Y Pren ar y Bryn

Ar y bryn daeth pren
O bren braf!
Y pren ar y bryn
A’r bryn ar y ddaear
A’r ddaear ar ddim!
Ffeind a braf oedd y bryn
Lle tyfodd y pren.

Pennill olaf:
O’r plu daeth gwely,
O wely braf!
Y gwely o’r plu,
Y plu o’r cyw,
Y cyw o’r wy,
Yr wy o’r nyth,
Y nyth ar y gainc,
Y gainc ar y pren,
Y pren ar y bryn,
Y bryn ar y ddaear
A’r ddaear ar ddim!
Ffeind a braf oedd y bryn
Lle tyfodd y pren.



Y Pren ar y Bryn

—The Tree on the Hill

A cumulative song, the additions to each verse being sung faster and faster. This song is from the Ffestiniog area.

The family [of songs] is often called The Tree in the Wood or The Everlasting Circle, and is sung to a good few different tunes and in a good few different languages, but the basic content and the circular form doesn’t seem to vary all that much. As we know it now, it doesn’t mean a great deal, but essentially the same content also turns up in Asia (for example), where it has been used in Zen parables and the like. That doesn’t mean that it’s ever had any particularly deep meaning in Europe, but the human fascination with such things certainly goes back a long way.
Folk historian Malcom Douglas in a discussion on Mudcat Cafe

On the hill grew a tree
O fine tree!
The tree on the hill
And the hill on the earth
And the earth on nothing!
Fine was the hill
Where grew the tree.

Last verse:
From the feathers came a bed,
Oh fine bed;
the bed from the feathers,
the feathers from the chick,
the chick from the egg,
the egg from the nest,
the nest on the branch,
the branch on the tree,
the tree on the earth,
and the earth on nothing!
Fine was the hill
Where grew the tree.


The notation for this song and more is available in the collection
Traditional Songs of the Welsh

Heather Jones sings Y Pren Ar Y Bryn as part of the trac project Alawon Fy Ngwlad.

You can hear another version of the song performed by Dafydd Iwan here



  1. Lorraine Langston

    Great song, thank you
    I am looking for songs with peace as their message. Bilingual would be fantastic.

    A few years ago I attended the Big Experiment. I am hoping to come this year if the dates fit my calendar. I haven’t seen any publicity. Can you let me know please if and when and what the line up of workshops will be.


    • Blanche Rowen

      Hi Lorraine
      I’ll ask around for songs of peace and get back to you.
      The Big Experiment is the first weekend in September this year, in Carmarthen (subject to funding approval). More details will follow but I can confirm that Arfon will be teaching song.
      Hope to see you there!

  2. jac jones

    cracking tune fp

  3. GARRRI evans


  4. Gerald Pugh-Roberts

    I really like this song, and look forward to learning and singing it.


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