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Lyr Req: Watching the Wheat (Welsh song)

Related threads:
Lyr Req: Watching the wheat (29)
Lyr Req: Bugeilio'r Gwenith Gwyn (5)


p.geddes@abdn.ac.uk 05 Jan 99 - 09:42 AM
Bert 05 Jan 99 - 11:10 AM
Zany Mouse 08 Feb 06 - 12:36 PM
Fliss 08 Feb 06 - 04:48 PM
greg stephens 08 Feb 06 - 05:39 PM
Malcolm Douglas 08 Feb 06 - 11:37 PM
Goose Gander 09 Feb 06 - 01:27 AM
Artful Codger 09 Feb 06 - 03:57 AM
Leraud 09 Feb 06 - 04:53 AM
greg stephens 09 Feb 06 - 06:52 AM
Artful Codger 09 Feb 06 - 04:23 PM
Leraud 09 Feb 06 - 05:41 PM
GUEST,Gordon Thomas 05 Aug 08 - 06:19 AM
sian, west wales 05 Aug 08 - 07:45 AM
GUEST,leeneia 05 Aug 08 - 10:05 AM
Zany Mouse 05 Aug 08 - 11:06 AM
GUEST,Bernadette 29 Sep 08 - 10:04 AM
sian, west wales 29 Sep 08 - 10:35 AM
GUEST,Adele Treskillard 29 Sep 08 - 10:17 PM
sian, west wales 30 Sep 08 - 03:13 AM
Artful Codger 30 Sep 08 - 04:12 AM
GUEST,Adele Treskillard 30 Sep 08 - 10:33 AM
the lemonade lady 30 Sep 08 - 02:34 PM
Mo the caller 01 Oct 08 - 05:09 AM
sian, west wales 01 Oct 08 - 05:44 AM
Nigel Parsons 01 Oct 08 - 10:33 AM
Mo the caller 02 Oct 08 - 10:09 AM
sian, west wales 02 Oct 08 - 10:42 AM
Nigel Parsons 02 Oct 08 - 12:00 PM
sian, west wales 02 Oct 08 - 12:19 PM
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Subject: Need Lyrics -
From: p.geddes@abdn.ac.uk
Date: 05 Jan 99 - 09:42 AM

I would like the lyrics to a song my folks used to sing when I was little but I've scoured the web without success. I'm pretty sure the songs called "Walking in the wheat" or "Walking through the wheat" and I remember being told it's an old welsh folk song. Yours in hope.

Peter Geddes.


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Subject: Lyr Add: BUGEILIO'R GWENITH GWYN / WATCHING THE...
From: Bert
Date: 05 Jan 99 - 11:10 AM

I don't know if this is what you're looking for. I found it in an old YHA Songbook.

Watching the Wheat.
Idle days in summer Time,
In pleasant sunny weather
A-mid the golden colour'd corn,
Two lovers passed together.
Many words they did not speak,
To give their thoughts expression,
Each knew the other's heart was full,
But neither made confession.



Winter came and then alas
Came cold and dreary weather,
No more lovers pass'd their days,
A-mid the fields together.
Cruel fate has sever'd them,
and both are broked hearted;
Had they been wed in summer time,
They would not now be parted.

There's also a version in Welsh which I don't understand. This is missing a few accents here and there.

Bugeilio'r Gwenith Gwyn

Mi sydd fachgen ieuanc ffol,
Yn byw yn ol fy ffansi
Myfi'n bugeilio'r gwenith gwyn,
Ac arail yn ei fedi.
Pam na ddeui ar fy ol,
Ryw ddydd ar ol ei gilydd?
Gwaith r'wy'ndy wel'd y feinir fach
Yn lanach lanach beunydd.

Glanach lanach wyt bob dyd,
Neu fi yn wir s'yn ffolach,
Er mwyn y gwr a wnaeth dy wedd
Gwna im drugaredd bellach:
Cwn dy ben, gwel occo draw.
Rho i mi'ith law wendirion,
Gwaith yn dy fynwes berth ei thro,
Mae allweth clo fy nghalon.

Bert.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Watching the Wheat (Welsh song)
From: Zany Mouse
Date: 08 Feb 06 - 12:36 PM

OK, OK, I know this is an old thread but I was thinking about singing a version of this song soon. My mother used to sing it, beautifully harmonised by my Aunt Lilian, and it haunts my mind still.

What I want to know is : does anyone have a date for for both the tune and/or the words please.

Thanks

Rhiannon


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Subject: Lyr Add: WATCHING THE WHITE WHEAT
From: Fliss
Date: 08 Feb 06 - 04:48 PM

WATCHING THE WHITE WHEAT
Bugeilio'r Gwenith Gwyn

1. A simple youthful lad am I
Who loves at fancy's pleasure:
I fondly watch the blooming wheat,
Another reaps the treasure.
Oh! Wherefore still despise my suit,
Why sighing keep thy lover?
For some new charm, thou matchless fair,
I day by day discover.

2. Each day reveals some newborn grace,
Or does fond faith deceive me?
In love to Him who formed thy face,
With pity now receive me,
Then lift thine eyes, one look bestow.
Give me thy hand, my fairest,
For in thy bosom, lovely maid,
My heart's true key thou bearest.

3. While hair adorns this aching brow
Still I will love sincerely,
While ocean rolls its briny flow
Still I will love thee dearly.
Then tell the truth, in secret tell,
And under seal discover,
If it be I or who is blest
As thy true heart's best lover

A folk song describing the tragic love affair of Wil Hopcyn and Ann, the daughter of a wealthy farmer from Cefenydfa, Llangynwyd, S. Wales. Ann, betrothed through her parents, married the man of their choice. She later died of a broken heart, since her first love was Wil, a farm hand.
from digital tradition

My father used to sing this. He was in Shrewsbury Male Voice choir during WWII.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Watching the Wheat (Welsh song)
From: greg stephens
Date: 08 Feb 06 - 05:39 PM

I have just had the pleasure of recording Pam Barfield and her daughter Kate singing this in Welsh, Kate on the tune and her mum harmonising wildly round it. Magic. It is for part of a multi-cultural recording project I am doing in Stoke, recording ethnic music from all cultural groups in the city. Welsh is the nearest we can get to First/Indigenous People!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Watching the Wheat (Welsh song)
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 08 Feb 06 - 11:37 PM

See also the links to earlier discussions of the song above.

If recent genetic analysis is to be trusted, it does seem that there is a high proportion of Neolithic (pre-Celtic) blood in Wales. There seems to be a near relationship to the Basques; that doesn't mean, as people who are more conscious of fashion than science have assumed, that the Basques are "Celts" (they are nothing of the kind; their language isn't even Indo-European), but that most of the Welsh aren't "Celtic" at all. They were here long before Celtic languages or culture arrived, and, as Greg suggests, the highest concentration of the "aboriginal" population of Britain does appear to be in Wales; though it is rather more widespread throughout Britain and Ireland than people tend to imagine.

We still labour under the romantic nationalist fantasies of the 18th century. The sooner we can shrug off all that nonsense, the sooner we can begin to arrive at a proper understanding of where we are really from, and what we are.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Watching the Wheat (Welsh song)
From: Goose Gander
Date: 09 Feb 06 - 01:27 AM

Malcolm is correct, of course, but it should be pointed out that the Welsh generally are lumped together with other 'Celtic' peoples for linguistic and geographic reasons. Early population studies in the United States generally counted people of Welsh descent as English, and more recent work groups them together with Scots, Scots-Irish and Irish. The first generalization enabled various writers to 'prove' that the white population of the American upland South was 'Anglo-Saxon', while the second has helped allow more recent writers to 'prove' that this same population was 'Celtic'. Hank Williams . . . George Jones . . . how come no one has ever proposed the 'Welsh Thesis' of American Country music?

Sorry this has nothing to do with song being discussed.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Watching the Wheat (Welsh song)
From: Artful Codger
Date: 09 Feb 06 - 03:57 AM

The King's Singers must've been impressed with this song, since they named an album of folksongs after it (Watching the White Wheat). They sing it in Welsh.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE GOLDEN WHEAT
From: Leraud
Date: 09 Feb 06 - 04:53 AM

Pat Turner and I sing the following version called 'The Golden Wheat', which is on our CD 'The Moon Shines Bright'.

Lynne Heraud

THE GOLDEN WHEAT

A young and foolish lad am I
I go where fancy leads me
I stand and guard the golden wheat
Another does the reaping
The wind grows colder day by day
And you grow ever fairer
September comes and I must go
Will you not follow after?

Oh, tell me truly, gentle Anne
Oh, truly give your answer
Will you be mine forever more
Or do you love another.
Until the salt dries in the sea
And whilst my eyes can seek you
Until my heart dies in my breast
I'll surely, surely love you


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Watching the Wheat (Welsh song)
From: greg stephens
Date: 09 Feb 06 - 06:52 AM

I am no great believer in ninety percent of the "Celtic" twaddle spouted about folk music. But it definitely struck me that a sort of audit of ethnic groups in Stoke-on-Trent should start with a Welsh song. Not because a modernish Welsh song would have any great connection with what the lads and lasses would have singing in 300AD before the English came, but at least there would be a strong linguistic connection between modern Welsh and the language spoken there.
    Now I live in Penkhull, which is on the hill above the centre of the town of Stoke, the Oxford Dictionaryof English placenames suggests the the best possible explanation for early forms of the name would be Pencoed Hill. And the first bit of that is defintely a British name(or s we would say now, Welsh.
    And, in the absence of any record of of the music and songs of those who lived there before the Celts arrived with their shiny new Iron Age swords, huge abilities to organise pissups in breweries but relatively little else, and a fund of great songs and harp tunes, they will have to do to represent Indigenous Stokies in my great work of song collection.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Watching the Wheat (Welsh song)
From: Artful Codger
Date: 09 Feb 06 - 04:23 PM

Staying ON topic:
Lynne, did you and/or Pat translate/rework these verses, or do you know any more of their provenance?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Watching the Wheat (Welsh song)
From: Leraud
Date: 09 Feb 06 - 05:41 PM

I found it in a book published by Cambridge University Press in 1963. The words were translated into English by Will Sandhow and there were only two verses.

We first used it to teach in a harmony workshop, but thought the words and tune were so beautiful, we decided to keep it in our repertoire.

Lynne


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Watching the Wheat (Welsh song)
From: GUEST,Gordon Thomas
Date: 05 Aug 08 - 06:19 AM

Thanks for printing these lyrics! I used to sing them as a young and foolish lad at school back in the mid sixties living in Pembrokeshire. I seem to remember singing "and i grow ever weeker" instead of "and you grow ever fairer" but i´ll use these words for now. The ballad is such a haunting melody, only the Welsh can write with such pathos :-)

All the best, Gordon


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Watching the Wheat (Welsh song)
From: sian, west wales
Date: 05 Aug 08 - 07:45 AM

Just to respond belatedly with some historical information ...

Bugeilio'r Gwenith Gwyn was first published in Maria Jane Williams' collection, "Ancient National Airs of Gwent and Morgannwg" (1844) but she was probably given a version of words and tune by the son of the 18th century collector, Iolo Morgannwg. The tune was very popular in Glamorganshire (roughly Swansea to Cardiff), used with various sets of words, and known by several names: Y Gelynen (the holly), Yr Hen Gelynen (the old holly), and 'Gwegil y Fwyell' (the haft of the hatchet). There is a 'tradition' that the words were written by Wil Hopkin (above) but there's no real proof. Nice story, though, and widely believed.

The words provided by Leraud above are a pretty good translation of the Welsh.

sian


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Watching the Wheat (Welsh song)
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 05 Aug 08 - 10:05 AM

Here's the URL of a nice site where you can hear or download (to MIDI) 40 Welsh tunes, this one among them:

http://www.tylwythteg.com/music/music.html

Sian, thanks for the historical info.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Watching the Wheat (Welsh song)
From: Zany Mouse
Date: 05 Aug 08 - 11:06 AM

The words my mother and aunt used to sing are:

Pleasant days in summertime
In pleasant sunny weather
Amid the golden summer corn
Two lovers pass together
Many a word they did not speak
To give their thoughts expression
Each knew the other's heart was full
and neither made confession

Winter days have come alas
Comes cold and deary weather
No more the lovers pass their way
Amid the fields together
Cruel fate has severed them
And both are broken hearted
Had they been wed in summertime
They would not now be parted.

Rhiannon


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Watching the Wheat (Welsh song)
From: GUEST,Bernadette
Date: 29 Sep 08 - 10:04 AM

I absolutely love this Music.. The first time I heard it was at a Brass Band Solos Competition, in South Australia. ( I think around the eighties)- a young girl played it on Tenor Horn (it was Titled...Variations on a Welsh Theme). At that time I had no idea it was an actual Folk song named Watching the Wheat. Some years later my son played Watching the Wheat on Cornet at a concert in the Barrosa Valley, (again in S.A.) I was bowled over again by the haunting melody.      Believe it or not,the first time I heard anyone singing this beautiful Folk song was on one of Billy Connelly's "TOUR" series!! I may be mistaken (especially in the spelling of this name) Did Bryn Turkel (sorry!!!) sing this at some stage??    Love to know and how to fit the words with the music.

Bernadette........thanks for the opportunity to search


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Watching the Wheat (Welsh song)
From: sian, west wales
Date: 29 Sep 08 - 10:35 AM

It is, indeed, a favourite of brass and silver bands and really beautiful when played well.

Bryn Terfel has sung it on numerous occasions but, although I think he has a fine voice, I prefer this sort of thing sung in a non-operatic style. (His latest CD is all folk-y type stuff from the British Isles I hear.)

sian


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Watching the Wheat (Welsh song)
From: GUEST,Adele Treskillard
Date: 29 Sep 08 - 10:17 PM

Hello Sian!

I've been waiting to contact you!   I'm a traditional Gaelic singer, with a family based band called Wren Song.   Some time back you posted about a lady friend of yours, working for the University of Wales Press, doing Welsh folk music, and a book she was writing on wrensongs and Mari Llwyd et cetera.   Link to that thread: http://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=47959

Could you please tell me if that book is out, if so, where can I get it, and if not, could you put me in touch with your friend?

I am very very interested in wren songs, that's why I called our (small) band Wren Song.

Thanks!

Adele

wrensong.epictales.org


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Watching the Wheat (Welsh song)
From: sian, west wales
Date: 30 Sep 08 - 03:13 AM

Hi Adele

Well - she's on the final chapter. Remember: it's the history of Welsh traditional music and not just the 'defodau' - rituals. It's taken her longer than she thought, and I know the publishers are pacing the carpet waiting for it. For my part, I'm trying to talk the publishers into a companion disc ... but I may lose that particular battle!

I imagine she will also cover the category of song into which Watching the White Wheat would fall.

sian


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Watching the Wheat (Welsh song)
From: Artful Codger
Date: 30 Sep 08 - 04:12 AM

"Bugeilio'r Gwenith Gwyn" appears in the book "The Songs of Wales" (Caneuon Cymru) by Brinley Richards and Ceiriog Hughes (1873). The English text, beginning "Idle days in summertime / In pleasant sunny weather" is attributed to Walter Maynard, as are a number of other translations in the book. The Welsh text is attributed to Will Hopkin, with these notes at the bottom of the page:

' William Hopkin (known as "Will Hopkin" the Bard), was born at Llangynwyd in 1700. The tradition respecting the hapless love entertained for him by Ann Thomas ("The Maid of Cefn Ydfa,") is widely known in Wales, and especially in Glamorganshire. The Bard wrote many songs in her honour; but the most popular is "Bugeilio'r Gwenith Gwyn" (Watching the blooming wheat), sung to the above melody; previously known as "Yr hên Gelynen."

By permission.--From the collection of Miss Jane Williams, (Aberpergwm). '


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Watching the Wheat (Welsh song)
From: GUEST,Adele Treskillard
Date: 30 Sep 08 - 10:33 AM

Wow!   Sounds like she's doing some ground breaking research!   Could you put me in touch with her?

Adele


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Watching the Wheat (Welsh song)
From: the lemonade lady
Date: 30 Sep 08 - 02:34 PM

From: Fliss - PM
Date: 08 Feb 06 - 04:48 PM

WATCHING THE WHITE WHEAT
Bugeilio'r Gwenith Gwyn

That's definately the right one. I was selling lemonade at an agricultural show in Llanfair Caerinion and asked someone to translate it for me. So I got it translated by a real Welsh man!

Sal


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Watching the Wheat (Welsh song)
From: Mo the caller
Date: 01 Oct 08 - 05:09 AM

Could someone tell me what the words of the Welsh title mean. It doesn't seem, from the translation, to be a song about Gwenith, or Gwyn.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Watching the Wheat (Welsh song)
From: sian, west wales
Date: 01 Oct 08 - 05:44 AM

The Welsh title is "Bugeilio'r Gwenith Gwyn" which is "Shepherding the White Wheat". (i.e.'I take all my time keeping watch waiting for her to come to courting age, then someone else reaps the benefits.')

Adele, I would PM you on this but you aren't a member. At any rate, I can't give her contact details out; I'm sure you can understand.    Phyllis and her husband, Mered, are both cornerstones of the trad music research community and we owe them a lot. Much that will be in the book is drawing together all the articles and books they've published over the years, and making some of it available in English for the first time.

Phyllis did do an article for the publication,Welsh Music History Vol 6 on Hunting the Wren. I'm afraid I don't own that particular volume. And I think she's also written in the Journal of the Welsh Folk Music Society on the subject; I probably do have that, but it will be in Welsh.

There is a thread here somewhere on Cutty Wren, if you use the Lyrics & Knowledge search, above.

sian


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Watching the Wheat (Welsh song)
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 01 Oct 08 - 10:33 AM

DT Study: Cutty Wren


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Watching the Wheat (Welsh song)
From: Mo the caller
Date: 02 Oct 08 - 10:09 AM

So the wheat is white because it's unripe?

Hazel Moir has writen an elegant dance to the tune, which I called this week at clubs I go to.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Watching the Wheat (Welsh song)
From: sian, west wales
Date: 02 Oct 08 - 10:42 AM

No, 'white' really means pale yellow/gold, which is what the wheat turns after it's green.

Funny thing about colours and languages - I think it's one of those cultural things you just have to learn and accept. "Gwyn" or "Gwen" (white, masc; white, feminine) can be used to refer to fair-haired people. Also means 'blessed', i.e. 'Blessed are the Peacemakers' would be 'Gwyn eu byd y tangnefeddwyr.'

It used to be, with my father's age group and older, that they would use the word for blue (glas) when referring to something I would call 'green' in English. Dad would call the lawn or grass, 'glas'. Another very old May carol talks about "Y ddaear yn GLASU", or 'the world is a-greeing." These days, people are just as likely to use 'gwyrdd' - 'green'.

Ah well. Life's rich linguistic tapestry ...

sian


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Watching the Wheat (Welsh song)
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 02 Oct 08 - 12:00 PM

"Gwyn" or "Gwen" (white, masc; white, feminine)
Giving rise (after dropping the initial 'G') to the name Bronwen. Suitable for a lady who does not sunbathe topless!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Watching the Wheat (Welsh song)
From: sian, west wales
Date: 02 Oct 08 - 12:19 PM

And, of course, Gwenhwyfar, a.k.a. Guinevere.

sian


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