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  • Sosban Fach Lyrics - Sosban Fach - Famous Welsh Folk Song

    Sosban Fach Lyrics and English Translation

    Sosban Fach, literally meaning "little saucepan" is a short, traditional Welsh folk song but it has become one of the Wales’ most famous. Just like with another famous Welsh song, Calon Lân, it is almost always sung in the Welsh language, whatever the occasion.

    The song is associated with the Llanelli rugby club and more recently the Scarlets regional professional rugby club. The tin plating industry was significant in Llanelli and used to make tin-plated steel saucepans and other kitchen utensils. In association with this history, the former Llanelli rugby ground at Stradey Parc as well as the current Parc y Scarlets has a 'sosban' on the top of each goalpost. The Scarlets' official club magazine is titled "Sosban".

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    Sosban Fach - Welsh Folk Song - Lyrics in Welsh and English
    Sosban Fach - Welsh Folk Song with Lyrics and meaning - More "Beautiful Welsh Songs", click here...

    Llanelli 9, The All Blacks 3 - 1972

    Whilst Sosban Fach is almost always sung in Welsh, there is famous variation to honour the defeat of the mighty New Zealand All Blacks in 1972. After Llanelli beat a strong New Zealand side on 31 October 1972, a new English chorus could be heard:

    Who beat the All Blacks,
    Who beat the All Blacks,
    Who beat the All Blacks
    Good old Sosban fach.

     

    Other Famous Welsh Songs

     

    Sosban Fach History

    This Welsh folk song is based upon words written by Richard Davies, also known as Mynyddog, in 1873 as part of his song Rheolau yr Aelwyd ("Rules of the home"). Later in 1895 Talog Williams, an accountant from Dowlais (near to Merthyr Tydfil) in Glamorganshire, composed the song that we know today. Talog amended Mynyddog's original words, and he added four new verses. The melody for the ‘new Sosban Fach lyrics’ was composed by the Reverend D.M. Davies. Altogether, and rather surprisingly, the song describes the troubles of a harassed housewife.

    Sosban Fach Today

    Sosban Fach has been adopted by Welsh people and is sung in schools, concert halls and other live music event but also by rugby fans. Although Sosban Fach is sung with fervour at Welsh Rugby internationals, it is most famously associated with Llanelli or the Scarlets rugby teams. Sosbans can be seen on the top of the goalposts at Stradey Park and more recently at Parc y Scarlets, the home stadium of the Llanelli teams.

    Sosban Fach Lyrics

    Sosban Fach Lyrics - Cymraeg

    Mae bys Meri-Ann wedi brifo,
    A Dafydd y gwas ddim yn iach.
    Mae’r baban yn y crud yn crio,
    A’r gath wedi sgrapo Joni bach.

    Sosban fach yn berwi ar y tân,
    Sosban fawr yn berwi ar y llawr,
    A’r gath wedi sgrapo Joni bach.

    Dai bach y sowldiwr,
    Dai bach y sowldiwr,
    Dai bach y sowldiwr,
    A gwt ei grys e mas.

    Mae bys Meri-Ann wedi gwella,
    A Dafydd y gwas yn ei fedd;
    Mae’r baban yn y crud wedi tyfu,
    A’r gath wedi huno mewn hedd.

    Sosban fach yn berwi ar y tân
    Sosban fawr yn berwi ar y llawr
    A’r gath wedi huno mewn hedd.

    Sosban Fach Lyrics – Meaning English (Litteral Translation)

    Mary-Ann has hurt her finger,
    And David the servant is not well.
    The baby in the cradle is crying,
    And the cat has scratched little Johnny.

    A little saucepan is boiling on the fire,
    A big saucepan is boiling on the floor,
    And the cat has scratched little Johnny.

    Little Dai the soldier,
    Little Dai the soldier,
    Little Dai the soldier,
    And his shirt tail is hanging out.

    Mary-Ann’s finger has got better,
    And David the servant is in his grave;
    The baby in the cradle has grown up,
    And the cat is ‘asleep in peace’.

    A little saucepan is boiling on the fire,
    A big saucepan is boiling on the floor,
    And the cat is ‘asleep in peace’.

    Sosban Fach Original Verse by Mynyddog

    Pan fyddo yr aelwyd yn oeri,
    A'r anwyd yn dyfod o'r gwaed;
    Pan fyddo y trwyn bron a rhewi
    A'r winrew ar fysedd y traed;
    Pan fo Catherine Ann wedi briwio
    A Dafydd y gwas ddim yn iach,
    A'r babi yn nadu a chrio
    A'r gath wedi crafu John Bach:
    Rhowch broc i'r tân,
    A chanwch gân
    I gadw'r cwerylon o'r aelwyd lân.

    ("When the hearth cools / And the blood runs cold; / When the nose is almost frozen / And the toes are freezing; / When Catherine Ann is hurt / And Dafydd the servant is not well, / And the baby is howling and crying / And the cat has scratched little John: / Put wood on the fire / And sing a song/ To keep quarrels away from the fair hearth")

    Sosban Fach - Other Variations

    Sosban Fach - Y Wladfa (Patagonia)

    A verse was "uncovered" in Patagonia, sung by descendants of Welsh settlers and follows the second original verse:

    Fe gladdwyd y gath mewn lle doniol,
    Mewn bocs lle'r oedd Nain yn cadw'r startsh,
    A dodwyd ei chorff mewn beddrod,
    A'r band yn chwarae y death-march
    Pan fyddo yr aelwyd yn oeri,
    A'r anwyd yn dyfod o'r gwaed.

    ("The cat was buried in a funny place / In a box where Granny kept starch / Her body was placed in a grave / And the band is playing the death march.")

    Sosban Fach - Rugby Variations

    There have been many new English variations of Sosban Fach sung at Llanelli RFC and subsequently by the Scarlets. 

    After Llanelli beat the New Zealand All Blacks on 31 October 1972, a new English chorus could be heard:

    Who beat the All Blacks,
    Who beat the All Blacks,
    Who beat the All Blacks
    Good old Sosban fach.

    Other variations include the following.

    Who beat the Leicester Tigers?
    Who beat the Leicester Tigers?
    Good old Dafydd James (a Scarlets rugby player)

     

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    Last updated 27th February 2024

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