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sian, west wales Lyr Add: Hob-i-derry Dando (68* d) RE: Lyr Add: Hob-i-derry Dando 01 Feb 12

Found the one with Sianti Gymraeg (Welsh Shanty) in it. It's the one that Dr Price and I (and any fans of early Plethyn albums - though with landlubber words) would know as "Happy now we are all, my boys". The notes in the book I have to hand (Canu'r Cymru II, 1987) say the tune was first noted down by Dr Meredydd Evans from the singing of his mother, Charlotte, who learned it from a farmworker in south Meirionyddshire at the end of the 1800s. He later came across a Welsh text entitled "Capstan shanty from Bangor to Boston slate ships" with the same metre and macaronic chorus in Univ. of Bangor library - and that seems to be the only written evidence of a Welsh language shanty. No tune. Later, he heard an old Welsh sailor singing a combination of some of those verses with Charlotte Evans' tune which he learned on the 'Blodwen' sailing from Porthmadog - used for 'pulling ropes'.

The tune has a six-note compass and is a variant, says Meredydd Evans, of the first half of a melody known, "throughout Europe and beyond. In France, it is called, ' Ah! vous dirai-je, maman' and in England 'Baa Baa black sheep'"

I hear the connection but the shanty tune is more fleshed out by a long shot.


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