Welsh gifts Blog

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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‘Joseph Parry’, states Dulais Rhys, ‘was undoubtedly the leading Welsh musician in the second half of the nineteenth century.’ His music could be widely heard in chapels and in other public performances across Wales in that period. He was highly regarded in his field and was much sought after as a composer. Additionally, he put a lot of energy into encouraging the development of music in Wales. In his lifetime he composed ten operas, five cantatas and two oratorios, as well as a wide range of hymns and songs.

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Welsh language tea towel. Welsh language gifts.

Useful Welsh phrases and words

Do you have any Welsh friends? Does your partner speak the language?
Perhaps you’re planning a trip to Wales and want to learn some phrases before you go!
Or maybe someone important in your life has recently given birth.
Whatever it is that led you here, we’re delighted that you found us!

Oes gen ti unrhyw ffrindiau Cymraeg?
Ydy dy bartner yn siarad yr iaith?
Wyt ti’n trefnu trip i Gymru ac eisiau dysgu rhai ymadroddion cyn mynd?
Neu ‘falle bod rhywun sy’n bwysig i ti newydd roi genedigaeth?
Beth bynnag sydd wedi dy arwain atom, ‘dyn ni wrth ein bodd dy fod wedi ein darganfod ni!

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In Wales, there’s a unique version of St Valentine’s Day. It’s called St Dwynwen’s Day and is a happy occasion for adults and children alike. The story revolves around the Welsh patron saint of lovers or St Dwynwen, marking a day in history for love.

If you’d like to wish someone a Happy St Dwynwen’s Day, simply say, “diwrnod santes dwynwen hapus.” The pronunciation can be found in a handy video to perfect your Welsh!

St Dwynewn’s Day, called Dydd Santes Dwynwen as any bilingual person of Wales will know, is celebrated on the date of 25 January each year. The legends around it make for a most fascinating story. Discover the facts about this upbeat holiday! Continue reading “What is St Dwynwen’s Day?”

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Have You ever heard of a Saint on whose shoulder a white dove – symbol of peace – landed, and then, a hillock rose beneath Him, making this miracle visible for all the people of Llanddewi Brefi? We are of course talking of the famous patron of Wales – Saint David. Let’s zoom in a bit and learn some interesting facts from His life in the sixth century. 

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Calon Lan translation and facts

Calon Lan  

Calon Lan, with the exception of the Welsh National Anthem, would surely be the song that would most spring to mind when discussing Wales’ most popular national songs. It would be difficult to imagine that anybody wouldn’t be moved by a stirring rendition of the song, such as sung by Bryn Terfel and the Orchestra of the Welsh National Opera. With the lyrics expounding the thriving for a pure heart and the music comprising a beautiful emotive melody, for many Welsh people it is difficult to keep the tears at bay. With this in mind it is amazing that the song is rumoured to have been written on no more than the back of a cigarette packet in a pub. How could such an important song, to so many, have started out with such humble beginnings? This blog discusses the history of the song, it’s cultural importance in Welsh life, different Welsh musician’s versions and an English translation too.

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Welsh Crafts – a complete guide

Welsh crafts have always been at the heart of Welsh life and have derived from all corners of the country.
From potters, artists, carvers, to weavers there has always been a strong tradition of making quality crafts by hand. This is still very much kept alive today by great demand for quality Welsh products such as thick and warm tapestry blankets, intricate hand carved love spoons and contemporary pottery. This blog entry discusses the major areas of Welsh arts and crafts, including

  • Welsh quilt making
  • Welsh slate craft
  • Welsh love spoons
  • Welsh blacksmith craft
  • Welsh beer making
  • Welsh pottery making
  • Welsh corn dollies
  • Welsh wool craft

Moreover, it talks about places that can be explored to learn more about the magic of the Welsh craft making traditions.

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Sosban fach translation and amazing facts

Sosban Fach translated into English is the little saucepan. The strange little tune, musically similar to an old Welsh hymn, has arguably become the most popular of Welsh folk songs. It has been adopted by Welsh people as a song that is held dear to their hearts. Sung and memorised in schools, children grow up with the words and tune in their heads. Welsh choirs give passionate renditions of the song in concert halls and rugby fans sing it inspiring their sides to victory, also leaving saucepans dangling from rugby posts (read further to learn more).

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10 extraordinary Welsh castles facts

As Welsh castles are such an important feature on the Welsh landscape, we at Welsh gifts with heart have compiled a list of ten Welsh castles facts that we believe are both interesting and enlightening.

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