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.

Question of the day.

What are you in the 1% of?

My answer:

I hardly care about percentages, but let’s think… The first thing that springs to my mind is that (touch wood) I’ve never really had a proper cavity, despite my dental hygiene being rather crappy most of the time and not caring overly about what I eat. My Mum says it’s a miracle, I’m more inclined to think it’s genetics ’cause my whole family have very healthy teeth. The reason why this springs to my mind first is that I recently actually chipped my tooth slightly, but at the same time must have been badly enough that it hurt. It wasn’t a terrible pain, but rather annoying and wouldn’t go away for about two weeks so I was rather concerned. I guess it’s now gotten used to being chipped ’cause it now only hurts very very slightly and occasionally and the dentist didn’t even see any problem with it on an X-ray, but I got quite freaked out by how suddenly and easily it chipped and didn’t know what was going on. At the same time, strangely enough, my other teeth also became temporarily more sensitive so I was seriously wondering whether perhaps my lucky time is over and now my teeth are decaying all at once. 😀 Which is a real scary prospect when you’re emetophobic, hate gagging and having things in your mouth which is unavoidable at the dentist’s. So I had a full mouth X-ray to see what’s going on in there and both the X-ray technician and then my dentist couldn’t stop saying how healthy my teeth are and how they’d like all their patients to have such teeth as me. 😀 Back when I was going to school and when my emetophobia was bad enough that I really struggled brushing my teeth, whenever we were told that we’d be having a dental checkup, which we’d typically learn right before it was about to happen, I’d just brush my teeth beforehand or if there wasn’t enough time just run to the loo and scrape my teeth with my finger until they felt smoother, and the dentist’s reaction was always the same: “Wow, you have very healthy teeth!” I’m so freakin’ grateful for it, I seriously feel for any people out there who are emetophobic or have other phobias that get in the way of dentist appointments and who have more trouble with their teeth. Or maybe life is merciful enough that bad teeth plus emetophobia just don’t happen together? Still, the whole experience and the fear around it did set my phobia back a fair bit. Which also means that again I have to take a break from working on my post about all things emetophobia ’cause I don’t want to make it even worse.

So yeah, I don’t know how many people don’t develop cavities, and also it still might happen to me, although obviously I really really hope it won’t, but still it seems like I’m in the minority.

Another thing is I often wonder how many people in Poland can communicate in Welsh on any level, and I’m actually very curious. Of course it’s a minority language to begin with and I don’t even know what percentage of people worldwide can speak it. What I’m even more curious of is, if we exclude any potential Welsh natives or Welsh people who acquired it later in life and can use it to some extend, who may live in Poland, and people of any other nationalities who were born in Wales and acquired the language there (or perhaps in Patagonia where it’s also spoken), and any Polish people who learned the language to whatever degree in an academic setting (you can study it here at one or two universities) or while living in Wales (there’s a big Polish minority), how many people are left who can speak it? Is my family very far off in thinking that it’s just Bibielle? 😀 I’d like to know if there are other people in this country who are learning it like me – non-academically and plain because they like it, without ever having been there, having family there or anything like that. – If I’m the only one, it’s cool because it’s quite hilarious as I’d be literally one in like 38 millions, lol, but it would be just as cool if there were other such weird individuals here ’cause the more the merrier, at least this is the case when we’re talking about an extinct language. I’ll surely be even more of a phenomenon when I start learning Sami or Frisian, as, as far as I know, there’s no way to study these languages here in Poland. I hope I can do this.

AVPD is quite rare, or at least rarely diagnosed, can’t remember how many percent now, if I ever knew it to begin with, but maybe it could be around 1%. Actually in Poland alone it’s very possible. Then I am also a synaesthete, and one of the types of synaesthesia I experience is lexical-gustatory, which is apparently the most rare. Google claims there are 2-4% of synaesthetes so perhaps this could count.

I’m also such a strange peep who hardly ever feels any smells unless very strong and chemical ones, and even then it’s more like I feel them at the back of my throat rather than in the nose, yet at the same time I can’t say I have any problems with taste and flavour, or if I do it’s towards the other extreme that I guess I’m overly sensitive to some flavours. I have totally no idea why that is, I know there’s such a thing as hyposmia/anosmia where you have little to no sense of smell but I guess those people don’t experience flavours either, plus these are medical conditions as far as I know and I can’t really say my smell anomaly impacts me in any negative way, I’d rather say it’s the opposite ’cause I don’t have to feel all the yucky smells of this world and don’t miss the beautiful ones as I don’t know/can’t recall them.

Also I don’t like some things which most people seem to like and it’s hard to find someone who doesn’t. For example I dislike Harry Potter. Not just because it’s not okay with my religion, but it just totally doesn’t interest me, I don’t like most of the modern fantasy genre I suppose. Same about Star Wars. Or Twilight, and all the other vampire stuff. I actually did give Twilight a fair chance and I totally see why people may find it appealing, but don’t share the excitement and don’t want to. I don’t like a lot of books that normal people do, or at least don’t see anything special in them.

Oh yeah , and on another note, I don’t like pizza. Don’t hate it, but don’t like it either, and it seems to be a very unpopular opinion, at least among people I know.

How about you? 🙂

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.

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”.

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”.

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

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!

Jacob Elwy a’r Trwbz – “Paid â Stopio” (Don’t Stop).

Hiya people! 🙂

Time for another song from Jacob Elwy, and Y Trwbz as well. This one comes from their 2018 EP – “Croesa’r Afon” (Cross The River). – While it is mostly Mared Williams whose very versatile vocals we can hear on this EP, in this particular song, we can enjoy listening to both her and Jacob, so it’s like a double treat for the brain – at least mine – because I am a big fan of Mared and am in awe of her talent and how she’s capable of singing absolutely anything from folk to jazz to pop to rock, and Jacob is one of my faza people, 

so… do I seriously still have to explain anything else? 😀 I love the crazy rocky energy that this piece is sparkling with (seriously, you know I’m an auditory-gustatory synaesthete, and I swear this song in its entirety is just like a fizzy drink 😀 ) and how it is just so naturally and unconstrainedly positive or actually almost euphoric. It is one of my go-to songs that I listen to to make me feel better or give me a kick of motivation and energy. Whatever fun thing you’re doing while listening to this, it can seriously make you feel like forgetting about everything else and never wanting to stop.

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.

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! 😂

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!

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.

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.