Dafydd Jones (Dewi Dywyll)

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Dafydd Jones or Dewi Dywyll (1803-1868) was a Welsh balladeer.[1] His father was a carpenter in Llanybydder, Carmarthenshire, and he was born on the estate of Dolau Bach there. He was also known as Deio'r Cantwr (Davy the Singer) and Dewi Medi (Harvest Dave). Dafydd Jones gained the name Dewi Dywyll, which means Blind Davy, due to being blinded by accident. He wrote ballads and sang them.[2]

He gained his fame for his impromptu singing all over Wales in an age of wandering balladeers who were popular characters. He wrote about 60 ballads — at least 70 according to the National Library of Wales.

He died at Lampeter in 1868.

Examples of his work[edit]

Mewn gweithfeydd sydd yma'n Nghymru,
Gwelir Saeson yn busnesu;
Rhaid cael Cymry i dorri'r garreg,
Nid yw'r graig yn deall Saesneg.

In workplaces here in Wales
One sees the English meddling;
They must get the Welsh to break the rock,
The rock does not understand English.

—Dewi Dywyll, 1840 (from New Welsh Review)

Arddunol iaith barddoni - oludog,
Ni lwyda ei thlysni:
Iaith gwyddor, rhaith a gweddi,
Iaith y nef yw ein hiaith ni ...

The language of poetry is sublime and rich,
Its beauty shall not fade:
The language of science, law and prayer,
Our language is the language of Heaven.