Many believe that the haunting tune of Myfanwy is possibly one of the greatest tunes ever written. The Myfanwy lyrics tell the tragic story of the unfulfilled love of a poor young poet for a beautiful young noblewoman who lived in Dinas Bran castle. The remains of Castell Dinas Bran stand above the Welsh town of Llangollen and is the scene setting for the sad love story of Myfanwy. Myfanwy was the daughter of the Norman Earl of Arundel and was, according to sources at that time, the most beautiful woman in Powys.
Myfanwy, the melody, was written and composed by Joseph Parry (1841 – 1903), with the lyrics written by Richard Davies (1833 – 1877) - it was first published in 1875. Maybe there was a real Myfanwy in Parry's life, a girl by the name of Myfanwy Llwyellyn. Like Parry himself, she too emigrated to America. According to the legend, they met some 30 years later but for whatever reason, Myfanwy Llwyellyn snubbed the Welsh composer and he then composed wrote his famous tune full of unfulfilled love.
Whatever the legend, the story or the history of the song, Myfanwy remains one of Wales’ most famous songs and even today the song Myfanwy features in the repertoire of many Welsh male voice choirs.
So what do the Myfanwy lyrics mean - what is the translation of Myfanwy?
Myfanwy - Cymraeg
Myfanwy - English
|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".
Joseph Parry arguably Wales' greatest composer, is a famous son of Chapel Row, Cyfarthfa, Merthyr Tydfil. He composed over 400 Hymn tunes, three hundred songs, and 300 anthems, chorales and other orchestral pieces. Yet this talented man was born into poverty and spent several of his early years working in coal mines and iron works.
Joseph Parry was born on 21 May 1854. He loved music from an early age, but the family - seven children in all - was often in financially difficult situations. As a result, Joseph went to work in the Cyfarthfa Mills at the age of 9. In 1854, when Joseph Parry was 13 years old, his father decided to move to America and settled in Danville in Pennsylvania; this story is told by Jack Jones in the novel Off to Philadelphia in the morning.
After some time in America, Parry returned to Britain to concetrate on his musical career and he attended the Royal Academy of Music. He won major prizes at the National Eisteddfodau in Swansea and Llandudno and was admitted to the Gorsedd with the bardic name of Pencerdd America. In 1873 he became Professor of Music at the University College, Aberystwyth and remained there until 1880. In 1888 Parry settled in the small seaside town of Penarth, and died there on 17th February 1903.
FelinFach is a long term supporter of many Welsh and UK organisations all of which demonstrate our commitment and support to the Welsh and UK wool, weaving and farming industries. We support the remaining weaving mills in Wales and create other local employment. We are an official supporter of the Campaign for Wool, an organisation established to promote the sustainable use of UK wool and we are also members of Global Welsh and Wales International
Country Homes and Interiors Christmas Show. FelinFach will be taking our Welsh blankets, Welsh tapestry blankets and all our handmade and hand dyed products to the Show. This Show is being held once again at the beautiful setting of Stonor Park, near Henley on Thames on 21st to 24th November 2019. The Show is open from 10.00am to 4.00pm daily. Stonor Park is an historic country mansion in the village of Stonor some four miles from Henley and 50 miles from London.
Christmas Festive Fayre, 6th–8th December 2019. We are delighted to join the Humblecountry Events team at a haven of Christmas goodies and gifts, set within the walled cobbled courtyards of Hampton Court. We will be joined by a collection of our gorgeous home-ware exhibitors at the fabulous Festive Fayre, nestled in amongst the carol singers and the Christmas trees, and lit with plentiful festoon lighting. This really will be twilight Christmas shopping at its very best!