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Lyr Add: Myfanwy (Welsh song by Joseph Parry)

09 Sep 08 - 07:43 PM (#2435732)
Subject: Lyr Add: Myfanwy
From: Nigel Parsons

It seems that this great Welsh love song (by Joseph Parry) does not appear on Mudcat. An omission I intend to correct:

Myfanwy
(Joseph Parry)

Paham mae dicter, O Myfanwy,
Yn llenwi'th lygaid duon di?
A'th ruddiau tirion, O Myfanwy,
Heb wrido wrth fy ngweled i?
Pa le mae'r wn oedd ar dy wefus
Fu'n cynnau 'nghariad ffyddlon ffl?
Pa le mae sain dy eiriau melys,
Fu'n denu'n nghalon ar dy l?

Pa beth a wneuthum, O Myfanwy,
I haeddu gwg dy ddwyrudd hardd?
Ai chwarae oeddit, O Myfanwy
thanau euraidd serch dy fardd?
Wyt eiddo im drwy gywir amod-
Ai gormod cadw'th air i mi?
Ni cheisiaf fyth mo'th law, Myfanwy,
Heb gael dy galon gyda hi.

Myfanwy boed i holl dy fywyd
Fod dan seren ddisglair ganol dydd.
A boed i rosyn gwridog iechyd
I ddawnsio ganwaith ar dy rudd.
Anghofiaist oll o'th addewidion
A roist i minnau,eneth ddel,
A dyro'th law, Myfanwy dirion
I ddim ond dweud y gair "Ffarwl".


09 Sep 08 - 07:45 PM (#2435733)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Myfanwy
From: Nigel Parsons

One translation (of two verses) is:

Myfanwy
English words John S Cottam

Why art thou silent, Oh Myfanwy?
What dims thine eye & clouds thy brow?
Those cheeks which once with love blushed on me,
Why are they pale and bloodless now?
Why bite those lips that loved my kisses?
Where is the smile that won my heart?
Why silent be?
Oh speak to me,
Speak, love, once more before we part.

What have I done to thee, Myfanwy,
To change thy love to scorn for me?
Am I too fond, or thou too fickle?
Or art thou being false to me?
Thou art my only love forever,
Wilt thou thy promise true fulfil?
Thou made us part,
And broke my heart.
So now, Myfanwy, now Farewell.


09 Sep 08 - 07:52 PM (#2435737)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Myfanwy
From: Nigel Parsons

Another translation (of a single verse) that I have is:

Why is it anger, O Myfanwy,
That fills your eyes so dark and clear?
Your gentle cheeks, O sweet Myfanwy
Why blush they not when I draw near?
Where is the smile that once most tender
Kindled my love so fond, so true?
Where is the sound of your sweet words,
That drew my heart to follow you?


09 Sep 08 - 07:56 PM (#2435739)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Myfanwy
From: Nigel Parsons

The story that I have heard is that this song was written when the lover (Myfanwy, but not her real name) was adopted, and taken to New York. The author followed later and met his one time love upon the street. She didn't acknowledge him, and this song was the result.

Lovely tale, but I can't vouch for the verasity!


10 Sep 08 - 06:15 AM (#2436000)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Myfanwy
From: sian, west wales

I hadn't heard that tale, Nigel.

Joseph Parry, of course, composed the most well-known tune of that name and some say it was for a childhood sweetheart, but others say it was about a 14th century love story regarding Myfanwy Fychan of Llangollen and a poet called ... Hywel, I think. (The two aren't mutually exclusive, I would think.) Mynyddog (Richard Davies) wrote the words, and there's another translation, by Cuhelyn, that goes:

"Why shoots wrath's lightning - Arabella
From those jet-eyes? What clouds thy brow?"

Anyway, it's one of those songs that I might like if it weren't so completely overdone by male voice choirs. I suppose my real problem is that I've heard any number of choirs sing it and they all do it EXACTLY the same way. Where's the creativity in that???

Also, I remember being in a really crackin' good singing session in a university bar out-of-term time once with a bunch of drunk english geographers (quite 'senior' staff) yelling at us, "Sing Myfanwy". Which, of course, we didn't.

Maybe if it had the chance to 'rest up' for a few years I could hear it 'fresh' again ...

sian


10 Sep 08 - 06:58 AM (#2436021)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Myfanwy
From: Mr Happy

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myfanwy

Another different set of English words in 2nd part of this rendition:

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=iZBMLFADxIA


10 Sep 08 - 09:14 AM (#2436123)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Myfanwy
From: Chris in Portland

So, Sian and others, if Myfanwy is ovedone, what are the Welsh songs that are the most popular now with the folkies in Wales?
I'm looking forward to being in Wales in October, starting with a Steve Eaves concert in Llwyngwril on the 16th.
Chris in Portland


10 Sep 08 - 11:07 AM (#2436268)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Myfanwy
From: sian, west wales

Well, Myfanwy was never really a 'folk' song in the academic sense. The tune, with those particular words, were a 'concert party' piece from the outset. It IS a folk song if you define folk by its popularity (or recognition) with 'the huddled masses'. Which is fine by me. And, although made famous by male voice choirs, there was a Welsh singer - Ryan Davies - who sang it solo in the ... 1960s/70s? ... and was possibly the best rendition EVER. Has me in tears. (Coincidentally, Ryan died in ... 1977? ... while visiting friends in up-state New York)

Popular 'sing-along' songs (unless you're out with a male voice choir) are things like Moliannwn, Harbwr Corc, Llongau Caernarfon, Lleucu Llwyd, Milgi Milgi, Hen Ferchetan, etc. But pub singing in general is in the doldrums these days ...

We'll be having (hopefully) good sessions at Coleg Harlech with our 3 day course from 30 Oct to 2 Nov. Well, not 2 Nov as the thing finishes at tea-time.

sian


10 Sep 08 - 04:16 PM (#2436637)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Myfanwy
From: Nigel Parsons

Sin,
Your mention of 'Hywel' links well to Here

The translation I gave in the second post I discovered in papers left ny my father, whic I thought should see the light of day. Particularly as I can't find that version elsewhere online.

Hwyl
Nigel


10 Sep 08 - 06:21 PM (#2436739)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Myfanwy
From: sian, west wales

Yeh, Nige, that would seem to be the story I was thinking of. If you want to know about those words, I can ask a friend about them. He's 'the' Joseph Parry expert and lives down the street from me. May take a couple of days; I think he's away at present.

sian


10 Sep 08 - 07:21 PM (#2436808)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Myfanwy
From: RobbieWilson

ahhhh, Miskin.

One of my favourite ever musical or even emotional memories


15 Sep 08 - 10:59 AM (#2441003)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Myfanwy
From: Mr Happy

Here's the wonderful voice of Ryan Davies http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=gH3yqBW1AJ4

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ryan_Davies


15 Sep 08 - 11:15 AM (#2441024)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Myfanwy
From: GUEST,Nick Lee

I remember trying to sing Myfanwy with the Cape Town Welsh Choir, and finding it almost impossible because I find it so emotionally overwhelming in its beauty. Every time I tried to, my throat seized up.


15 Sep 08 - 11:56 AM (#2441066)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Myfanwy
From: sian, west wales

Thanks for finding that, Mr Happy. Makes me feel all fuzzy pink to listen to it again.

I never knew Ryan but I worked with Ronnie's son, Arwel, for a while in Cardiff. Then, after I'd moved west, Ronnie 'borrowed' my house (and piano) a couple of times when he was coaching Ryan's son ... who is now a well-known actor on S4C.

Funny how the mill-wheel just keeps turning.

sian


16 Sep 08 - 06:14 AM (#2441895)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Myfanwy
From: Mr Happy

sian, west wales,

You're welcome.

During the 1960's, living in Chester, a TV border area, it was possible to pick up Teledu Cymru [forerunner of S4C] on our old B&W telly & Ryan a Ronnie even tho' a lot in Welsh, was a firm favourite.

I was a little disappointed there's not more of their stuff on YTube.

I really liked their sketch of the SWales valleys family with Ryan as Mam 'Don't call Will on your Father' with a plain loaf under his arm & hacking bits off with the breadknife - hilarious!!


16 Sep 08 - 07:26 PM (#2442582)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Myfanwy
From: Nigel Parsons

I really liked their sketch of the SWales valleys family with Ryan as Mam 'Don't call Will on your Father' with a plain loaf under his arm & hacking bits off with the breadknife Always cutting toward 'his' breast!
"Phylis Doris, you brazen hussy, get out of bed this minute"
"Nigel Wyn , light of my life, try and get up for your mam!"

Oh, happy days!


31 May 11 - 04:27 PM (#3163285)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Myfanwy
From: Nigel Parsons

In the paper today I read that David Essez was joining the cast of Eastenders.
Nothing of real interest there, but I noticed it said he'd recorded Myfanwy.
When I got home I checked on the internet, and it's true. But not the Myfanwy listed above. This was a poem by John Betjeman:

Myfanwy

John Betjeman

Kind o'er the kinderbank leans my Myfanwy,
White o'er the playpen the sheen of her dress,
Fresh from the bathroom and soft in the nursery
Soap scented fingers I long to caress.

Were you a prefect and head of your dormit'ry?
Were you a hockey girl, tennis or gym?
Who was your favourite? Who had a crush on you?
Which were the baths where they taught you to swim?

Smooth down the Avenue glitters the bicycle,
Black-stockinged legs under navy blue serge,
Home and Colonial, Star, International,
Balancing bicycle leant on the verge.

Trace me your wheel-tracks, you fortunate bicycle,
Out of the shopping and into the dark,
Back down the avenue, back to the pottingshed,
Back to the house on the fringe of the park.

Golden the light on the locks of Myfanwy,
Golden the light on the book on her knee,
Finger marked pages of Rackham's Hans Anderson,
Time for the children to come down to tea.

Oh! Fullers angel-cake, Robertson's marmalade,
Liberty lampshade, come shine on us all,
My! what a spread for the friends of Myfanwy,
Some in the alcove and some in the hall.

Then what sardines in half-lighted passages!
Locking of fingers in long hide-and-seek.
You will protect me, my silken Myfanwy,
Ring leader, tom-boy, and chum to the weak.


31 May 11 - 06:13 PM (#3163360)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Myfanwy (Welsh song by Joseph Parry)
From: Commander Crabbe

Bryn Terfel, Rhydian Roberts and Only Men Aloud at Children in Need 2009.

Myfanwy

CC


01 Jun 11 - 01:26 AM (#3163524)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Myfanwy (Welsh song by Joseph Parry)
From: GUEST,mg

I think Tom Jones sings this in a pub with a Welsh group. Also, I think Donny Osmond might have sung it..he sings something Welsh. mg


01 Jun 11 - 04:17 AM (#3163561)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Myfanwy (Welsh song by Joseph Parry)
From: Artful Codger

Ayup. Donny Osmond: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OJXfAB8g_gQ

Sometimes YouTube is scary.


01 Jun 11 - 10:54 AM (#3163732)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Myfanwy (Welsh song by Joseph Parry)
From: Mr Happy

Commander Crabbe,

Thanks for Bryn a Rhydian linc


01 Jun 11 - 01:52 PM (#3163814)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Myfanwy (Welsh song by Joseph Parry)
From: Commander Crabbe

You're welcome

CC


01 Jun 11 - 09:47 PM (#3163993)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Myfanwy (Welsh song by Joseph Parry)
From: RobbieWilson

I was sure I posted in this thread last night, any way Bryn Terfel et al are good but not a patch on my memory of Miskin.


18 Jun 12 - 07:33 PM (#3365217)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Myfanwy (Welsh song by Joseph Parry)
From: GUEST,kevs

I was hoping to find the lyrics of the song that goes under the title "Arabella". It opens "Why shoots wrath's lightning, Arabella". Does anyone have the rest of this version?


12 Jan 13 - 02:52 PM (#3465080)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Myfanwy (Welsh song by Joseph Parry)
From: GUEST,justcurious

I know this is a long shot, but does anyone know if there's free piano sheet music of "Myfanwy" available to download anywhere?


13 Jan 13 - 08:41 AM (#3465413)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Myfanwy (Welsh song by Joseph Parry)
From: Mr Happy

Here ye go!

http://trillian.mit.edu/~jc/cgi/abc/tuneget?F=GIF&U=/~jc/music/abc/mirror/corneymusers/orig/MYFANWY.ABC&X=1&T=MYFANWY


05 Mar 14 - 02:20 AM (#3607323)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Myfanwy (Welsh song by Joseph Parry)
From: GUEST,Norfolk Taff

there was a thread about the versions of the lyrics to Myfanwy, in which the lines: Why shoot wrath's lightning, Arabella
                  From those jet eyes what clouds thy brow
                  Am I too fond, or art thou fickle, etc.
I can remember, as a lad of 14years, back in South Wales, in Upper Cwmbran Male Voice Choir, Sadly was a short lived time, as the Choir had been split earlier, by the forming of the Cwmbran Male Voice Choir,(CMVC) and only a few 'die hards' refused to succumb to the inevitable.My brother , uncle,and I later joined CMVC when the UCMVC folded. However, the first song I learnt at the original choir was Myfanwy or because for some reason it was decided to sing it in English it had the subtitle "Arabella". I have a copy, which I know belonged to my father who was singing in Henllys Male Voice Choir in the 1930's of Myfanwy, and when I can find the damn briefcase that it's in I believe will have the English version on it I refer to.It was certainly a very old four-part score, so those seeking the (Cobelyn?) version might try 1920's manuscript Someone in Wales must have a copy of it. Regards John (Norfolk Taff for over thirty years)


05 Mar 14 - 06:44 AM (#3607361)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Myfanwy (Welsh song by Joseph Parry)
From: Newport Boy

I posted the "Arabella" lyrics here in November.

Phil


05 Mar 14 - 11:46 PM (#3607594)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Myfanwy (Welsh song by Joseph Parry)
From: Bert

Many, many years ago I remember hearing a related song, only her name was pronounced Mifangwy.

It was a version of the Rapunzel tale and went something like.

Mifangwy, mifangwy, let down your bright hair
and make me a ladder as broad as a stair.


20 Aug 14 - 01:15 PM (#3652440)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Myfanwy (Welsh song by Joseph Parry)
From: GUEST,Hazel Gibbs

I am interested to learn if the English translation you have quoted by John S Cottam is that of my late ex Father-in-law John S Cottam from Rumney in Cardiff. I recall him attending the local radio station in the late 1960's or early 70's with his two brothers (one named Tom the other I can't recall his name) and singing John's version without music. They were all members of Llandaff Rugy Club and used to sing many songs but this was John's particular favourite I believe.


20 Aug 14 - 01:31 PM (#3652444)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Myfanwy (Welsh song by Joseph Parry)
From: GUEST,leeneia

The song Bert mentions sounds like the work of somebody who read a Welsh name and didn't realize how different Welsh spelling is from English.

Myfanwy isn't 'mi fan wee' it's muh VAHN oo.

I enjoyed Ryan Davies' singing of this song - linked above by Mr. Happy.


21 Aug 14 - 03:58 AM (#3652581)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Myfanwy (Welsh song by Joseph Parry)
From: Nigel Parsons

Guest: Hazel Gibbs

You're likely spot-on with attributing the words to your late father-in-law.
You mention a link with Llandaff RFC. My (late) father, in whose papers I found the typewritten words, was a WRU referee, and had played for Llandaff, and was, for a time, their fixture secretary.

Cheers
Nigel


18 Nov 18 - 12:23 PM (#3962205)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Myfanwy (Welsh song by Joseph Parry)
From: GUEST,David Neale

I found this translation online at http://www.celticartscenter.com/Songs/Welsh/Myfanwy.html. It follows the original Welsh quite closely.

Why is it anger, O Myfanwy,
That fills your eyes so dark and clear?
Your gentle cheeks, O sweet Myfanwy,
Why blush they not when I draw near?
Where is the smile that once most tender
Kindled my love so fond, so true?
Where is the sound of your sweet words,
That drew my heart to follow you?

2. What have I done, O my Myfanwy,
To earn your frown? What is my blame?
Was it just play, my sweet Myfanwy,
To set your poet's love aflame?
You truly once to me were promised,
Is it too much to keep your part?
I wish no more your hand, Myfanwy,
If I no longer have your heart.

3. Myfanwy, may you spend your lifetime
Beneath the midday sunshine's glow,
And on your cheeks O may the roses
Dance for a hundred years or so.
Forget now all the words of promise
You made to one who loved you well,
Give me your hand, my sweet Myfanwy,
But one last time, to say "farewell".


19 Nov 18 - 03:41 AM (#3962272)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Myfanwy (Welsh song by Joseph Parry)
From: Mr Red

I think a version by Cerys Matthews on TV was the one that enlightened me. She described the story then sang with her own guitar as accompaniment. Not as polished and boringly smooth as a Welsh choir. But given the subject, the plaintiff rough edges are what made it for me. Knowing the story, the Welsh words were no hindrance to understanding.