Offeren y Llwyn – The Woodland Mass (extract)

A cywydd by Dafydd ap Gwilym, early-14th century.
We sing the Welsh text by permission of Dr. Dafydd Johnston. In this, one of the most popular of Dafydd ap Gwilym’s poems, the device of the love-messenger or llatai is used. The messenger, a cock-thrush, has been sent from Carmarthenshire by the poet’s love, Morfudd. As the messenger delivers his message the trees of the wood become a church and the birds sing a mass.


Queen Jane (extract)

This ballad was probably written not long after the death of Jane Seymour who died after giving birth to Edward VI in 1537. The crwth or in English, ‘crowthe’ or ‘crowde’, was known in England and Scotland into the early 17th c.


Caseg Felen – The Brown Mare

Obliged to work every day following the brown mare, the ploughboy imagines himself as a succession of swift, wild animals and birds. Taking their form he is able to visit his love.


Awdl Ll. ‘Y Gododdin’


In his paper, Canu Aneirin Awdl LI, Dr. G. R. Isaac tells us that this poetry ‘…has nothing to do with accentual metrics,… but is a structure of responding syllable and word patterns, carefully regulated, balanced and intertwined with patterns of responding phonemes (i.e. in rhyme, consonance etc.).


Kaingk Ryffydd ab Adda ab Dafydd

Crwth: Robert Evans, Voice: Mary-Anne Roberts


The englynion by Lewis ap Sienkyn and Sion Mowddwy, date form the 16th century and show the anxiety of trained poets, (and no doubt, harpers and crwth-players) concerning the growing taste among the Welsh aristocracy for the new amusements of the pipe, pipe and tabor and the fiddle. Their anxiety was well-founded as patronage for bardic music and poetry had almost dwindled to nothing by 1600.



Peis Dinogat





Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s