Myfanwy

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Myfanwy (a woman's name derived from annwyl, ‘beloved’) is a popular Welsh song, composed by Joseph Parry and first published in 1875. Parry wrote the music to lyrics written by Richard Davies ('Mynyddog'; 1833–77). Some sources say it was written with Parry's childhood sweetheart, Myfanwy Llywellyn, in mind, although the lyrics were probably inspired by the 14th-century love-story of Myfanwy Fychan of Castell Dinas Brân, Llangollen and the poet Hywel ab Einion. That story was also the subject of the popular poem, 'Myfanwy Fychan' (1858), by John Ceiriog Hughes (1832–87).

The song is still a favourite with Welsh male voice choirs. A version has been performed by John Cale, Cerys Matthews on her album of Welsh greats, "Tir", and by Bryn Terfel on his album "We'll Keep a Welcome". It is also on O Fortuna, the second album from Rhydian, where he duets with fellow Welsh baritone Bryn Terfel. It is also a bonus track, sung unaccompanied, on the self-titled album by John Owen Jones. The song also is sung in the Welsh language biopic Hedd Wyn.

Lyrics[edit]

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 wên oedd ar dy wefus
Fu'n cynnau 'nghariad ffyddlon ffôl?
Pa le mae sain dy eiriau melys,
Fu'n denu'n nghalon ar dy ôl?
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?

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.
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.

Myfanwy boed yr holl o'th fywyd
Dan heulwen ddisglair canol dydd.
A boed i rosyn gwridog iechyd
I ddawnsio ganmlwydd ar dy rudd.
Anghofia'r oll o'th addewidion
A wneist i rywun, 'ngeneth ddel,
A dyro'th law, Myfanwy dirion
I ddim ond dweud y gair "Ffarwél".
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".

In popular culture[edit]

The song features in John Ford's How Green Was My Valley, and also in the last scene of the Swansea based movie, Twintown, where it is sung by members of many local choirs, including the Pontarddulais Male Voice Choir.[1]

External links[edit]

References[edit]