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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 fill your dark eyes
Your gentle cheeks, Oh Myfanwy,
No longer blush beholding me?
Where now the smile upon your lips
That lit my foolish faithful love?
Where now 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
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 was it that I did, Oh Myfanwy,
To deserve the frown of your beautiful cheeks?
Was it a game for you, Oh Myfanwy,
This poet's golden flame of love?
You belong to me, through true promise,
Too much to keep your word to me?
I'l never seek your hand, Myfanwy,
Unless I have your heart with it.
- 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 entirely be
Beneath the midday sun's bright glow,
And may a blushing rose of health
Dance on your cheek a hundred years.
I forget all your words of promise
You made to someone, my pretty girl
So give me your hand, my sweet Myfanwy,
For no more but 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