Pendevig – “Lliw Gwyn” (White Colour).

Hi hi hi people, and very happy Easter to you all! 🙂

I’m late with today’s song of the day, as it’s Easter so I’ve been spending a lot of time with my family.

For today, I chose a really hilarious Welsh folk tune, performed by Pendevig. Pendevig is a project evolving around traditional music, but also heavily infused with influences from lots of other genres. It is made up of a group of young talented folk musicians who are already well-known on the Welsh-language music scene, most of them from the band Calan. However, I first became interested in it because one of my faza people – Gwilym Bowen Rhys – is also part of it. It is also he – together with Bethan Rhiannon, the vocalist of Calann – who sings the song I’m about to share with you.

Its actual, full title is “Lliw Gwyn Rhosyn Yr Haf” which has been apparently translated to English in a lot of ways, but the most literal translation that makes sense is White Colour Of A Summer Rose. It’s basically a conversation between a mann and a woman, where the man tries to chat her up by comparing her to a white summer rose, and some other things as well, and she wittily rejects his advances, only to finally admit that she’s actually just as madly in love with him as he is with her. When I first heard this song, I had no idea what it was about, but as my Welsh kept developing and I was able to understand enough of it to figure out the context, I was snorting out with laughter.

While preparing to share this song with you, I’ve found this fantastic and very thoroughly researched post about it by

Ffion Mair from The Foxglove Trio

which I would highly recommend to read if you’re interested to find out more. – According to Ffion’s post, this song was written by Richard Williams – a 19th-century blind poet born in north Wales, also known as Dic Dywyll, or Dark Dick in English. – I just love how creative it’s original title was – “A new song, which is a conversation between a young boy and a girl about getting married”. 😀

In Pendevig’s version, at the end of the song, there is also a beautiful poem written by Iestyn Tyne – one of the members of the group – which, as Pendevig explain, is about the loss of a lover and healing from it.

Here is the translation of Lliw Gwyn from Ffion’s post, including one verse which Pendevig actually don’t sing, (the third one), but which does appear also on Pendevig’s website, plus it’s funny and I like it.

 

“Good day to you my final star,

As white as a summer’s rose,

You are the fine girl that I love,

As white as a summer’s rose.”

“Well, shut your mouth you vain old man,

The nastiest ever on the face of the land!

I will hang myself before I come to court you,

In a word, that is the truth.”

“Your kiss, my darling one

As white as a summer’s rose,

Is like honeycomb every minute,

As white as a summer’s rose.”

“And so is your kiss,

The nastiest ever on the face of the land,

Second only to being wronged,

You old big-mouth, that is the truth.”

“Tell me when we can marry,
As white as a summer’s rose,
I know you belong to me,
As white as a summer’s rose.”
“When you see the cat eating the pudding,
The nastiest ever on the face of the land!
And Siôn Puw’s cow making the butter,
You old big-mouth, that is the truth.”

“If you are going to refuse me,

As white as a summer’s rose,

Give me a kiss before we say farewell,

As white as a summer’s rose.”

“Well… I might as well tell you the truth as not,

O kindest ever on the face of the land,

You had two before, you can have another fifteen,

In a word, that is the truth.”

Gwen Màiri – “Hwyr” (Late).

Hey people! 🙂

Today I felt like sharing with you something from this great Celtic harpist and also singer. She comes from a Welsh-speaking family but was raised in Scotland and I believe can also speak Scottish Gaelic. I first learned about her because of Gwilym Bowen Rhys, with whom she’s been collaborating as a harpist on all his albums as far as I’m aware. The piece I’m sharing with you comes from her album Mentro (Venture) on which, in turn, we can also hear Gwilym playing guitar, mandolin, fiddle and shruti. She’s also supported by Jordan Price Williams – who is also very active on the Welsh-language folk music scene – on cello.

This particular piece was inspired by Gwen Màiri’s memory of her grandfather and the passing of time from the perspective of old age.

Radio Luxembourg – “Lisa, Magic A Porfa” (Lisa, Magic And Grass).

Hey guys! 🙂

Today I’m sharing with you a song with which I have lots of cool associations. I first heard it somewhere at the beginning of my Welsh music journey, or at least when this journey has started in a more serious way, together with my Welsh language skills starting to develop a little bit. I guess this is the most popular song from this band. They were initially known as Radio Luxembourg, but then some time later on decided to change their name to Race Horses, to avoid legal problems with the radio station. I guess that as Race Horses they also started to record more in English, rather than in Welsh. Now, both Radio Luxembourg and Race Horses are a thing of the past, but the people who made this band continue to make great music in other projects or on their own.

I like this song because it’s so positive and energetic in its own right, and also I have a lot of my own happy memories with the time when I was listening to it a lot. It’s really cool so I hope you’ll enjoy it too.

Both the Welsh lyrics and the translation are in the description of the video, so I won’t be sharing the translation in the post as well.

Trwbadwr – “Feel So Close”.

Hiya people! 🙂

Okay, so time for some Jacob music again, finally. 🙂 If you’re new or still don’t know for some other reason, I have such a great thing in my life called faza, and my current dominant faza subject is Jacob Elwy Williams.

If you’ve heard about Jacob already on here, you’ll know that he’s been the vocalist in a rock band called Y Trŵbz. But I didn’t say that, at the very beginnings, before it was called Y Trŵbz, before Mared Williams joined them as another vocalist and long before they have become more widely known in Wales thanks to Y Selar (Welsh music magazine) they were called Trwbadwr. They weren’t really officially recording back then, just gigging or jamming for fun I believe, as it often seems to be with young Welsh-language bands when they start out. However, recently I was thinking that I should still see if there perhaps is some of their music from that time somewhere online, just out of my insatiable, Aquarian curiosity, because I really wanted to know how, or if, their style has changed over the years, and… you know, when you like someone’s music, it’s great to be able to hear some of their earlier, unofficial, perhaps even more amateur music. It just gives you a broader idea about them and their music. I’ll never forget my excitement when I found out about the first recording ever of Cornelis Vreeswijk – one of my previous faza people – from 1959, so I guess about 5 years before his actual career as a musician started, if I’m counting right. And so I looked, and the song I’m about to share with you is the only thing I found from Trwbadwr, but there’s also an unfinished version of it on YouTube as well and it’s also great.

As you can maybe guess from the title alone, this is their cover of Feel So Close by Calvin Harris. I quite like this song in its original version even though it’s mainstream-y and thus rather very normal for Bibiel standards 😀 but I like theirs far more (not surprising I guess). 🙂

Delyth Jenkins ft. Angharad Jenkins – “Glyn Tawe”.

Hi people! 🙂

Another piece today featuring Delyth Jenkins, this time with her daughter – Angharad – playing fiddle. They’re also known together as DNA. I really really love this beautiful peace. Its title comes from Glyn Tawe, a hamlet near the river Tawe in Powys in Wales.

Plu – “Fel Llwynog” (Like A Fox”.

Hey people! 🙂

I feel like I haven’t shared anything by Plu on here in quite some time, so let’s do it today. This is a song from their first, self-titled album. In case you don’t know or don’t remember, Plu is a Welsh alt-folk/psychedelic folk trio made up of Gwilym Bowen Rhys – one of my faza people – and his two sisters, Elan and Marged. I really like how Gwilym once described what they do on BBC Radio Wales where he was interviewed by Lynn Bowles two years ago after the release of his third solo album Arenig. He said that it started off because he wanted to make folk music, and he wasn’t doing anything solo yet, and he says that it’s his sisters “writing these lovely words and me trying to think of weird harmonies to go with them”. 😀 They’re really weird sometimes but I think that’s what I like most about Plu! 😂

Aberjaber – “The Rambling Pitchfork”.

Hi guys! 🙂

I came across this no longer existing band’s music while I was acquainting myself with the music of Welsh harpist Delythh Jenkins (known as Delyth Evans back when Aberjaber was a thing) as she was one of the members of this project. Like I said, Aberjaber is no longer an active group since a long time, and all of the members are focusing on other musical things now, but I think they had some really beautiful Celtic music, so here’s a piece for you. 🙂

Y Bandana – “Dim Byd Tebyg” (Nothing Like).

Hi people! 🙂

Today I have for you a very cool song from Y Bandana – the Welsh rock group which no longer exists now but was comprised of Gwilymm Bowen Rhys, his cousins and his friend – from their second album called Bywyd Gwyn.

Siân James – “Y Deryn Pur” (The Blue Bird).

Hey people! 🙂

Today I’m sharing with you a traditional love song, performed by Welsh Celtic harpist and singer Siân James. As it happens, one of the songs by her that I’ve already shared with you previously is about a bird, and so is the case with this one. 🙂 The author of the lyrics is unknown, but I’ve found a translation for you, written by

Richard B. Gillion,

and here it is:

 

THE PURE BIRD

The pure bird with the blue wing

Will be a sincere servant to me

O speed with haste to the girl

To whom I offered my affection early

Go to her, say to her

That I am weeping salt water

That I am grieving to see her

And from her love failing to walk, O

God forgive the beauty of her vision

For hurting a man so severely!

When my spirits were so gleeful

On a day celebrating a holiday

I discried a girl more comely than ever

With lightsome feet strolling.

When I saw her

I immediately came to a standstill

In my heart I thought

Behold the most comely woman of the realm

And her smile beautifying all around her

I would not believe one man alive

That she was not some angel!

Llio Rhydderch – “Enaid Enlli” (The Soul Of Enlli).

Hey people! 🙂

I’m just posting this before going to sleep, and thought that I would share with you another beautiful and long harp piece from Llio Rhydderch, especially for those who are also going to go to sleep soon, to get you off to Dreamland faster. 🙂 This one comes from Llio’s album simply called Enlli, which, like a lot of her music, has also been inspired by the area where she lives, that is north Wales, in this case Bardsey Island or Ynys Enlli in Welsh, which is close to the Llyn Peninsula. This island is called the island of 20000 saints, and so it was an important place of pilgrimages. Enlli is also used as a Welsh feminine name since the 20th century.

Delyth Evans – “A L’Entree De L’Este”.

Hi guys! 🙂

I have another short and sweet harp piece for you today, only this time it’s from Delyth Jenkins (nee Evans) who plays Celtic harp, unlike Llio Rhydderch who plays Welsh triple harp. I’ve already shared with you at least one piece by her from what I remember, in collaboration with her daughter Angharad, they work as a duo called DNA.

Since this piece has a French title, and I don’t know this language beyond some little words and phrases or what I can figure out thanks to other languages that I know, I have no clue what the title means exactly.

Llio Rhydderch – “Malltraeth”.

Hey people! 🙂

I decided that today we’ll also listen to Llio Rhydderch, ’cause why not? She’s created so much beautiful music. To keep things diverse though, unlike Gwenllian that I shared with you yesterday, this is a short and sweet piece. Its name comes from a village in Anglesey (Anglesey is where Llio Rhydderch lives if I remember well) which is called Malltraeth. The name of this village means something like a desolate beach.

Llio Rhydderch – “Gwenllian”.

Hey guys! 🙂

I’ve shared a few tracks from this amazing Welsh triple harpist with you already, and I thought that, finally, I’d love to share with you one of my favourite pieces by her, the title track from her album Gwenllian, especially that I’ve already shared one piece from this album with you.

You know that I generally love harp, be it the “normal” Celtic harp or Welsh triple harp or almost any kind of harp, and you also know that I love Llio Rhydderch’s music ever since I’ve first heard it. But this album is really special to me for some reason. I learned about Llio quite late considering how long I’d already been into both harp music and Welsh music in general, through one of my faza people – Gwilym Bowen Rhys. – I love exploring new harp music and, as it happened, Gwenllian was the first album of Llio that I started listening to and this was my first contact with her music. I was having a shitty time emotionally and I found her music so extremely soothing. Not just relaxing – although you could most certainly say that her music is relaxing, but it’s not only relaxing and it’s surely not the primary intend behind it – heartening and replenishing are the words that come to my mind in relation to her music.

I don’t have very many albums to which I’d always listen as a whole, in the right order, but Gwenllian is one of them. Alongside my faza subjects and some other music, it’s my go-to listen when I feel emotionally overwhelmed or just need to go inside my own Brainworld for a while. Llio’s music is great for that because while she creates some kind of a realm of her own with it, you can go with the flow and follow it, or it can help you find the way to go inside yourself.

The title track of this album is by far my favourite (even just because it’s so long, like it’s never going to end and leave you alone, and as you already know I love as long solo harp pieces as possible because I always crave more harp music 😀 ).

In my last Weekend Coffee Share that I did on here, I mentioned that I was reading The Brothers of Gwynedd quartet by Edith Pargeter, which my penfriend recommended to me – about the Welsh prince Llywelyn the Last. – The Gwenllian here, she was his daughter. I loved listening to this album in the background when reading that series. Apparently, Llio Rhydderch has quite a close connectioon to princess Gwenllian, as from what I’ve read Llio lives close to where Gwenllian lives. It’s also interesting that Llio is originally a diminutive of Gwenllian. 😀

Gwilym Bowen Rhys “Y Gwydr Glas” (The Blue Glass) & Mared Williams “Gwydr Glas”.

Hey people! 🙂

Today I chose to share with you two versions of a traditional folk song in Welsh. As is often the case with me, I just couldn’t decide for one because I think they’re both great each in its own way and also that it will be cool to have more than just one version so that you can compare them for yourselves and see which one speaks to you more.

The first one comes from Gwilym Bowen Rhys and it’s the final track from his debut albumm “O Groth Y Ddaear” (From The Earth’s Womb). As is often the case with folk songs like this, they often have a lot of tunes associated with them and their lyrics can vary. Gwilym decided to go with a less commonly known melody, the last recording of which, before his, was from the 1950’s. I really like the minimalism of his interpretation.

The second version – by Mared Williams – whom you may recall as a vocalist in the Welsh rock band Y Trwbz whose music I’ve shared on here a few times (both Gwilym and Mared are quite mind-blowingly versatile whenn it comes to musical genres) also appeared on her debut album, however in the video I’m sharing with you she sings it from her home. It has the more common melody and is a bit longer, but I got the English translation of the lyrics for you from

Gwilym’s website

so it doesn’t include the additional verses in Mared’s version, which is a pity because from what I understand from them, that’s where the things get more interesting and captivating, but I don’t feel fully capable of translating them myself just by ear without at least looking at the lyrics and I can’t find these verses anywhere. It has a bit of a jazzy feel as a lot of her solo music does which makes it really interesting.

I think it’s cool that while this is such a very traditional song, I guess both these versions could be quite easily digestible to people who aren’t really into folk, or that’s how it seems to me, although I’m probably not very objective since I’m very much into Celtic folk so it’s just me trying to put myself in other people’s shoes really. 😀

Just as a fun trivia sort of thing, the “glas” in the title doesn’t mean glas, it means blue. 😀 I guess it could be confusing for people since the title means The Blue Glass. Actually, the Welsh word glas can also mean other colours, I’ve come across this word also being used for green, grey and silver. The blue glass in the title, from what I read, most likely refers to the window panes which used to be bluish green.

Here is the English translation:

 

If my love comes here tonight to knock on the blue glass

Give him a seemly answer, don’t answer him crossly,

That the girl isn’t home and her good will isn’t in the house,

A young lad from the next parish has taken her away.

Pigyn Clust – “Merched” (Girls).

Hey people! 🙂

The band I want to introduce you today has probably one of the most unfortunate names I’ve ever come across when it comes to bands. Because pigyn clust means ear ache in Welsh! How creative! But I’m pretty sure that listening to their music won’t cause you an ear ache, it’s beautiful. They’re mostly people from Gwynedd, and they make amazing folk music. This song here, that I want to share with you, I’m pretty sure it’s a traditional oone. I really like it in their interpretation.

Gwilym Bowen Rhys – “Jeri Bach Gogerddan”.

Hey people! 🙂

I’ve been hearing lately that Gwilym Bowen Rhys is about to release a new album, which is exhilarating news to me! It will be part two of his “Detholiad o Hen Faledi” (Selection of Old Ballads), the first part of which he released in I believe 2018. I don’t know when exactly it’ll come out, I don’t know if there’s any official date and I just haven’t seen it yet, but it seems like it could be any time now.

Before it comes out though, I thought it would be a very good idea to share with you something from his most recent album – “Arenig” from 2019 – about which I wrote a fair bit when it came out, which contains both traditional material and his original music, however somehow I didn’t really share all that much from it on here, I guess only two tracks. So today will be another one.

This is Gwilym’s original composition, which commemorates the Welsh Romani Gypsies community and their influence on Welsh folk music, and, from what I read when the album come out, it is particularly in honour of Abram Wood, also known as the father of the Welsh Gypsies, who was a fiddler and was said to introduce the fiddle to Wales. He had a large family and apparently a LOT of his descendants were great harpists. Here is this little piece.

Y Trwynau Coch – “Byw Ar Arian Fy Rhieni” (Living On My Parents’ Money).

Hi guys! 🙂

I shared two songs from this 70’s Welsh band in the past, and I thought I’d share another one today. Their career was relatively short and it’s entirely possible that I wouldn’t stumble upon their music if not the fact that the lead singer of the band – Rhys Harris – is also father of one of my faza subjects – Gwilym Bowen Rhys – and so I learned at some point about Gwilym’s dad being part of this band in the past and obviously had to check them out. Y Trwynau Coch (or The Red Noses in English), who were known for their lyrics being generally very much tongue-in-cheek (much like Gwilym’s former band Y Bandana), are the perfect example of how sometimes people take advantage of their language being small and not widely spoken, and write some rather mind-boggling lyrics, because no one’s going to understand them anyway so why not. 😀 To not look too far for examples, Welsh-Cornish singer Gwenno Saunders wrote a song all about cheese in Cornish. Well, I don’t know if that’s seriously a frequent motive behind what minority languages speakers write their music about, but the amount of weird lyrics in smaller languages music makes you think. I’ve come across a lot of such bands and artists in a lot of languages, even though usually they just go for weird or sometimes nonsensical lyrics, which I can’t blame them for because I think I would also feel very tempted to make fun of people in such a way if I were a minority language musician. 😀 But Trwynau Coch, in one of their songs – “Merched Dan Bumtheg” (Girls Under Fifteen) take the weirdness to the next level, and go all the way to where weird turns into creepy. That song was really… ewww, I don’t think anyone in any language would get away with this these days! This was shocking even for the 70’s standards and apparently they were even banned from radio stations who were niche enough to play them until then. Mostly though, from what I’ve heard people had a lot of distance to it, probably because it was a minority language so they mostly didn’t see it as a very big deal. I generally have a lot of distance to things and appreciate cheeky, mischievous lyrics, which is why I do like Y Trwynau Coch overall, but the case of that particular song is really awful and not fun at all imho.

That was just a bit of trivia and obviously I’m not going to show that song to you. The one I chose is, as you can figure out from the title, all about parasitising one’s parents and having the attitude of taking things for granted. 😀

The band didn’t reach higher popularity because they dissolved in the 80’s, probably because of seeking some more stable incomes because doing music in a small language isn’t very lucrative, and you have to live somehow (unless you have parents who let you live on their money and you’re okay with it 😀 ), and so they ended up doing something different in their lives long-term, except for Huw Chiswell, who I’ve heard was also a member of this band and he’s still a singer and songwriter and quite renowned in Wales.

Y bandana – “Dŵr, Tân, Cân” (Water, Fire, Song).

Hey people! 🙂

Today I’d like to share with you a song from Y Bandana – one of the bands which Gwilym Bowen Rhys (one of my faza subjects) used to be a member of. – I said it already before on here but I really like how it shows Gwilym’s musical versatility and diversity – when you’ll listen to what he does with Y Bandana, with Plu and then solo, it all feels quite a lot different yet he’s thriving in all those music realms. Y Bandana was a rock band that he and his cousins and his friend founded as teens, and they were really successful in Wales, and recognisable for their humorous, kind of cheeky, mischievous and sometimes a bit silly lyrics. The song that I want to share with you however is different, because it really has quite a different style than all of their other songs. It comes from their final album Fel Ton Gron, which to me has a bit more musically adventurous and mature feel to it but at the same time is still very much their style and I think it’s my favourite album of theirs. But, like I said, this one song has a different feel to it than their music in general or the rest of the album, more folky in a modern way than rocky definitely, yet at the same time it complements the album as a whole very well and it doesn’t feel out of place at all. And I like the differentness of it, so that’s mostly why I want to share it with you.

Jacob Elwy a’r Trŵbz – “Zion”.

Hey people! 🙂

When I get a new faza,

I listen to their music almost all the time, and it is no exception with Jacob Elwy. I also like sharing my fazas’ music with other people, but as you may have noticed I haven’t been so generous with sharing Jacob’s music on here. I indeed try to be a bit more sparing, because it’s not like he’s released a lot of music so far, it’s only singles, and I don’t want to run out of it too quickly. On the other hand I also don’t want to be too monothematical and if this series was to thoroughly reflect my listening activity, this blog would be heavily Jacob-dominated right now. 😀 I think I’ll be featuring something with him once a month or so.

Today, it’s another song that he sang with Y Trwbz – a Welsh-language rock band founded by him and his brother, also including their cousin Tomo Lloyd, friend Gruff Roberts and Mared Williams who is also an accomplished solo artist. – This particular song has never so far been actually officially released by them,but they often seem to play it live. It differs a bit from their usual style, since they are a rock band and this song has a very strong reggae feel, but it’s not incongruent in any way since both Morgan (who wrote the song) and Jacob, seem to be very much into reggae music. I’ve heard Jacob saying that if he could get to choose anyone that he’d like to work with, it would be Bob Marley, so, that says a lot, I guess. I think it’s cool because, while I’m no longer as crazy about it as I used to, before I discovered my love for folk, I was very much into reggae myself so even if it’s not a genre that I’d be listening to very consistently these days, I really have to be in the mood, I definitely like a lot and have a lot of very positive feelings and associations with it.

The recording I’m sharing with you is from 2019, when they were playing at Gwobrau’r Selar event. Gwobrau’r Selar, or Y Selar Awards, are music awards are annual awards for Welsh-language music, awarded by a Welsh music magazine called Y Selar. Y Trwbz themselves were awarded in the Best EP or Single category for their EP “Croesa’r Afon” (Cross The River) just a year before this performance.

Very sadly, I’m afraid my understanding of the lyrics is a tad bit too patchy to be able to translate them for you in any sensible way. It’s like, I guess I get them quite well but I don’t know a fair few words and I don’t really know how to go about translating this somehow. But it’s still really good musically and I hope you can enjoy it in this aspect, and when I’ll feel more confident about my translator skills in this case I’ll update the post.

Georgia Ruth – “Week Of Pines”.

Hey people! 🙂

I’d like to share another beautiful song from Georgia Ruth with you guys today. I think it is one of my favourites from her. The lyrics are interesting, I love the harp in it obviously, and it just flows so well as a whole. It is the title track of one of her albums, and the album as a whole is all about homecoming, joyfulness and forgiveness of previously made mistakes, and it’s so full of nature.