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Lyr Req: David of the White Rock

RTim 06 Jan 20 - 03:37 PM
GUEST 06 Jan 20 - 03:54 PM
Nigel Parsons 06 Jan 20 - 04:07 PM
Nigel Parsons 06 Jan 20 - 04:17 PM
Helen 06 Jan 20 - 05:33 PM
RTim 06 Jan 20 - 05:57 PM
Helen 06 Jan 20 - 06:42 PM
GUEST,ST 07 Jan 20 - 04:50 AM
Jim Dixon 28 Jan 20 - 08:53 AM
Helen 28 Jan 20 - 01:46 PM
Jim Dixon 28 Jan 20 - 10:49 PM
Jim Dixon 28 Jan 20 - 11:51 PM
Jim Dixon 29 Jan 20 - 12:31 AM
Jim Dixon 29 Jan 20 - 09:01 AM
GUEST,Malcolm Storey 29 Jan 20 - 09:09 AM
Jim Dixon 29 Jan 20 - 11:46 AM
Jim Dixon 29 Jan 20 - 12:00 PM
Helen 29 Jan 20 - 03:37 PM
RTim 29 Jan 20 - 04:16 PM
GUEST 17 Feb 20 - 06:57 AM
Charmion 18 Feb 20 - 03:15 PM
GUEST,Observer 19 Feb 20 - 06:21 AM
GUEST,Big Al Whittle 19 Feb 20 - 08:55 AM
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Subject: Lyr Req: David of The White Rock
From: RTim
Date: 06 Jan 20 - 03:37 PM

I was reminded today of a song I must have learned years ago at school (only 58 years ago...) - a version of "David of the White Rock" that starts thus:
- "David is dying his harp by his side, Speak brave harp speak though I falter he cried..."
- however that is all I can remember...Does anyone else know the rest of this version (and I know there are others); I can't seem to find the one I want - even on Google...???

Tim Radford


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: David of The White Rock
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Jan 20 - 03:54 PM

Try searching for the original name - Dafyedd y garreg wen


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: David of The White Rock
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 06 Jan 20 - 04:07 PM

That's "Dafydd y garreg wen"


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: David of The White Rock
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 06 Jan 20 - 04:17 PM

This page seems to suggest that it is in "Andrew Gant's Folk Songs of the British Isles" but the link to lyrics gives a different translation.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: David of The White Rock
From: Helen
Date: 06 Jan 20 - 05:33 PM

Hi RTim, I love that song. It was in a book of songs which we sang in high school. The lyrics are not the ones you want.

The book was called Sing Care Away, and as I recall the song in that book starts, "Bring me said David the harp I adore. I long ere death calls me to play it once more."

The English lyric version may be a specific translation of the original Welsh lyrics. By that I mean, a Welsh speaking teacher could have translated the lyrics into English.

Do you remember the song being in a particular song book, or any more information which might help the search?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: David of The White Rock
From: RTim
Date: 06 Jan 20 - 05:57 PM

I have come to the conclusion that my school Music teacher Mr Benjamin Dobson (who was Welsh) translated his own version of the song and that is what we sang at school - as I said earlier - it was 58 years ago, and I am surprised I can remember any of it .....

Thanks - Tim Radford


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: David of The White Rock
From: Helen
Date: 06 Jan 20 - 06:42 PM

Well, what a good guesser I am!! LOL

I remember it from over 40 years ago.

I especially like the beautiful harmonies in the Sing Care Away version.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: David of The White Rock
From: GUEST,ST
Date: 07 Jan 20 - 04:50 AM

I can’t help with the translation that you remember: the version we sang at school was the one in the National Song Book .


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Subject: Lyr Add: DAVID OF THE WHITE ROCK (John Oxenford)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 28 Jan 20 - 08:53 AM

Not the version that was requested, but I believe this is the same one that is in The National Songbook (mentioned above). I don't think these lyrics have been posted at Mudcat before, so I might as well put them here.

From The Songs of Wales. (Caneuon Cymru) by Brinley Richards (London: Boosey & Co., [1873]), page 58 – which also contains the lyrics in Welsh and a musical arrangement for one voice and piano:


DAVID OF THE WHITE ROCK
(DAFYDD Y GAREG WEN)
English words by John Oxenford

David the bard on his bed of death lies.
Pale are his features and dim are his eyes;
Yet all around him, his glance wildly roves
Till it alights on the harp that he loves.

Give me my harp, my companion so long.
Let it once more add its voice to my song.
Though my old fingers are palsied and weak,
Still my good harp for its master will speak.

Often the hearts of our chiefs it has stirred
When its loud summons to battle was heard.
Harp of my country, dear harp of the brave,
Let thy last notes hover over my grave.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: David of the White Rock
From: Helen
Date: 28 Jan 20 - 01:46 PM

Thanks Jim.

I love the music and I love the lyrics of that song so much.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE DYING BARD (Sir Walter Scott)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 28 Jan 20 - 10:49 PM

Another set of lyrics to go with the same tune:

From The Cambrian Wreath: A Selection of English Poems on Welsh Subjects ... edited by Thomas Jeffrey Llewelyn Prichard (Aberystwyth: Printed for the editor, 1828), page 156:


THE DYING BARD.
Air.—Davydd y Garreg Wen.
By Sir Walter Scott.

The Welsh tradition bears, that a bard, on his death-bed, demanded his harp, and played the air to which these verses are adapted, requesting that it might be performed at his funeral.

1. Dinas Emlyn, lament; for the moment is nigh,
When mute in the woodlands thine echoes shall die;
No more by sweet Teivi, Cadwalon shall rave,
And mix his wild notes with the wild dashing wave.

2. In spring and in autumn, thy glories of shade
Unhonor’d shall flourish, unhonor’d shall fade;
For soon shall be lifeless the eye and the tongue
That view'd them with rapture, with rapture that sung.

3. Thy sons, Dinas Emlyn, may march in their pride,
And chase the proud Saxon from Prestatyn's side;
But where is the harp shall give life to their name?
And where is the bard shall give heroes their fame?

4. And oh Dinas Emlyn! thy daughters so fair,
Who heave the white bosom, and wave the dark hair;
What tuneful enthusiast shall worship their eye,
When half of their charms with Cadwalon shall die?

5. Then adieu, silver Teivi! I quit thy loved scene,
To join the dim choir of the bards who have been;
With Lewarch,* and Meilor, and Merlin the old,
And sage Taliesin, high harping to hold.

6. Then adieu, Dinas Emlyn! still green be thy shades,
Unconquer'd thy warriors, and matchless thy maids!
And thou, whose faint warblings my weakness can tell,
Farewell, my loved harp! my last treasure, farewell!


* Llywarch hên


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE BARD'S LAST LAY
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 28 Jan 20 - 11:51 PM

Also from The Cambrian Wreath (see above), page 163:


THE BARD'S LAST LAY.
Air.—Davydd y Garreg Wen.

A tradition prevails in Merionethshire, that a bard of this name called for his harp, when dying, and played this beautiful air, requesting that it might be played over his grave by his brethren, on their harps—which was accordingly done.

1. Sweet solace of my dying hour,
Ere yet my arm forget its power,
Give to my fault’ring hand my shell,
One strain to bid the world farewell.

2. Life’s last faint spark will soon expire,
But ah! when silent, thou my lyre,
When deaf my ear and cold my tongue,
Ages shall tell how David sung.


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Subject: Lyr Add: DAVID OF THE WHITE STONE (Kenneth Morris)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 29 Jan 20 - 12:31 AM

From The Theosophical Path, Vol. 4 No. 3, edited by Katherine Tingley (Point Loma, Calif.: New Century Corp., March 1913), page 177:


DAVID OF THE WHITE STONE: A Welsh Legend
Welsh Air: Dafydd y Garreg Wen
by Kenneth Morris

1. "Bring you," said David, "my harp to my breast,
Ere sunset's crimson rose wane from the west
Lilac and ash-gray, and cold on heaven's rim,
And my soul speed forth where eve hath grown dim.

2. "Bring the proud harp to my breast, till I wake
One more wild tune for these proud mountains' sake;
One more Welsh tune, ere my life-thread be riven;
Dear knows what tunes they'll be raising in heaven."

3. Feebly his fingers o'er-wandered the strings;
"Hush!" they said, "now while his bard's soul takes wings."
Ah, had they known, 'twas his ears were a-strain
For a wild, wandering music blown far o'er the main.

4. "Primrose and foxglove light strewn o'er the sea;
Wild tune, come floating, come wandering to me.
Dear, Druid music adrift from the west,
You the Souls sing in the Isles of the Blest."

5. Ah, now the old fingers sweep o'er the strings!
Ah, now the old Welsh harp triumphing rings!
David hath played, ere he died, the wild strain,
Heaven's tune, heaven's Welsh tune, the old Garreg Wen.


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Subject: Lyr Add: DAVID OF THE WHITE ROCK (Ceiriog Hughes)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 29 Jan 20 - 09:01 AM

These are the lyrics quoted by Helen above (but still not the ones the original poster wanted). I found them at a website called song-archive.livejournal.com. Attribution is also copied from there:


DAVID OF THE WHITE ROCK / DAFYDD Y GARREG WEN
Melody: anon./trad. / David Owen (1712-1741)
Lyrics: Ceiriog Hughes (1832-1887)
Origin: Welsh


Bring me, said David, the harp I adore;
I long, ere death calls me, to play it once more.
Help me to reach my belov'd strings again;
On widow and children, God's blessing remain.

Last night I heard a kind angel thus say,
"David fly home on the wings of thy lay".
Harp of my youth, and thy music, adieu;
Widow and children, God's blessing on you.


'Cariwch,' medd Dafydd, 'fy nhelyn i mi,
Ceisiaf cyn marw roi tôn arni hi.
Codwch fy nwylo i gyrraedd y tant
Duw a'ch bendithio, fy ngweddw a'm plant.'

'Neithiwr mi glywais lais angel fel hyn,
"Dafydd, tyrd adref a chwarae trwy'r glyn,"
Delyn fy mebyd, ffarwel i dy dant,
Duw a'ch bendithio, fy ngweddw a'm plant.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: David of the White Rock
From: GUEST,Malcolm Storey
Date: 29 Jan 20 - 09:09 AM

For what it is worth the version I remember from school was the one that starts
David the bard on his bed of death lies - The Oxenford version?

We were taught to pronounce it as "Daff o the Gareth Gwen" ?

That would be 70 years ago by the way.


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Subject: Lyr Add: DAVID OF THE WHITE ROCK
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 29 Jan 20 - 11:46 AM

Ingeb.org gives the same Welsh lyrics as above, also attributed to Ceiriog Hughes, but a different English translation, with no attribution:


DAVID OF THE WHITE ROCK

1. "Bring me my harp," was David's sad sigh.
"I would play one more tune before I die.
Help me, dear wife, put the hands to the strings.
I wish my loved ones the blessing God brings."

2. Last night an angel called with heaven's breath:
"David, play, and come through the gates of death!"
"Farewell, faithful harp, farewell to your strings,
I wish my loved ones the blessing God brings."


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE ELEGY FOR BARDD DAFYDD
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 29 Jan 20 - 12:00 PM

Finally! Found at the website of Ár nDraíocht Féin, a Druid fellowship:


THE ELEGY FOR BARDD DAFYDD

Dafydd lay dying, his harp by his side.
"Sing, brave harp, sing, though I falter," he cried.
Faint his agéd voice, but his spirit was strong.
Mountains and valleys all echo his song.

Dafydd our minstrel, we hear thy voice still.
That sweet sound lingers in valley and hill.
Thy brave heart beats with each song that we sing.
Through all the ages, that echo shall ring.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: David of the White Rock
From: Helen
Date: 29 Jan 20 - 03:37 PM

Reading all of the different translations makes me realise how many ways there are to translate from one language to another, and it probably depends partly on the person who is translating, their take on the story, their knowledge of not just the two languages but also the time and place and history surrounding the story.

But on reading each of the translations, I realise that it's the story that I relate to most. A dying harper calls for his harp one last time and recalls the times and events when he played the harp and blesses the people he has known and his treasured harp.

I wonder if when I am about to leave this earth I will have my own harp nearby. I know I will never play it as well as Dafydd Y Garreg Wen and I couldn't create such beautiful lyrics but saying goodbye to my beloved harp is definitely likely.

It brings to my mind that other lovely tune: O'Carolan's Farewell to Music.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: David of the White Rock
From: RTim
Date: 29 Jan 20 - 04:16 PM

Well done Jm Dixon................I wish there was more than two verses....

Tim Radford


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: David of the White Rock
From: GUEST
Date: 17 Feb 20 - 06:57 AM

You can hear it here:
https://youtu.be/D45VvEeUNLo?t=1508


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: David of the White Rock
From: Charmion
Date: 18 Feb 20 - 03:15 PM

Probably the most technically challenging song I have ever learned, and I don't even try to sing it in Welsh! To do it well, it helps to be able to breathe through the ears.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: David of the White Rock
From: GUEST,Observer
Date: 19 Feb 20 - 06:21 AM

Lovely song with a truly beautiful melody. Can't remember exactly when I first heard it and learned it, but it must have been over 40 years ago. I have never sung it in public, but it has such a lovely flow and range that I used it to test and warm up my voice before gigs.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: David of the White Rock
From: GUEST,Big Al Whittle
Date: 19 Feb 20 - 08:55 AM

Roger Whittaker did a nice version of this on his album Folk Music of the British Isles. A good album.


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