Sen Segur – “Sentriffiwgal” (Centrifugal).

Hey people! 🙂 

 

In the most recent question of the day post, where I asked you guys what you’re hearing, I mentioned that I was hearing Sen Segur’s EP Sudd Sudd Sudd, as I was revisiting it after several years and enjoying it a lot as I had really good memories with this EP from when I first heard it at the beginning of my Welsh language journey. So I figured I’d actually share something from it. Sen Segur were a band from Penmachno in Conwy, Wales, which existed in early 2010’s and made psychedelic rock music, or psychedelic pop-rock if you will, most of it in Welsh. Despite the band lasted for only a couple of years, and I discovered it later on, as far as I’m aware they enjoyed quite positive reception on the Welsh-language music scene. The former members of this group are still active in other musical acts, all of which I like as well: George Amor (the bassist) is part of Omaloma,, Ben Ellis (the guitarist and vocalist) performs with Phalcons, whereas Gethin Davies (the drummer) has a solo project called Lastigband. 

 

Gwilym Bowen Rhys – “Yr Eneth Gadd ei Gwrthod” (The Rejected Maiden) & Siwsan George – “Yr Eneth Gadd Ei Gwrthod”.

Hey people! 🙂 

 

For today, I’d like to share with you an extremely poignant and heartbreaking song. It’s really beautiful, despite its very dark theme, and there are a lot of amazing renditions of it, therefore I decided to share two of them in one post, and it’s possible that I’ll share some other versions of it in the future too, who knows. The first of these two versions is by Gwilym Bowen Rhys, from the first album of his Detholiad o Hen Faledi (Selection of Old Ballads) album series. This is the very first version of this song that I heard, and I love Gwilym’s expressive a capella interpretation of it very much. THe other is by Siwsan George, from her album Traditional Songs of Wales – Caneuon Traddodiadol Cymru. – I was introduced to Siwsan’s music earlier this year. She was from Rhondda and sang both as a soloist as well as part of a folk group called Mabsant. Siwsan was also a harpist. Sadly, she passed away in her forties due to cancer. 

 

As we can read on Gwilym’s Bandcamp page,, this song tells the story of a poor girl called Jane Williams, from a village in Denbighshire called Cynwyd, who was raped at 23 and fell pregnant in 1868. Predictably, she was shamed and disdained by her community as a result, and eventually committed suicide by drowning herself in the river Dee. The lyrics were written by John Jones, also known under his bardic name of Llew o’r Wern, and set to a traditional tune called There’s Love Among the Roses.

 

I’ve taken the translation below from  Gwilym’s website, where you can also find the original words in Cymraeg. 

 

On the banks of the old river Dee
A pure maiden sits
Whispering quietly to herself
“I’ve been left lonely
Without a love or a friend in the world
Nor a home to go to,
the door of my father’s house is locked,
tonight I am rejected.

The finger of shame is after me
Highlighting my weakneses
And the tide of my life has turned
And is buried under the waves.
On the alter of lust I was sacrificed,
Yes, I lost my virginity,
And that’s the reason why
I’m rejected tonight.

You little trout that plays joyfully
In the pure waters of the river,
You have many friends
And shelter from enemies
You may live and die under the water
With no one having to know you,
Oh if I could only be like you
I could die, and that would be the end.

But my sorrowfull mind flies away
To a world that’s yet to come,
And you, my harsh traitor, remember,
You must meet me there!
I need only think of your name
And living is too much for me.
Oh, deep river, accept me,
Your bed shall be my bed.”

And the next morning she was found
In the cold water of the river,
With a piece of paper in her hand
And on it, these words:
“Dig me a grave in a lonely place,
Don’t raise a stone or write an ephigy,
To denote the place where lies the dust
Of the rejected maiden.”

 

Gwilym Bowen Rhys: 

 

 

Siwsan George: 

 

Casi Wyn – “Nefolion” (Celestial Beings).

   And for today, I chose another song from a Welsh artist whose music I’ve known for years, but somehow only came across this particular song recently. I’ve already shared one song by Casi Wyn, which she released under her other stage name Casi & The Blind Harpist, also both in Welsh and English, called Dyffryn/Rooted.

 

I Regular people on here know that when I go to sleep, I like to have some music or a radio station in one of my favourite languages playing quietly throughout the night so it keeps the things that I collectively call sensory anxiety, for lack of better terms, at bay. One night last month, I had some Welsh playlist playing on Spotify and then when the playlist finished other stuff was playing on autoplay as is typical with streaming services. I woke up for a little while in the middle of the night, or very early morning if you will, and heard this breathtakingly beautiful song. The perception of music in half-sleep mode, at least in my experience, is often kind of different and sort of heightened in a way I’d say, so given that this song is already stunning and otherworldly when listening to it fully awake, in that half-sleep state, I was seriously wondering if I woke up in some parallel universe for Cymrophiles or something happened to me in my sleep and I was having a near-death experience or something. So the title of this song is very accurate imho, although I’m not sure if “celestial beings” is the best English translation I could come up with, I mean “nefol” means “heavenly/celestial” and “nefolion” is plural so I had no better ideas. I really like Casi’s music in general, so just like with yesterday’s song, I was surprised to find out that she released it three years ago and I’d never heard it previously. I am sharing both language versions: 

 

Welsh: 

 

 

 

English: 

 

Song of the day (6th May) – Vrï ft. Beth Celyn – “Cob Malltraeth” (Malltraeth Cob).

   Hiya people! 🙂 

 

For yesterday’s overdue song of the day, I decided to share this beautiful rendition of Welsh folk tune Cob Malltraeth. It was very popular during the previous century in Anglesey where it originates from, but this is the first version of it that I heard and not very long at all. I’ve known about Beth Celyn ever since she released her debut EP in 2017, and have been rather vaguely familiar with Vrï thanks to Blas Folk Radio Cymru, but I’d never heard this song until like a week ago. I immediately found it very striking, and was very surprised to find out that it’s from an album that Vrï released in 2018 already – Tŷ Ein Tadau (House of Our Fathers) – , yet it was complete novelty to me. 

 

Vrî is a Welsh folk trio consisting of Jordan Price Williams (cello and vocals), Aneirin Jones (fiddle and vocals) and Patrick Rimes (viola, fiddle and vocals). All three members of this group are very active musicians well-known on the Welsh folk music scene and have been part of other groups or projects as well. 

 

I love everything about this song: the melody, Beth’s expressive vocals, the instrumental arrangements, and the lyrics kind of resonate with me too, as the lyrical subject appears to be a neurotic pro ruminator just like me and keeps fretting over something they have no real control over. And it’s definitely not like their fears are completely unfounded. The song is about the Malltraeth cob (Malltraeth is a little village in the southwest of Anglesey and I’ve already shared one other piece on here related to this place, played by Llio Rhydderch). The lyrical subject’s fears about it are definitely not unfounded. From what I’ve read, the original cob was built in the early 1800’s, but after a few years there was a storm which breached it in a few places and it was rebuilt in 1812. You can find out more about this song, along with the original lyrics and translation, on the website of Amgueddfa Cymru (Museum Wales). 

 

If Malltraeth cob breaks, my mother will drown;
I fear it in my heart ti–rai, twli wli
I fear in my heart that I shall be the one to suffer.

I can neither patch nor wash my shirt;
I fear it in my heart, ti–rai, twli wli wli ei,
I fear in my heart that I shall soon perish.

But, thank heaven, the old lady was seen
Safely taking refuge, ti–rai, twli wli wli ei,
Safely taking refuge in the shelter of the rock.

 

Ffynnon – “Rheged”.

   Hey people! 🙂 

 

Today, I want to share with you an interesting song in an ancient language. It comes from the Welsh folk group Ffynnon, from their album Adar Gwylltion (Wild Birds). This is a medieval poem written by Llywarch Hen, which Ffynnon have set to music. Llywarch was cousin to Urien, the chieftain of a Brittonic kingdom called Rheged in the 6th century. Urien led the British tribes during the vikings’ attack on Lindisfarne, and was initially successful at driving the invaders back, but was then betrayed by his nephew, which resulted in the entire Old North region being lost to the vikings eventually. This poem laments Urien’s summer court, which fell into ruin after those events. This isn’t the first song by Ffynnon that I’m sharing on here that laments the state of a court, earlier this year I shared their musical rendition of Llys Ifor Hael from the same album which deals with a similar topic. 

 

The poem was written in Common Brittonic, which is the direct ancestor of Welsh, Cornish and Breton, i.e. the currently spoken languages of the Brythonic branch in the Celtic languages family. The translation of this song (as well as the original Brittonic verses) can be found on Ffynnon’s websitewhich is also where I learned about the background of this poem. 

 

Llio Rhydderch – “Concerto’r Telynwyr” (Concerto of the Harpists).

Hi guys! 🙂 

 

Today I’d like to share with you something else by Llio Rhydderch, a harpist from Anglesey who plays the Welsh triple harp. This very lush piece comes from her album Telyn (Harp). 

 

The Gentle Good – “Titrwm Tatrwm” (Pitter Patter).

   Hey people! 🙂 

 

 

Today I’d like to share with you a Welsh song from Anglesey. It was written by Dafydd Ddu Eryri who lived in 19th century. I believe I heard this song for the first time on some live recording of Gwilym Bowen Rhys singing it, but since then I’ve heard quite a few versions. It is about a boy who stands at night by the window of the girl he loves, complaining that the weather is yucky and that she’s not opening and yearning to see her, because they don’t get to see each other all that often. Titrwm tatrwm is an onomatopoeia of the sound of a light knocking on the window or perhaps throwing small pebbles or something like that. Gareth bonello (whose stage name The Gentle Good comes from the meanings of his first and last name), is a folk singer, songwriter and musician from Cardiff who has already been featured on my blog once, with his extremely evocative  piano piece Ruins/Adfeilion. 

 

I was looking for a translation of this song that I could share with you, as I don’t think I could write a good one myself, and I found quite a few actually, but the only one that seems good to me is that on the website of a Celtic band Iona, who performed it as well, written by Jason P. Morgan. 

 

Julie Murphy ft. Sille Ilves & Martin Leamon – “Lisa Lân, Ffoles Llantrisant (Beautiful Lisa, Girl From Llantrisant)”.

   Hey dear people! 🙂 

 

Today I want to share with you a set of two Welsh traditional songs. Two out of three people in this trio – Sille Ilves and Martin Leamon – have already been introduced on my blog in the past, as they also perform together as a duo called Sild. Sille is an Estonian multi-instrumentalist, playing the fiddle, tagelharpa/bowed lyre etc. as well as a singer, while Martin Leamon is from Gower in Wales and is a multi-instrumentalist who plays such instruments as guitar and bouzouki. Julie Murphy, despite not having been featured on my blog before, is a very prominent singer on the Welsh folk scene, and is known in particular for being part of a group called Fernhill though she is also a soloist. For a long time, I had thought that Julie was Welsh (it seems kind of natural even for someone like me who is learning Welsh despite not being Welsh, to automatically assume that if someone sings in Welsh, they must be Welsh, because sadly it feels so rare that someone from outside takes a serious interest in this small language), and I was quite surprised when I found out some two years ago or so that she’s actually English. I’ve never heard her speaking and people typically sound better in a non-native/foreign language when singing, sometimes the difference can be quite stark, but her “sung Welsh” sounds really good as much as I can tell as a non-native myself. I have liked Fernhill and Julie’s solo music ever since I first came across it ages ago, but since then I appreciate and respect it even more. 

 

The first of these two tunes is a very well-known and very old love song, which I have shared in the beginnings of this blog sung by Gwilym Bowen Rhys on Alaw’s album Dead Man’s Dance, where I also shared a translation of it. More recently, I featured Alawon Môn by Llio Rhydderch, and Lisa Lân is one of the tunes played by her in that set. 

 

Ffoles Llantrisant meanwhile is a nursery rhyme, and also love-themed, and a translation of it can be found here

 

I’ve got a pail, I’ve got a strainer 
I’ve got a small new churn 
I’ve got a very large fancy for your love, 
If you were to have peace from lazing.
I have a hen, I have a cockerel, 
I have a piggish melancholy 
Cold is the ice and cold is the snow, 
Cold is the house without two in the winter 
Black is the night, black is the winter, 
Blacker than black is my heart 
Lovely to see the sun in the morning 
When the whole world is at it’s best 


Georgia Ruth – “Hallt” (Salty).

   Hey people! 🙂 

   Today, I want to share with you a beautiful song from Welsh singer, songwriter and harpist Georgia Ruth’s debut album – Week of Pines. – Like all her subsequent albums, it is bilingual, and this is one of three Welsh-language songs of it, the other two I’ve already shared on here in the past. Its title can be translated as either salty or sharp. 

Delyth Evans – “Y Bardd/Mother’s Delight” (The Poet/Mother’s Delight).

   Hey guys! 🙂 

   Today, I decided on another piece from Delyth Evans/Jenkins’ album Ar y Ffin (On The Border). These are both traditional tunes. 

Robin Huw Bowen – “All Through the Night”.

   Hey people! 🙂 

   For today, I want to share with you this quite famous Welsh lullaby, also known as Ar Hyd y Nos in Welsh, and played by Robin Huw Bowen on the Welsh triple harp. I’ve shared one other piece by Robin Huw Bowen before, namely Ymadawiad y Brenin. I have also shared a different version of this song, sung by Meinir Gwilym

Song of the day (18th March) – Llio Rhydderch – “Yr Hufen Melyn a Mathafarn” (The Yellow Cream and Mathafarn).

   Let’s listen to this traditional Welsh tune known under a whole lot of different names. I’ve already shared a version of this tune called Hufen  y Cwrw Melyn played by Gwenan Gibbard. It is also known as Mathafarn. There seem to be quite a few places called Mathafarn in Wales, so the alternative name of this tune must refer to one of them. 

Song of the day (17th March) – Delyth Evans – “Andante”.

   And another harp piece for Friday, but much shorter and much different in vibe, by the frequently featured on here Welsh harpist Delyth Evans/Jenkins. It comes from her 1998 album Ar y Ffin (On The Border). 

Jonny Ash – “Rosies”.

   Hey people! 🙂 

   It’s kind of strange how many great indie rock bands have been born not even in Wales as a whole, but specifically in North Wales. I have featured many of my favourites in this category on here in the past, but today I’d like to share with you a song from another North Welsh rock act. From what I’ve read, Jonny Ash seem to have been a thing since at least 2020, but I first came across their music last year, when they released their single “Disco” through Bryn Rock Records, a label that I like to keep an ye on, out of sheer curiosity if nothing else, as it is ran by Jacob and Morgan Elwy, and Jacob, as the regulars will know, has been one of my faza people.

   I’ve liked their music ever since, and it seems to enjoy very good reception in their homeland as well, so I thought it would be a good idea to share something by them. I think Rosies is my favourite. It is about a bad experience at the Rosies nightclub. 

   The group is based in Wrexham, and consists of Callum Gaughran (vocals), his brother Dan (bass), Peter Roberts (guitar) and Mike Jones (drums). 

Catrin Finch & Seckou Keita – “Chaminuka”.

   Hi guys! 🙂 

   Last May, Welsh harpist Catrin Finch and Senegalese kora player Seckou Keita, a duo already well-established on the British folk scene, released their latest album called Echoes. I don’t think I’ve shared anything from this album so far, despite having featured quite a few songs from their previous albums. “Chaminuka” is a tribute to the late Zimbabwean mbira player, Chartwell Dutiro, who passed away in 2019. In case you don’t know what mbira is (I definitely did not  prior to reading about this album), it’s an African, particularly Zimbabwean I believe, percussion instrument, also known as thumb piano. The title of this song refers to Chaminuka, who is an ancestor of Shona people and I believe he was some sort of prophet or a religious figure. 

Morgan Elwy – “Riddim ROck Go Iawn” (Real ROck Riddim).

   Hey people! 🙂 

   Today, we’ll listen to a bit of Welsh-language reggae. This song comes from Morgan Elwy’s 2021 album Teimlo’r Awen (Feeling the Muse), which he released after winning that year’s Cân I Gymru contest with a reggae song Bach o Bach o Hwne (A Bit a Bit of That). Prior to that, Morgan was also part of a folk-rock band called Y Trŵbz, and a Manchester-based indie rock group  Lucy Lagoon. As the regular people here will know, his brother Jacob has been one of my faza peeps, which is why I’m interested in Morgan’s musical endeavours as well. 

   While I had a period as a pre-teen or thereabouts during which I listened to loads of reggae, especially our Polish reggae, and considered it my favourite genre, I don’t really feel extremely knowledgeable when it comes to this genre. Still, it seems quite clear that this song is one big reference to Real Rock by Sound Dimension. At some point it also mentions a “milky path” (llwybr llaethog) which makes me think that it could perhaps be a reference to a Welsh experimental group Llwybr Llaethog, which mix a lot of genres including a fair bit of reggae, but I guess it could just as well be a coincidence. The following translation, which probably contains some errors, has been written by Bibielz. 

   Real Rock Riddim runs in my blood, 

Standing on my hands and gloves on my feet, 

Not everything is so easy and under your thumb, [?], 

I’m thinking about the small things that worry everyone. 

 

Give me Reggae Riddim, dreaming of the sound of guitar, 

Nothing better than [?] to give rest to my square eyes, 

I miss the mountains and long for the sea, 

And the little birds singing in the forest like a choir. 

 

 

 

I want to go out tonight, but not without Mary Jane, 

I like how it makes me feel always with a smile, 

These pubs never play real Rock Riddim, 

And I have been preparing the whole afternoon. 

 

O o o o to the real Rock Riddim, 

O o o o listening to the real Rock Riddim. 

 

The gold of the world is the music that lifts a blue heart, 

Turn the speakers up, I want to hear the sound of the bass, 

Dancing in the kitchen or driving in a car, 

Wherever I’m chilling there’s always music playing. 

 

I’ve tried heavy metal and jazz, punk, soul and pop, 

But nothing hits the spot quite like reggae one drop, 

It will never disappoint me, my soul will [would?] never be full, 

Until I would have listened to the real Rock Riddim. 

 

O o o o to the real Rock Riddim, 

O o o o listening to the real Rock Riddim. 

 

Flying in the space like a star in the sky, 

Memories like galaxies fill my head, 

Can’t fall asleep, I’m hearing the echo of the beat, 

Waiting for the bass to come and knock me off my feet. 

 

Following the milky path that guides us, 

Through the adventures of time before realising, 

That there’s a reason for existence, every star, sea and galaxy, 

Has been put in its place for the sake of reggae without a doubt. 

 

To live and to be to find a free soul [?], 

Difficult at first, but it will come one day, 

Sitting round the fire, singing and laughing, 

All full of mischief, passing smoke and wine. 

 

O o o o to the real Rock Riddim, 

O o o o listening to the real Rock Riddim.