Suo Gân

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"Suo Gân" (Welsh pronunciation: [sɨɔ ɡɑːn]) is a traditional Welsh lullaby written by an anonymous composer.

It was first recorded in print around 1800[1] and the lyrics were notably captured by the Welsh folklorist Robert Bryan (1858–1920).[2] The song's title simply means lullaby (suo = lull; cân = song).


Huna blentyn ar fy mynwes,
Clyd a chynnes ydyw hon;
Breichiau mam sy'n dynn amdanat,
Cariad mam sy dan fy mron;
Ni chaiff dim amharu'th gyntun,
Ni wna undyn â thi gam;
Huna'n dawel, annwyl blentyn,
Huna'n fwyn ar fron dy fam.

Huna'n dawel, heno, huna,
Huna'n fwyn, y tlws ei lun;
Pam yr wyt yn awr yn gwenu,
Gwenu'n dirion yn dy hun?
Ai angylion fry sy'n gwenu,
Arnat ti yn gwenu'n llon,
Tithau'n gwenu'n ôl dan huno,
Huno'n dawel ar fy mron?

Paid ag ofni, dim ond deilen
Gura, gura ar y ddôr;
Paid ag ofni, ton fach unig
Sua, sua ar lan y môr;
Huna blentyn, nid oes yma
Ddim i roddi iti fraw;
Gwena'n dawel yn fy mynwes.
Ar yr engyl gwynion draw.[3]

Sleep child upon my bosom,
It is cosy and warm;
Mother's arms are tight around you,
A mother's love is in my breast;
Nothing shall disturb your slumber,
Nobody will do you harm;
Sleep in peace, dear child,
Sleep quietly on your mother's breast.

Sleep peacefully tonight, sleep;
Gently sleep, my lovely;
Why are you now smiling,
Smiling gently in your sleep?
Are angels above smiling on you,
As you smile cheerfully,
Smiling back and sleeping,
Sleeping quietly on my breast?

Do not fear, it is nothing but a leaf
Beating, beating on the door;
Do not fear, only a small wave
Murmurs, murmurs on the seashore;
Sleep child, there's nothing here
Nothing to give you fright;
Smile quietly in my bosom,
On the blessed angels yonder.[citation needed]

Poetic translation
Sleep my darling, on my bosom,
Harm will never come to you;
Mother's arms enfold you safely,
Mother's heart is ever true.
As you sleep there's naught to scare you,
Naught to wake you from your rest;
Close those eyelids, little angel,
Sleep upon your mother's breast.

Sleep, my darling, night is falling
Rest in slumber sound and deep;
I would know why you are smiling,
Smiling sweetly as you sleep!
Do you see the angels smiling
As they see your rosy rest,
So that you must smile an answer
As you slumber on my breast?

Don't be frightened, it's a leaflet
Tapping, tapping on the door;
Don't be frightened, 'twas a wavelet
Sighing, sighing on the shore.
Slumber, slumber, naught can hurt you,
Nothing bring you harm or fright;
Slumber, darling, smiling sweetly
At those angels robed in white.[4]

Other uses of the tune[edit]

The tune is used for several hymns, including:

  • "As the Winter Days Grow Longer"[5]
  • "Christ Before Us"[6]
  • "Christ Has Risen While Earth Slumbers"[7]
  • "Now the Heavens Start to Whisper"[8]

The American edition of the Orff Schulwerk book Music for Children sets a carol to the tune of "Suo Gân", with the following verses:

Suogân, do not weep,
Suogân, go to sleep;
Suogân, mother's near,
Suogân, have no fear.

Suogân, Eastern Star,
Suogân, from afar;
Suogân, shepherds sing,
Suogân, newborn King.

Suogân, from above,
Suogân, song of love;
Suogân, blessed morn,
Suogân, Christ is born.

In popular culture[edit]


  1. ^ Lullaby ("Suo Gan"), Lesley Nelson-Burns, . Accessed July 2011
  2. ^ "Suo-Gân" (Lullaby) Celtic Arts Center, 2004. Accessed July 2011
  3. ^ Cass-Beggs, Barbara, Michael (1993). Folk Lullabies of the World. Oak Publications. p. 30. ISBN 0-7119-3470-3.
  4. ^ Ninetieth Season – Summit Chorale (program), . Accessed June 2013
  5. ^ "As the Winter Days Grow Longer". Hymary. Retrieved 25 July 2018.
  6. ^ "Christ Before Us". Oregon Catholic Press.
  7. ^ "Christ Has Risen While Earth Slumbers". Hymary. Retrieved 25 July 2018.
  8. ^ "Now the Heavens Start to Whisper". Hymary. Retrieved 25 July 2018.
  9. ^ We'll Keep a Welcome at AllMusic
  10. ^ "Maid of Sker Interview with Sound Director/Composer Gareth Lumb - Rely on Horror". Retrieved 2020-10-29.
  11. ^ "Cai records soundtracks for TV and film — Cai Thomas". 22 January 2021. Archived from the original on 2021-01-22. Retrieved 22 January 2021.
  12. ^ "The Pembrokeshire Murders: what's the title song 'Suo-Gân' and who sings it?". Classic FM. Retrieved 22 January 2021.

External links[edit]