CAROL RHYS ELIS O’R WAUN

Carol Rhys Elis o’r Waun

Atolwg, lana’ teulu,
Rhowch gennad inni ganu;
Mae’r yd a’r borfa’n glasu,
Yn tyfu ar y tir;
Mae’r gog yn pyncio’i gore
Yn barod hwyr a bore;
Nid pell oddi wrth ein dryse
Yw dyddie C’lanme clir.

Pe medrem fod yn fodlon
A diolch i Dduw’n ffyddlon,
Efo sydd inni’n danfon
Bendithion digon da;
O’r fan lle bo bodlonrwydd
Yn wastad, a gonestrwydd,
Ni lithra fyth helaethrwydd
A hyfryd ffrwythydd ha’.

A gwyn eu byd eneidiau
Y rhai sy â’u holl galonnau
Yn labro ar union lwybrau
Daionus deddfau Duw;
Os medrwn fod yn fodlon
A diolch iddo’n ffyddlon,
Fe ddigwydd inni ddigon
O foddion yma i fyw.

Carol Rhys Elis o’r Waun

—Rhys Elis of Chirk’s Carol

May Carols or Summer Carols

May Day was a time for celebration and merriment, through dance and song – and raising the maypole – not just in Wales of course. One part of the tradition was for small parties of singers (men, mostly, it seems!) to go from house to house early in the morning to sing ‘May Carols’ (Carolau Mai) or ‘Summer Carols’ (Carolau Haf). Christmas carols are much better known in Wales than the summer ones. (In the collection ‘Traditional Songs of the Welsh’, first published in the 1960s, only three summer carols were included).

The earliest summer carols that have survived in Wales come from the beginning of the 17th century, and most of them have religious elements (despite the pagan origins of the celebrations in ancient times). The carols usually contain a greeting for the family, a celebration of the revival of nature after the hard winter months, thanks to the Almighty for his generosity and good wishes to the household. They also often contain references to current affairs such as wars, taxes, rising prices etc.

Carol Rhys Elis o’r Waun (Rhys Elis from Chirk)

Composed in 1736. The tune appears twice in the collection of John Jenkins (Ifor Ceri) – one in 4/4 time and the other in 3/4. The version sung here is in 3/4 time: this version was sung to J. Lloyd Williams, one of the founders of the Welsh Folk Song Society, by Roberts Evans, a shepherd from Montgomeryshire, in the 1890s.

Canu Haf

 

 The notation for this song and more is available in the collection Canu Haf

 

 

The first verse has been used in an arrangement by Blanche Rowen and Mike Gulston, which combines it with a May Carol from England. The Welsh song begins at 1.40 and features an English translation of the verse.

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