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Myfanwy (a woman's name derived from annwyl, ‘beloved’) [məˈvɑn.uj] ( listen) (muh-VAHN-ooey) 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.
- 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 so the anger, Oh Myfanwy,
That fills your [hollow] darkened eyes?
Your gentle cheek now, Oh Myfanwy,
No longer blush beholding me?
Where now, the smile that shone your beauty
Which fuelled this fool's devoted love?
Where now the sound, of your sweet utterance,
That left my heart behind you, in your wake?
- Pa beth a wneuthum, O Myfanwy
I haeddu gwg dy ddwyrudd hardd?
Ai chwarae oeddit, O Myfanwy
Â 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 now, Oh Myfanwy,
To earn the scald of your sweet burning cheek?
Was it sport for you now, Oh Myfanwy,
This poet's burning flame for you?
You belong to me, through rightful promise,
Too much for you to keep your word?
I long no more, your hand, Myfanwy,
Unless it offers too 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 your life entire
Bathe in the midday sunshine's glow,
And on your cheeks, may blushing roses
Dance to your health a hundred years.
I free you from your words of promise
Made to the one who loved you well,
Give me your hand, my sweet Myfanwy,
But one last time, to say "farewell".
In popular culture
The song features in John Ford's How Green Was My Valley, and also in the last scene of the Swansea-based movie Twin Town, where it is sung by members of many local choirs, including the Pontarddulais Male Voice Choir.
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- Midi rendition
- Trelawnyd Men's Choir Performs "Myfanwy"
- Morriston Orpheus Choir Performs "Myfanwy"
- Mal Buck at Tonyrefail Workingmen’s Club