Folk-Songs from Anglesey
About the collection
First published in 1914, Folk-Songs from Anglesey received a second printing in 1923; it contained seven folk songs arranged for voice and piano by Grace Gwyneddon Davies herself, as well as metrical translations of the song lyrics written by the poet and composer Robert Bryan.
All but one of the songs were sung into phonographic cylinders for Grace Gwyneddon Davies by Owen Parry, of Tyddyn-y-Gwynt farm, Dwyran Anglesey, who, according to an article by Robert Gwyneddon Davies, was ‘greatly pleased’ to hear his songs sung back to him by the machine. The exeception, ‘Un o fy mrodyr i’, was known by Grace Gwyneddon Davies from her childhood.
The arrangements were of a kind with the popular song of the day, and some of them may have been transcribed from Grace Gwyneddon Davies’ extemporised self-accompaniment; in the foreword to the collection, she described them as being ‘merely what the collector, herself a singer of folk songs, has found helpful.’
Songs in the collection
- Mynwent Eglwys.
- Lili Lon
- Lisa Lân (1).
- Lisa Lân (2).
- Aderyn Du Bigfelen.
- Gwawr Can Mlynedd.
References to the collection in other sources
Llyfrau a Cherddoriaeth.
Cyflawnder Bendith; Pregethau gan 26 o weinidogion y T. C. yn Nghymru (D. Mardy Davies), $1,25. Crefydd a Bywyd (D. Miall Edwards, M. A.), $1.10. Cofiant Thomas Gee (Gwyn Jones), $1.75. Gweithiau Glaslyn (Carneddog), $1.00. Straeon Chwarel (R. H. Williams), 35c. Rhamant Owen Tudur (Parch. W. Pritchard), 35c. English-Welsh Welsh-English Dictionary (Richards) in one volumne, $1.00. Welsh-English, Spurrels New Edition (Bodvan Anwyl), 85c.
Maes Llafur y Cyfundeb 1915. Esboniad II. Corinthiaid. Athraw D. Williams, M. A., 50c. Eto gan y Parch. Hugh Williams, Amlwch, 75c. Llawlyfr ar Wyrthiau Crist (E. O. Davies, B. Sc.), 30c. Gwerslyfr Cymraeg neu Saesneg ar Wyrthiau Crist (E. O. Davies, B. Sc.) 5c. yr un; 50c. y dwsin.
I leisiau meibion, “The Reveille” (Elgar), 2 5c. a 15c. Y Gariad Gollwyd (Dr. Vaughan Thomas), 10c. a 5c. Daw dydd ar ol nos (W. Davies), 10c. a 5c. The Lord is a man of war (Handel), T. B., 5c. Goleuni yn yr Hwyr (J. Pryce Hughes), S., 35c. Dyffryn Hiraeth (Treharne) C., 35c. O, ‘Rwy’n Cofio (D. Pughe Evans), 35c., O, Gymru Wen (Protheroe), Bar.. 35c. Vulcan Song (Gounod), B., 40c. Mae y gerddoriaeth uchod yn gystadleuol yn Eisteddfod Utica, 1916. Telerau arbenig i gorau. Y Marchog (Dr. Parry), B., 40c. Y Niagara (Dr. Parry), 35c. Y Mab Afradlon (T. Parry), 35c. Y mab afradlon (T. Osborne Roberts[)], T. neu B. 35c. Songs of Wales, Ilian, $2.00; amlen. $1.00. H. N.; Folk Songs (Mrs. Herbert Lewis, M. A.[)], yn y ddau nodiant a’r ddwy iaith, 40c. Folk Songs, Sir Fon (Miss Gwyneddon Davies) yn y ddau Nodiant a’r ddwy iaith, 35c. Y Delyn Gymreig yn y ddau Nodiant, 450 o hen benillion, 35c. Pob math o gerddoriaeth i’w gael yma. Prisiau mwyaf rhesymol. Mail orders promptly attended to.
W. GAERWENYDD THOMAS,
2 CLARKE PLACE,
UTICA, N. Y.
“ALAWON GWERIN MON.”
Wedi eu casglu a’u casglu a’u trefnu ar gyfer y berdoneg gan GRACE GWYNEDDON DAVIES. Gyda geiriau Saesneg gan Robert Bryan.
“Folk-Songs from Anglesey.”
Old notation and Solffa. Price 1/-
“Y mae’r trefniadau yn haeddu canmoliaeth neillduol, gan eu bod yn ddigon syml ac ar yr un pryd yn wreiddiol a diddorol.” - Dr. J. Lloyd Williams, yn y Beirniad.
THE WELSH PUBLISHING CO., LTD., CARNARVON.
LLEN A THELYN CYMRU
Y mae ‘Alawon Gwerin Môn’ wedi eu casglu a’r trefnu ar gyfer y berdoneg, gan Mrs. Grace Gwyneddon Davies, ac wedi eu cyhoeddi gan Gwmni y Cyhoeddwyr Cymreig (Cyf.), Caernarfon. Llyfr swllt, ac yn cynnwys y ddau nodiant. Y mae’r gerddores yn enwog ar gyfrif ei dawn i ganu pennillion telyn, yn ogystal ag alawon clasurol. Dywedir fod yr alawon gwerin sydd yn y llyfr newydd hwn wedi eu cofnodi gan y casglydd o ganu Mr. Owen Parry, Dwyran, Mon, yr hwn yn dra charedig a pharod a roddodd at ei gwasanaeth yr ystor o ganeuon swynol a ganasai ef ei hun pan yn fachgen, neu a glwysai ganu gan yr hen bobl yn Mon. Un o’r rhai doniolaf, o ran miwsig a geiriau, ydyw ‘Cob Malltraeth.’ Y mae’r penhillion wedi eu cyfieithu i’r iaith Saesoneg gan y bardd a’r cerddor galluog, Mr. Robert Bryan. Gwaith anhawdd ydoedd yr eiddo ef, ond y mae wedi llwyddo i’w gyflawni yn y modd goeur. Dyma un engraifft o’r fedrusrwydd:-
Caseg wineu, coesau gwynion,
Groenwen deneu, carnau duon:
Carnau duon, groenwen deneu,
A choesau gwynion y gaseg wineu.
‘Fleet the pony, slight and slim,
Black of feet and white of limb;
White of limb, and black of feet,
Slim and slight the pony fleet.’
Gwnelai ‘Alawon Gwerin Môn’ gydymaith difr yn y cylch teuluaidd yn ystod gwyliau’r Nadolig.
Y mae croeso i bob casgliad o alawon gwerin. Dyma gasgliad derbyniol iawn o alawon gwerin Môn, - “Titrwm Tatrwm,” “Y Gelynen,” “Cob Malltraeth,” “Fy Meddwl a fy Malais,” “Diferiad y Gerwyn,” “Un o fy mrodyr,” a “Chyfri’r Geifr,” - yn y ddau nodiant.†
† ALAWON GWERIN MON. A gasglwyd ac a drefnwyd ar gyfer y berdoneg gan Grace Gwyneddon Davies. Geiriau Saesneg gan R. Bryon. Amlen, 20 tud. 1/-. Swyddfa CYMRU, Caernarfon.
“Alawon Gwerin Mon” (Folk Songs from Anglesey). Gan Grace Gwyneddon Davies. Caernarfon: The Welsh Publishing Co. 1s.
The movement for preserving and popularizing our old folk-songs shows steady signs of growth. Last month we noticed the collection recorded in Flintshire by Mrs. Herbert Lewis. This has now been followed by one for Anglesey, collected and arranged for the piano by Mrs. Gwyneddon Davies, and with English renderings by Mr Robert Bryan.
There is a good example of a cumulative song (Wele, un o fy mrodyr i), and a slightly new version of Counting the Goats (Cyfri’r Geifr). The collection is neatly printed. The new number of the Folk Song Society’s Journal contains some thirty tunes. We welcome to its pages the famous stable song, Yr Eneth gadd ei Gwrthod (The Rejected Maid). There is also a learned introductory essay on Folk-tunes in Earlier Collections of Welsh Melodies.
ALAWON GWERIN MON
Folk Songs From Anglesey
(by Dr. D. Vaughan Thomas.)
The above is the title of a recently issued collection of people’s songs, which ought to prove particularly attractive to the musical antiquarian, and also, in my judgment, to the art student.
The question of the value of folk songs generally has been debated somewhat recently in some of our leading magazines, notably by Mr. Cecil Sharp and Mr. Ernest Newman in the “English Review.” To be precise, their value as a basis for a national school of music, be the country England, Russia, Germany, or Wales, has been proclaimed on the one side, and flatly denied on the other. This is not the place to debate the matter. It is a pleasure to see set up in good type and on good paper the music and words of seven Anglesey folk songs. But the contents are the thing. The first song, “Titrwm, Tatrwm,” has a haunting strain. It has points of construction, though doubtlessly only semi-consciously used by the unknown composer, which catch the eye at once. The last line:
“Chwyth y tân, mi gyn-ith toc,
Mae’n hin ddryghinog heno,”
admirably expresses both the longing of the lover, who is “Weithiau yn Llundain, ac weithiau yn Nghaer” (sometimes in London, sometimes in Chester)-what a prosaic drop in expression!-and the sough of the wind on the moor at night. Yes, there is a breath of the open here.
“Y Gelynen” is very much like the class of thing heard by the writer in remote parts of Denbighshire, in the Nantglyn and Mynydd Hiraethog district. The leaping notes of the air are particularly enlivening and free from the polished smoothness and sophistry of some of our Welsh airs. The next, “Cob Malltraeth,” with its modal melody, is well worth preserving. The accompaniment of this melody is very successful. The particularly happy choice of the right chord and progression is a great help to an appreciation of the character of this fine tune. The rhythmic variety in “Cwyn Mam-ynghyfraith” (The Mother-in-law’s Complaint) is again happy in effect. “Fy Meddwl a fy Malais” (Jealousy), “Un o Fy Mrodyr i” (One of My Brothers), and “Cyfri’r Geifr” (Counting the Goats), are not perhaps so worthy of preservation.
The collection is the work of Mrs. Grace Gwyneddon Davies, and is evidently a labour of love. The English versions by Mr. Robert Bryan are very good. The diction is simple, and would cause no offence to English ears. The accompaniments deserve a word of praise for appropriateness and a steady avoidance of unnecessary draperies. The collection is published by the Welsh Publishing Co., Caernarvon.