Y Fwyalchen Ddu Bigfelen

by Cynefin

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about

The Yellow Beaked Blackbird
Noted from the singing of Mrs. J Emlyn Jones near Llandysul at the turn of the last century, ‘Y Fwyalchen Ddu Bigfelen’ belongs to a unique sub-genre of Welsh folk songs known as ‘llatai’ (love messenger) songs. Usually the domain of star crossed lovers, this llatai song goes one step further and invokes the ‘hiraeth (longing) felt by a boy who has crossed the border into England and is longing for his homeland. His heartache embodied in song by the mellifluous calls of a blackbird, this old song speaks to a very modern problem, as young people continue to leave rural Wales and the old traditions struggle to find new bearers.

Y Fwalchen Ddu Bigfelen
Canwyd yr alaw hon gan Mrs. J Emlyn Jones yng Ngheredigion ac fe’i cofnodwyd yng nghylchgrawn Cymdeithas Alawon Gwerin Cymru; mae’n fersiwn o Gân y Lleisoniaid a fu’n boblogaidd ledled De Cymru. Mae’r llawysgrif yn nodi bod y casglwr wedi newid hanner y geiriau (sy’n anghyflawn) am rai o’i eiddo ei hun, gan eu britho â Saesneg (mae hyn yn deillio o arfer ym Morgannwg lle cyfarfu glöwyr Cymru â gweithwyr o Loegr am y tro cyntaf). Felly, rwy’ wedi defnyddio’r geiriau Cymraeg a ysgrifennwyd gan Llew Tegid.

Dyma ymddiddan gyda deryn du, ond mae’n anodd disgrifio’r gân hon fel canu llatai gan nad yw’r ‘annwyl’ dan sylw yn fenyw. Cymru ei hun yw gwrthrych cariad y bardd. Yn ei hanfod, cân hiraeth yw hi gan fachgen sydd wedi croesi’r ffin i Loegr ac sy’n hiraethu am ei famwlad, a’r cyfan yn cael ei ddeffro ynddo gan ganu persain y deryn du.

lyrics

O’r fwyalchen ddu bigfelen,
Swyna’r fron â’th gynnar gân.
Nodau peraidd calon lawen
Ddeffry gôr yr adar mân.

Tyrd i wrando cwyn bachgennyn
Sydd mewn gofid nos a dydd:
Hiraeth creulon sy’n ei ganlyn,
Hiraeth dyr ei galon brudd.

Gado cymoedd ceinion Cymru,
Gado swyn hen wlad y gân,
O mor anhawdd yw gwahanu
Cymro pur a Chymru lân.

Cwyd dy nodau hiraeth calon
Tra rwy’n tario ’ngwlad y Sais,
Mewn atgofion am y Goed-fron
Lle bu gynt mor fwyn dy lais.

Oh, yellow beaked black bird,
Enchant the heart with your early song.
Sweet notes of a merry heart
Wakes the choir of little birds.

Come and listen to the complaint of a boy
Who is in heartache night and day:
A cruel longing pursues him,
Longing breaks his sad heart.

Leaving the elegant vales of Wales,
Leaving the enchantment of the land of song,
O so difficult is separating
A pure Welshman from fair Wales.

Your notes evoke the hearts longing
As you tarry in the Englishman’s land,
In memories of Coed-fron
Where once your voice was so dear.

credits


Owen Shiers - Guitar & Voice / Gîtar a Llais
Flora Curzon & Sophie Rivlin – Violin & Cello / Feiolin a Sielo
String Arrangements / Trefniannau Llinynnau: Owen Shiers & Bill Carslake
Producer / Cynhyrchydd: John Hollis

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Cynefin Wales, UK

Cynefin (pr.‘kuh-neh-vin’) is the creative vision of Clettwr Valley native Owen Shiers. Fascinated by music and history, it is a bid to give a voice to an area of his corner of Wales. Starting out from his home village and travelling through the musical landscape of Ceredigion, Owen has unearthed seasoned songs and stories, some never before recorded, and given them new life in the present. ... more

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