Pennod 4 Cerys Matthews a'r Goeden Faled


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Pennod 4

Bydd Cerys yn ymchwilio i hanes 'Cwm Rhondda' a'r alaw werin 'Tra Bo Dau'. Cerys Matthews explores the history of the hymn tune 'Cwm Rhondda' and the folk song, 'Tra Bo Dau'.


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-*

-

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-I'm Cerys Matthews.

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-I've been collecting music

-all my life.

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-Music covers the spectrum

-of human experience.

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-It reveals secrets

-and opens amazing doors...

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-..when we travel back to its roots.

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-# There stands the magnificent oak

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-# Tw rymdi-ro rymdi radl-idl-al

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-# I shall shelter in its shadow

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-# Until my sweetheart

-comes to meet me

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-# Fal-di radl-idl-al

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-# Fal-di radl-idl-al

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-# Tw rymdi-ro rymdi radl-idl-al #

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-# Bread of heaven, bread of heaven #

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-Quite a few Welsh hymns

-are well-known outside Wales.

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-But if there is one that is

-internationally recognized...

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-..it has to be Cwm Rhondda.

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-It is one of my favourites and has

-travelled far from its chapel roots.

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-It's performed in concerts,

-at funerals and weddings...

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-..and, of course, on rugby grounds.

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-# Feed me 'til I want no more #

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-Wales! Wales! Wales!

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-The hymn started its journey

-at Rhondda chapel, Hopkinstown...

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-..where it was performed

-for the first time in 1907.

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-The melody was composed

-by John Hughes...

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-..who was born in Dowlais in 1873.

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-He moved with his family to Llantwit

-Fardre to work in the coal industry.

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-He came from a musical family...

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-..and they were prominent

-at Salem chapel in Tonteg.

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-Geoff Hughes,

-John Hughes' great nephew...

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-..owns a scrapbook which contains

-documents by the composer himself.

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-The archive is quite remarkable.

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-A lot of it is press cuttings

-going back to the 1920s and before.

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-This particular one is

-a handwritten diary by John Hughes.

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-Towards the middle of the book

-is what we believe to be...

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-..the original manuscript

-of Cwm Rhondda...

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-..in John Hughes' own handwriting.

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-Also in the book is a note

-from John Hughes' wife, Hannah.

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-It gives an insight into the history

-of composing the hymn tune.

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-He was late coming home from work

-and told me...

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-..he'd been waylaid by his friend,

-D W Thomas...

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-..conductor of Rhondda chapel.

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-He wanted him to compose a hymn tune

-for his Christmas festival.

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-My husband had to wait

-for inspiration before composing.

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-Some weeks had passed when he went

-to service on a Sunday morning...

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-..and when he came home

-he said, "I think I have it."

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-It was completed

-and named Rhondda...

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-..after the chapel

-for which it was composed.

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-After a while, John Hughes heard

-from musician Harry Evans...

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-..that a tune called Rhondda

-already existed.

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-He suggested changing to Cwm Rhondda

-and that's how it's been since.

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-John Hughes was born in the middle

-of the Industrial Revolution.

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-Music was part of everyday life

-in the valleys.

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-Chapels were full to the brim.

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-Events such as singing festivals

-and eisteddfodau...

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-..were an important part

-of people's lives.

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-Cwm Rhondda became popular

-outside chapel very quickly.

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-During the First World War,

-it was used as a campaign melody.

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-It was also sung in the trenches.

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-In his autobiography,

-Goodbye To All That...

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-..Robert Graves talks about

-the Welsh soldiers singing.

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-Unlike other soldiers, who sang

-music from the music hall...

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-..the Welsh soldiers sang hymns.

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-You can imagine the soldiers,

-trying to conquer their fears...

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-..gathering together

-to sing such a hymn.

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-These hymns provided a boost

-to the soldiers and their families.

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-This was noted by an officer

-in the Welsh Fusiliers in a letter.

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-His men allayed their home-sickness

-by singing Cwm Rhondda.

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-What's the history behind the words?

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-The popular English version,

-Guide Me, Oh Thou Great Jehovah...

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-..is Peter Williams' translation of

-William Williams Pantycelyn's words.

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-"Arglwydd, arwain drwy'r anialwch"

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-But when the hymn

-was first performed in 1907...

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-..it was with Welsh words

-by Ann Griffiths.

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-Ann Griffiths is a prominent figure

-in the history of Welsh literature.

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-She lived at the same time

-as William Williams Pantycelyn...

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-..in the 18th century.

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-She never moved from her home

-in Dolwar Fach in Montgomeryshire.

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-When she was in her twenties...

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-..she attended Methodist meetings

-in Pontrobert.

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-This was the beginning

-of her spiritual pilgrimage.

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-Ann Griffiths is considered

-one of Wales' main hymn writers...

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-..and indeed one of Wales'

-most important poets.

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-In fact, that is based

-on very little material.

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-Pantycelyn wrote

-over 800 Welsh hymns.

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-Each one of them has several verses.

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-Ann Griffiths only wrote

-73 individual verses.

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-She never intended for her work

-to be for congregations to sing.

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-She was expressing her own

-personal experiences and thoughts.

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-Most of Ann Griffiths' work

-would have disappeared...

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-..were it not for Ruth Hughes,

-the maid at Dolwar Fach.

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-She memorised the verses...

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-..and transferred them orally

-to John Hughes.

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-He then transcribed them and

-kept them for future generations.

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-Something would prey on her mind.

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-In fact, her sister

-and some friends...

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-..describe her

-entering a sort of trance.

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-In this time of deep reflection...

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-..her thoughts on the Bible would

-come out in the form of verses.

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-She did this to convey

-her experience...

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-..not in order to provide singing

-material for congregations.

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-# Guide Me, Oh Thou Great... #

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-The words used for the hymn tune

-were written by great hymnodists.

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-Even though, the hymn was initially

-refused by some independent chapels.

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-This was because it was linked

-with crowds singing outside chapel.

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-In one newspaper article,

-the vicar of Blaenavon...

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-..said Cwm Rhondda was

-"not fit for a place of worship...

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-"..as it was too often sung at

-football matches and in charabancs."

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-The Prince of Wales, Edward...

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-..was known as the Sporting Prince.

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-He visited the Arms Park

-for the first time in 1924...

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-..for the Wales v Ireland match.

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-For the first time...

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-..probably in order for the prince

-to hear the crowd's good singing...

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-..the band conductor turned around

-to conduct the crowd...

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-..rather than just playing

-independently...

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-..and leaving the crowd

-to sing as they wished.

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-That's when the tradition of the

-band leading the crowd started.

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-That set the tradition

-for the future.

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-Even though the tune

-is quite lively...

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-..it had a peaceful effect

-on the crowd...

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-..at the National Eisteddfod

-in Treorchy in 1928.

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-Conservative Prime Minister,

-Stanley Baldwin...

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-..visited the Eisteddfod.

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-He walked on to the stage...

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-..and there was a crowd at the back

-singing The Red Flag in Welsh.

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-The announcer on the stage

-got annoyed.

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-He didn't want Mr Baldwin

-to think...

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-..that the Eisteddfod

-was chaotic or communist!

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-He shouted,

-"Let Mr Baldwin hear Cwm Rhondda."

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-They all responded.

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-An event which could have been

-dangerously chaotic...

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-..turned into a more peaceful

-and respectable incident.

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-Cwm Rhondda has to be

-the most popular hymn tune...

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-..to come out of Wales.

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-I can't think of any other hymn that

-is sung in so many different places.

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-The fact that it is bilingual has

-made it internationally popular.

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-It has now been translated

-into 18 languages!

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-We must thank

-two of our main hymnodists...

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-..Ann Griffiths

-and William Williams Pantycelyn.

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-We must also thank John Hughes

-for putting Cwm Rhondda on the map.

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-I'm going to sing it with Osian

-Rowlands' COR and Mason Neely...

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-..at Tabernacle Chapel, Cardiff.

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-# Oooh

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-# Oooh

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-# Guide me, O thou great Jehovah

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-# Pilgrim through this barren land

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-# I am weak, but thou art mighty

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-# Hold me with thy powerful hand

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-# Bread of heaven, bread of heaven

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-# Feed me 'til I want no more

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-# Feed me 'til I want no more

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-# Open now the crystal fountain

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-# Whence the healing stream

-doth flow

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-# Let the fire and cloudy pillar

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-# Lead me all my journey through

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-# Strong deliverer, strong deliverer

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-# Be thou still

-my strength and shield

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-# Be thou still

-my strength and shield

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-# When I tread the verge of Jordan

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-# Bid my anxious fears subside

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-# Death of death

-and hell's destruction

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-# Land me safe on Canaan's side

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-# Songs of praises,

-songs of praises

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-# I will ever give to thee

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-# I will ever give to thee

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-# Songs of praises,

-songs of praises

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-# I will ever give to thee

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-# I will ever give to thee #

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-.

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-Subtitles

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-Subtitles

-

-Subtitles

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-If we want to record something

-for posterity...

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-..we use our phones to take

-a photo or video.

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-We can share it straight away.

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-Years ago, collectors would write

-notes and words on paper.

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-But a little over a century ago...

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-..Thomas Edison invented

-this machine - the phonograph.

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-It was the beginning of a new era

-in the world of recording.

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-The phonograph

-was a revolutionary development.

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-It gave people the opportunity

-to record music for the first time.

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-The machine changed

-how people enjoyed entertainment...

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-..by letting them listen to music

-any time and anywhere.

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-But phonograph or no phonograph...

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-..were it not for individuals

-who collected songs for years...

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-..many of our favourite melodies

-would have been long forgotten.

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-People such as Robert Burns in

-Scotland, Cecil Sharp in England...

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-..and Alan Lomax in America.

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-J Lloyd Williams, is a key figure

-in the history of these collections.

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-He was one of the founders

-of the Welsh Folk-Song Society.

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-One of the first songs

-he collected was Tra Bo Dau.

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-Tra Bo Dau is significant...

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-..because it was one of the first

-songs J Lloyd Williams collected.

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-However, the song also came

-from members of his own family...

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-..his wife and her sister, both of

-whom lived in Cricieth at the time.

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-This is what J Lloyd Williams said

-in a radio interview in 1938.

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-"I arranged a song taught to my wife

-and her sister by their father...

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-"..who was a seaman.

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-"The song proved most agreeable.

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-"It was called Tra Bo Dau.

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-"It was clear at once that

-there is a fundamental difference...

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-"..between melodies

-composed by harpists...

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-"..and those that came from

-the voice and hearts of singers."

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-J Lloyd Williams

-was a lecturer in botany...

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-..at the university in Bangor...

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-..and he also worked there

-as musical director.

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-In 1905-06, J Lloyd Williams brought

-a group of students together...

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-..and set up a choir

-which he called Y Canorion.

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-Y Canorion would go out

-and sing folk songs...

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-..arranged by J Lloyd.

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-But they also went home to their

-native areas during the holidays...

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-..and collected melodies.

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-They then brought them back

-to Bangor...

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-..so that J Lloyd

-could arrange the melodies...

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-..and the choir could perform them

-at important events.

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-His great vision was that

-a school of Welsh composers...

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-..would develop in Wales in the 20th

-century who would use the melodies.

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-He ignited the enthusiasm

-of many individuals...

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-..to go out and collect

-traditional melodies.

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-This provided the foundations

-for the Welsh Folk-Song Society.

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-Collecting melodies

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-Collecting Welsh melodies and songs

-started in the 18th century...

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-..with John Parry Ddall

-and Edward Jones, Bardd y Brenin.

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-The latter published 20 books.

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-These included Musical and Poetical

-Relicks of the Welsh Bards in 1784.

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-He also published The Bardic Museum

-and Hen Ganiadau Cymru in 1820.

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-Iolo Morganwg

-and John Parry, Bardd Alaw...

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-..also recorded melodies

-in the same period.

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-In the mid 19th century...

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-..the first volume of Welsh

-folk songs to include lyrics...

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-..was published.

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-This was the Ancient National

-Airs of Gwent and Morgannwg...

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-..by Maria Jane Williams.

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-One important figure who provided

-patronage for people like Maria...

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-..was Lady Llanover, whose

-bardic name was Gwenynen Gwent.

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-She promoted

-traditional Welsh culture...

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-..and held

-an influential campaign...

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-..to popularise the traditional

-Welsh costume as we know it today.

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-She was a member

-of Cymreigyddion Y Fenni.

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-This was a society to promote

-Welsh culture in the area.

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-Wales, and in particular

-Abergavenny...

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-..were becoming more anglicized

-at the time.

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-One of this society's main roles

-was to arrange eisteddfodau.

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-Lady Llanover was

-the main patron of these events.

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-She was particularly interested

-in music...

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-..and traditional Welsh music.

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-Two important competitions were a

-competition on the triple harp...

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-..and a competition

-to collect folk songs.

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-The winner of the triple harp

-competition...

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-..would win a brand-new triple harp

-donated by Lady Llanover.

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-By promoting the instrument...

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-..they were also promoting

-the music played on the harp.

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-They were old Welsh melodies

-composed for the triple harp.

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-At the turn

-of the 20th century...

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-..the Folk-Song Society was founded

-in London.

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-In 1906, the Welsh

-followed a similar route...

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-..as J Lloyd Williams founded

-the Welsh Folk-Song Society.

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-There were other collectors too,

-such as Mary Davies...

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-..Grace Gwyneddon Davies

-and Ruth Herbert Lewis.

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-They would travel the length

-and breadth of the country...

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-..recording songs

-using the phonograph.

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-It was very difficult

-to get songs from people.

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-The Revival was still

-very influential.

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-The Revival only took place

-a few years previously - 1904-05...

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-..and there was also the Revival

-of the 19th century.

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-People weren't keen to disclose

-these songs...

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-..which were obviously

-very different from hymns.

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-Some people were also quite

-scared of the phonograph.

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-It was a relatively new development

-in technology at the time.

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-People were somewhat suspicious.

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-I remember reading about

-Ruth Herbert Lewis...

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-..visiting the workhouse in Holywell

-to collect songs.

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-People were surprised to hear

-their own voices being played back.

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-They said, "This clever machine

-can talk as well."

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-It was all quite new at the time.

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-One of the Society's aims was to

-collect and publish folk songs.

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-J Lloyd Williams also wanted people

-to learn more about melodies...

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-..on an academic level.

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-Tra Bo Dau was studied thoroughly...

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-..and one interesting detail

-was discovered.

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-Tra Bo Dau is a particular example

-of a folk song...

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-..which has a characteristic that is

-very common in Welsh folk songs.

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-The only problem is that

-this characteristic appears...

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-..in the middle of Tra Bo Dau

-rather than at the beginning.

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-It happens with the words

-"Cyfoeth nid yw ond oferedd".

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-There is quite a bit of repetition

-on the fifth note.

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-# Wealth is but a vanity #

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-If we look at the folk song

-tradition more generally...

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-..this repetition of notes usually

-happens at the beginning of a song.

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-Let's consider Ar Lan Y Mor

-for example.

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-# Beside the sea,

-red roses growing #

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-In Tra Bo Dau, this happens in

-the second half of the song...

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-..rather than at the beginning.

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-This suggests that two folk songs...

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-..have possibly been amalgamated

-to create Tra Bo Dau.

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-From all the Welsh songs

-I've recorded...

0:20:300:20:33

-..Tra Bo Dau was the one

-Radio 2 chose to play.

0:20:330:20:36

-Gwenan is going to join me now

-to perform a brand-new version...

0:20:370:20:40

-..with Mason Neely on the ukulele.

0:20:400:20:43

-# The one who loves my heart

0:20:540:20:58

-# Lives far from here

0:20:590:21:03

-# And longing to see her

0:21:040:21:09

-# Made my colour gray

0:21:100:21:15

-# Wealth is but a vanity

0:21:170:21:20

-# The one who loves my heart

0:21:210:21:25

-# But pure love, like steel lasts

0:21:260:21:31

-# While there are two

0:21:310:21:37

-# From the beautiful choice

-that I choose

0:21:440:21:48

-# My choice was a pure lass

0:21:490:21:54

-# And before I'll regret it

0:21:540:21:59

-# The fire will freeze

0:22:000:22:04

-# Wealth is but a vanity

0:22:050:22:09

-# The one who loves my heart

0:22:110:22:15

-# But pure love, like steel lasts

0:22:150:22:20

-# While there are two

0:22:210:22:26

-# My love is over the sea

0:22:270:22:32

-# I hope that she is well

0:22:320:22:37

-# I love the land where she walks

0:22:370:22:42

-# From the core of my little heart

0:22:430:22:48

-# Wealth is but a vanity

0:22:490:22:53

-# Purety never lasts

0:22:550:22:58

-# But pure love, like steel lasts

0:22:590:23:04

-# While there are two

0:23:050:23:11

-# While there are two #

0:23:110:23:19

-S4C Subtitles by Testun Cyf.

0:23:400:23:42

Bydd Cerys yn ymchwilio i hanes 'Cwm Rhondda' a'r alaw werin 'Tra Bo Dau'. Cerys Matthews explores the history of the hymn tune 'Cwm Rhondda' and the folk song, 'Tra Bo Dau'.