Ar Lan y Môr

Ar Lan y Môr is a traditional Welsh folk song that translates as On the Seashore.

Ar Lan y Môr Lyrics

1. Ar lan y môr mae rhosys cochion,
Ar lan y môr mae lilis gwynion,
Ar lan y môr mae ’nghariad inne
Yn cysgu’r nos a chodi’r bore.

2. Ar lan y môr mae carreg wastad
Lle bûm yn siarad gair â’m cariad;
O amgylch hon fe dyf y lili
Ac ambell gangen o rosmari.

3. Ar lan y môr mae cerrig gleision,
Ar lan y môr mae blodau’r meibion,
Ar lan y môr mae pob rinwedde,
Ar lan y môr mae ’nghariad inne.

4. Tros y môr y mae fy nghalon,
Tros y môr y mae f’ochneidion,
Tros y môr y mae f’anwylyd
Sy’n fy meddwl i bob munud.

5. Llawn yw’r môr o swnd a chregyn,
Llawn yw’r wy o wyn a melyn,
Llawn yw’r coed o ddail a blode,
Llawn o gariad merch wyf inne.

Ar Lan y Môr in English

On the seashore are red roses,
On the seashore are white lilies,
On the seashore is my love
Sleeping at night and rising in the morning.

On the seashore is a flat rock
Where I spoke a word with my love;
About this grows the lily
And the odd branch of rosemary.

On the seashore are blue rocks,
On the seashore are the flowers of the sons,
On the seashore are all virtues,
On the seashore is my love.

Over the sea is my heart,
Over the sea are my sighs,
Over the sea is my beloved
Who is my thought every minute.

Full is the sea of sand and shells,
Full is the egg of white and yellow,
Full are the trees of leaves and flowers,
Full of a girl’s love am I myself.

Rather than purely a love song it has been claimed that the song’s meaning is about Welsh nationalism. Carreg Wastad, sung in verse 2, is the location where the last invasion of Britain was attempted in 1797 by the French. The word cariad means love in general rather than love expressed for an individual, so could mean the love of independence of a nation.

Edward Jones states of the lyrics that they are of “the Welsh penillion”. The words have been transmitted through the ages in the oral tradition. There would be a large selection of stanzas that would be mixed and matched as required to different tunes.

As it’s an oral traditional tune it is impossible to give it a date of composition. However, the earliest date it has been identified in print is 1911 in the Welsh romance novel, Alys Morgan by Elizabeth Mary Jones.

In the 1937 book, Journal of the Welsh Folk Song Society Vol. III, Part 3 the author refers to the fact that the lyrics are in triads – a device common in the tradition of Welsh literature. The third part often forms a sort of conclusion or contrast to the first two lines. The first three lines commonly include a formula whilst the fourth doesn’t.

Versions of Ar Lan Y Môr commonly include the same first verse, but can vary with the other verses.

References

Edward Jones Musical and Poetical Relicks of the Welsh Bards 1784

Ar Lan Y Môr

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