it was Summer,

and the blue-green path was inviting us,

and we heard the gentle bells of May

calling to us both.

She was the very essence of Spring,

and her conversation was a lovely, careless song.

And a feeling came over me, the like I’d never felt before,

like a fire under my skin.

A fire from my head to my feet,

her smile quickening the blood,

on the edge of the sea of blue bells.

Concealing the truth behind half a smile,

and longing for her tender embrace.

Concealing love behind sarcastic words,

and my life between her finger and thumb.

Every doubt had long since fled,

and the yearning was a rushing torrent,

to swim the sea of blue bells.

No one was an ear nor a witness, only leaves,

no one was an eye, except for the sun,

no one there but her and me;

the only people in the world.

And then we plunged deep into the wave;

one moment that lasted a whole year,

into the depths of a sea of blue bells.

To stay in her embrace was to prove a false hope,

a dream in vain.

And I hear the gentle bells of May

sighing a farewell to us both.

But I’ll keep this safe in the chamber of my heart:

the moment that lasted a whole year,

and I’ll remember this as long as I possess a memory;

holding her in a sea of blue bells.

Morgan Elwy – “Dal Yn Dyn” (Still A Man).

Hey people! 🙂

Recently, I shared with you a song from Jacob Elwy,

“Pan Fyddai’n 80 Oed” (When I’ll Be 80),

and in that post I mentioned his younger brother – Morgan Elwy – and his victory in this year’s Cân I Gymru (Song For Wales) in March. Even before Cân I Gymru, it was known that Morgan was going to release a new album some time later this spring. And it came out on May 7, if I remember correctly.

Even though I don’t love Morgan’s music quite as much as I do Jacob’s, or their band Y Trŵbz, or Mared’s (Mared Williams, in case you don’t remember, is a solo singer as well as vocalist with Y Trŵbz, whose music I’ve shared on here a couple times, she’s also Morgan’s girlfriend), I still do like it and I was really looking forward to this and very curious about this album for several reasons. One is simply that Jacob is my current major

faza,

and when I have a faza on someone, I’m also definitely going to be interested if their family are doing something musically and generally in anything that pertains to my faza people even indirectly, and another reason is that Morgan is very strongly into reggae music and that was what this album was to be all about, and I have a bit of a sentiment for this genre. I don’t listen to it very regularly nowadays, but there was a time when I was a kid when it was my favourite genre (though I mostly listened to our Polish reggae) and I still have a bit of a bond with this music and appreciate it and like to come back to it when I’m in the mood. I also really love checking out reggae in other languages which are not necessarily strongly associated with this genre. And, while I dare say that I have a pretty good idea about current Welsh-language music scene, especially so for an outsider, haha, I don’t really know a lot of Welsh-language reggae music, the only person who makes it (aside from Morgan, obviously) that I know of is Geraint Jarman – who was also featured on this blog years ago, including a couple of his reggae songs. –

So the album is out now, it’s called Teimlor’ Awen (Feeling The Muse it means, I believe), it was produced by Bryn Rock which is Jacob and Morgan’s own record label. I thought after his winning Cân I Gymru, Y Trŵbz having won the Y Selar (Welsh music magazine) award, and Mared being well-known on the Welsh-language music scene, the Welsh Internet would be bursting with reviews, but somehow haven’t come across any yet.

I listened to it thoroughly two times and it’s in my huge Bibiel’s playlist so I also listened to all the songs onn it individually a few more times, and, yeah… The fact that I put it in my Bibiel’s playlist and that I’m sharing a song from it here speaks for itself that I generally like it. Maybe it’s not necessarily what I would call right up Bibiel’s alley, something that would particularly speak to me or anything like that, but it’s still really good and nice to listen to, with a great vibe to it. It’s also very catchy but not in an obnoxious or unoriginal way, rather, such that makes it very approachable and accessible even if you don’t know the language, I would say, and also I think it may appeal to people who don’t necessarily care for reggae very much. It’s just easy to like imo, while definitely having its character at the same time. These two qualities don’t often go well.

Apart from making music, Morgan studied physics in Manchester, where at the time he was also part of a very interesting student band Lucy Lagoon, where he played bass and sang. I discovered Lucy Lagoon relatively recently and I really do like their music, it’s like a fusion of indie rock and reggae and some other music influences. He’s also been a physics teacher in the north of London, and, as you might already remember from my blog, he also plays bass in Y Trŵbz. I generally get a bit of an impression that he is into a lot of things, plus also draws from very diverse music styles, which is cool ’cause I like versatile people.

The song I chose to share with you from this album is called “Dal Yn Dyn” (wasn’t courageous enough to translate the lyrics by ear) and, as throughout this entire album, you can also hear his younger sister – Mali’s – backing vocals. The song is not on Youtube, so I’m sharing it from Spotify and for those of you who don’t have Spotify but have something else I’ll include a link to Songwhip below.

Morgan Elwy – “Dal Yn Dyn”.

Gwen Màiri – “Cyn Gwawr” (Before Dawn).

Hey people! 🙂

It’s late afternoon here, so maybe this piece is not the most timely, but I was listening to it today and thought this is what I’d like to share with you today, because it’s absolutely beautiful. As all Gwen Màiri’s music. If you don’t know or don’t remember who Gwen Màiri is, although I have shared one piece by her before, she’s a Welsh harpist and singer who was raised in Scotland and who can speak fluently both Welsh and Scottish Gaelic.

Jacob Elwy – “Pan Fyddai’n 80 Oed” (When I Will Be 80).

Hey all you people! 🙂

Time for what currently Bibiels like best in terms of music – something from Jacob Elwy! – Yayy!

If you still don’t know who Jacob Elwy is – he is my new faza subject or faza peep, and if you don’t know what is faza either you can find out

 

here.

So, over the last few months since the start of my faza on Jacob, I’ve shared with you some music from Y Trŵbz, (the band where he’s been the vocalist) and also a piece sung by Jacob together with Mared Williams for Cân i Gymru (Song For Wales) 2019. But I’ve never shared with you any of his solo music yet. Admittedly, there’s not much of it so far, just some singles, but they’re all really worth listening to (or otherwise I wouldn’t have the faza).

Interestingly, Jacob took part in Cân i Gymru twice in a row -first together with Mared, and the second time with Rhydian Meilir accompanying him on piano. – Rhydian Meilir is also the one who composed and wrote the lyrics to both his Cân i Gymru songs as well as most of his other solo songs that have been released.

I really regret that: a. I didn’t follow Cân i Gymru during those two years and b. that I didn’t know about Jacob back then. As it happened, this year it was Jacob’s younger brother – Morgan – who took part in Cân i Gymru and won it with his reggae tune “Bach O Bach O Hwne” (A Bit A Bit Of That). He has quite a few siblings, and they’re a very strongly musically inclined, and I’m curious if all of them will now take part in Cân i Gymru, that would be really interesting! 😀 I have no doubt that it’s mostly due to my zealous crossing fingers (out of pure loyalty which I always have for my faza peeps and which also extends to other people connected with them), following Cân i Gymru at the time while it was happening and putting all my energy into it that made his song win. 😀 To be totally honest, I didn’t love Morgan’s song all that much, although I didn’t dislike it either, it just didn’t speak to me quite as much as Jacob’s both Cân i Gymru songs did (they both won the 2nd place), but that’s just me and my style and I can see beyond it, especially as someone who used to be quite keen on reggae once upon a time, that objectively it was a really cool song and very much a breath of fresh air for the Welsh music scene, which doesn’t have a lot of reggae music enthusiasts like him, or at least I don’t know many.

I don’t always love the lyrics like these, which I call half-ironically “inspirational”, because they can sound quite cliche and as someone who is picky and likes quirky lyrics, I can’t possibly like cliche lyrics at the same time. These, unfortunately, are a little bit on the cliche side, but I don’t care. Probably because it took me some time to actually understand them fully, not just the gist, and over that time I’ve already grown to like this song because it’s really really good musically in my opinion. The first time I heard it was on BBC Radio Cymru (or was it Cymru FM?) half-asleep, when I was having a migraine, and I remember vaguely thinking that I really like it. I only much later learned who sings it and that some small part of why I like it is because, in this song, Jacob’s voice sounds particularly similar to my late friend Jacek from Helsinki’s singing voice, which I believe was why I originally got this faza.

And, regarding these lyrics, yes, they may be slightly cliche, but they’re true. I often hear this song in my brain when I feel depressed and unmotivated and have no energy for my Welsh learning, and then I often find the motivation, because it makes me think – gosh, I still have so much to learn, it would be so frustrating if I were 80 and suddenly realised that I could have learnt many more languages, or learnt the one I know a lot better than I do, but didn’t, just because I gave in too often when I wasn’t doing well mentally or my linguistic progress wasn’t going quite as smoothly as I’d ideally like. On a different note, I dearly hope I won’t have to live this long. So, yes, it actually is kind of inspirational and motivating for me.

I’m also super happy because I managed to translate these lyrics, as they are quite easy! I’m sure my translation is not perfect, a bit unpolished in places and sometimes I didn’t know what some little words literally meant in English but overall I’m quite proud of the result.

 

When I will be 80

I want to look back and smile

At the foolish things I did

When I was young

When I will be 80

I don’t want to be overwhelmed by the pain

Of regretting the things I didn’t do

When I could

And when I will be 80

I want to hold you

Knowing that our love

Has overcome everything

But don’t hold back

You have nothing to lose

Life is too short to

Keep turning around

And when I will be 80

Grateful for having a family

Who are always there for me, still

And are like a strong rock

Don’t hold back

You have nothing to lose

Remember that it is yourself

who limits you

And don’t say „There’s always tomorrow”

Raise and go for it

Before it’s too late

Raise and go for it

Before you will be 80

Delyth Jenkins – “Mwynder Maldwyn” (The Gentleness of Montgomeryshire).

Hey people! 🙂

Let’s listen to Delythh Jenkins today! I’ve shared some of her music before, solo, with her daughter Angharad, and a project she was a part of years ago called Aberjaber. Today I’m sharing a piece from one of her solo albums.

The Maldwyn (or Moontgomeryshire) in the title is a historical county in mid-Wales which now is a part of Powys. If you’re familiar with Nansi Richards, either from my blog where I’ve shared some of her music, or from wherever else, her bardic name was Telynores Maldwyn, or the Montgomery Harpist, because that’s where she lived. Delyth Jenkins also originates from there, and, curiously, I’ve read that both Nansi Richards and Delyth Jenkins were born in the same place – Oswestry in England, aka the Welshest town in England.

Mwynder Maldwyn is a sort of saying in Welsh, which could be translated as the gentleness of Maldwyn but I guess mwynder doesn’t really mean literally the same thing as gentleness in English. In any case, it’s used in reference to the natural beauty of the area, as well as the traits of the people.

I’ve never been to Montgomeryshire, nor even to Wales, but if I was to form some sort of an opinion about the place from this tune, it must be really extremely beautiful and I’d love to see it, even though nothing can beat Gwynedd for me. 😀

Song of the day (18th May) – Llio Rhydderch – “Breuddwyd Y Frenhines” (The Queen’s Dream).

Hi people! 🙂

Here’s a really beautiful piece from Llio Rhydderch’s album Melangell. I absolutely love it!

Llio Rhydderch, Tomos Williams, Mark O’Connor – “Tair Dawns” (Three Dances).

Hey people! 🙂

I’ve shared with you some solo music from Llio Rhydderch before. Today, it’s time for a piece from a collaborative album – “Carn Ingli” – which she recorded together with Tomos Williams (trumpet) and Mark O’Connor (drums), the latter we won’t really hear here in this particular piece. In general, I have to say I far prefer Llio’s solo music, but it’s not like I don’t like this album, it’s definitely interesting, if not for any other reason than at least the combination of harp with trumpet and drums is quite unconventional and intriguing for me as a “harpophile”. Here is this piece:

Gwenan Gibbard – “Hufen Y Cwrw Melyn” (Cream Of The Brown Ale).

Hi people! 🙂

Today I have an interesting little piece of Welsh folk music for you. Interesting in that, apparently it is known from Startrek, because of Scotty singing some version of it in that movie! Don’t know which one, and can’t confirm it as I never watched it, but I think it’s really interesting that a piece like this has gotten a bit of attention in the mainstream.

The version I’m sharing with you is instrumental. It is a slip jig (that’s how they call Celtic folk tunes composed in this tempo and style and slip jig is also one of the Irish traditional dances) composed by the 18th-century Welsh blind harpist Richard Roberts. It’s interesting how the Celtic area had so many blind artists around that time – be it harpists or poets – who have contributed to what we now know as folk/traditional music. Think Turlough o’Carolan (the very famous Irish harper) or Richard Williams aka Dark Dick, who wrote

“Lliw Gwyn, Rhosyn Yr Haf”

whom I both mentioned on my blog before.

I find the title of this piece confusing. It’s literal translation would be “Cream of The Yellow Beer” which makes little sense, at least to me, I do admit though that I know nothing about beer, maybe some beer geek would see more sense in this. But I found out that it’s translated to English just as in the title. Still, don’t know if this is the name of some English version of this or indeed how it should be translated. In Welsh it’s also known as “Cwrw Da” (A Good Beer), so whatever beer it is, I guess we can safely assume at least that one thing about it, although I could argue that every beer is equally yucky, perhaps I just haven’t been lucky enough to try a good one so far.

The version I chose to share with you comes from Gwenan Gibbard, who is already known on this blog since I share her music quite regularly.

Bendith – “Dan Glo” (Locked).

Hey guys! 🙂

For today, I chose a beautiful song, another one from the self-titled album by Bendith – the Welsh folk music project which is a collaboration between the band Plu (Gwilym Bowen Rhys and his two older sisters – Elan and Marged) – and Carwyn Ellis from the indie pop band Colorama. In this particular piece, we can hear Carwyn and Marged’s vocals.

I like the slightly dark feel of this song. I love reading reviews of albums that I particularly love – and this one definitely belongs in this category – to see how my reception of them is similar/different to the reviewer’s and perhaps sometimes gain some more insight along the way. And I remember reading in one review, I believe it was written by Helen Gregory from Folk Radio UK but I’m not perfectly sure, that this piece feels very cinematic. I think this is the absolutely perfect word to describe it!

Bendith – “Bendith” (Blessing).

Hey guys! 🙂

The piece I have for you today comes from the musical project called Bendith, from their album called Bendith, and the piece is called Bendith as well. Bendith have featured on my blog a few times earlier, because one of my faza people – Gwilym Bowen Rhys – took part in it. It is a collaboration between members of the band Plu (Gwilym and his two sisters) and Carwyn Ellis – leader of Colorama, an indie pop Welsh band. – Plu and Colorama sound very different from each other, but the four are all a very versatile bunch and, judging from the album, must have gotten along very well musically. The idea came from Carwyn Ellis, with whom the music of Plu resonated very strongly so he reached out to them asking if they’d like to do something together. And that’s how Bendith was born, it sounds a lot like Plu, yet different. I like how it’s both so contemporary yet also rootsy, filled with nostalgia and childhood memories. “Bendith” is the closing track from this album.

 

Below is a link to Songwhip, where you can (hopefully) find this piece on your favourite streaming service. There is a link to YouTube as well but it’s not properly tagged or something, and it links to a different song.

Bendith – “Bendith”.

Llio Rhydderch – “Edward’s Grip”.

For today, I chose to share with you another piece from this amazing harpist. This is also one of the first pieces from her that I’ve ever heard. It comes from her collaborative album with Tomos Williams (on trumpet) and Mark O’Connor (on drums), but this particular tune is just a solo harp one and it’s definitely my favourite from this album and one from my most favourite pieces of music from Llio overall.

Song of the day (21st April ) – Gwenan Gibbard – “Traeth Lafan/Adlais Nia/Pen Rhaw” (Lavan Sounds/Nia’s Echo/Spade’s Head”.

Hey people! 🙂

Today, I’m sharing with you a few pieces in one track from Gwenan Gibbard. As far as I know, the first two are her own compositions, and the third one is traditional for sure. The first one, like many tunes by Gwenan Gibbard, is inspired by nature in north Wales. This one is dedicated to Traeth Lafan, or Lavan Sands in English, which is an intertidal sandbank in Gwynedd.