Literal Translations of the songs we sing:
T. ROWLAND HUGHES
(LITERAL TRANSLATION BY ALUN GUILE)
Dwy law yn erfyn sydd yn y darlun wrth ymyl fy ngwely i;
Two hands pleading are in the picture beside my bed;
bob bore a nos mae’u gweddi’n un dlos, mi wn er na chlywaf hi.
every morning and night their prayer is a pure one, I know tho’ I don’t hear it.
Pan af i gysgu, mae’r ddwy law hynny wrth ymyl fy ngwely i
When I go to sleep, those two hands beside my bed
mewn gweddi ar Dduw i’m cadw i’n fyw, mi wn er na chlywaf hi.
are in prayer to God to keep me alive, I know tho’ I don’t hear it.
A phan ddaw’r bore, a’r wawr yn ole wrth ymyl fy ngwely i,
And when comes the morning, and the dawn is light beside my bed,
mae’r weddi o hyd yn fiwsig i gyd, mi wn er na chlwyaf hi.
the prayer is still all music, I know tho’ I don’t hear it.
Rhyw nos fach dawel fe ddwg yr awel o ymyl fy ngwely i
Some small quiet night the breeze will take from beside my bed
y weddi i’r sȇr, fel eos o bȇr, a minnau’n ei chlywed hi.
the prayer to the stars, as a sweet nightingale, and I am hearing it.
The poem is based on a picture of “Praying Hands” by Albrecht Dürer (1508). Thought to be the hands of his brother Albert who worked down the mine to help pay for Albrecht’s art studies in Nuremberg. See “Praying Hands” on Wikipedia or “LinkedIn.com/pulse/story behind the picture” for more detail.
T. Rowland Hughes (1903-1949) also wrote “Tydi a Roddaist” and novels based on the slate industry in North Wales. Set to music by Davey Davies (1901-1964) the song became popular as a children’s set piece for eisteddfodau and is arranged for male voices by Jeffrey Howard.
Literal translation by A Guile
Grant me the peace of which the world does not know,
The heavenly peace that came through divine pain
When the wave beats on my weak soul,
It’s calm with Jesus by the Cross.
Grant the peace that makes me work quietly
In heaven’s work, under sorry disappointment,
Without fear, but daily safely,
Near God-however rough the clime.
O! for the peace that flows as a river
Through God’s city, under the branches of the living tree,
The peace that fills the life of angels:The peace that will be heaven for us forever. Amen
Literal Translation: A. Guile
Say, great men of knowledge
From what is hiraeth made
And what material was put in it
That will not fade by wearing it.
Gold will fade and silver will fade,
Velvet will fade, silk will fade,
Every abundant garment will fade,
Yet despite this, hiraeth will not fade.
Great hiraeth and cruel hiraeth,
Hiraeth breaks my heart.
When I sleep heavily at night
Hiraeth comes and wakes me.
Literal translation by A. Guile
Pure (white) and rosy-cheeked is my Beloved,
Talents of heaven are wholly in him, sweetly wonderful;
Earth’s expanse and height of heaven will never find
Another like Him, Haleliwia.
Within himself he’s full of all treasures
Godly, perfect, very valuable, for my faults;
True wisdom, peace and most valuable grace;
Strength to wholly carry the field, Haleliwia.
Here’s a solid, strong foundation throughout my life;
To believe and look upon Him is my bliss;
In Him now through every plague is hope;
And in conflict he sings, Haleliwia.
A - men, A - men, A - men ac A - - men
(Note: The English on the copy is the Hymn
'Praise the Lord, His glories show', by Henry Francis Lyte,
which has been set to Robert William's tune 'Llanfair')
An excellent literal translation (direct from a Tomos Watkin beermat!) of the words to "Myfanwy". Most choirs only sing verses one and three. It's far more a lament or song of despair than a true love lyric. (R Price)
Why is it anger O Myfanwy
That fills your eyes so dark and clear?
Your gentle cheeks O sweet Myfanwy
Why blush they not when I draw near?
Where is the smile that once most tender
Kindled my love so fond, so true?
Where is the sound of your sweet words
That drew my heart to follow you?
Myfanwy, may you spend your lifetime
Beneath the midday sunshine's glow,
And on your cheeks O may the roses
Dance for a hundred years or so.
Forget now all the words of promise
You made to one who loved you well,
Give me your hand my sweet Myfanwy
But one last time to say "farewell".
A moment ere the sun has done its travail
One silent moment ere the shadows grow
To call to mind the things that are forgotten
And lost among the dusts of long ago.
As surging waves that break on lonely beaches
Or winds where there is none to hear their song,
I know that they are calling us unheeded
The lost millennia of the human throng.
The art and craftsmanship of early nations,
The halls of greatness and the yeoman's house,
The myths and tales that have long since been silenced,
The gods of whom today nobody knows.
And the little words of languages long vanished,
Quick in the mouths of many men were they
And sweet to the ear on the lips of little children,
But no-one's tongue can utter them today.
Oh! the countless generations of our planet
With their frail divinity and their dreams divine,
Is there nothing but the silence of the ages
For the hearts that once would gladden and repine?
Often at even-time when I am lonely
I long to get to know you, every one.
Is there yet one, who bears in heart and mem'ry
The old and long forgotten things of man?
(Waldo's wonderful words translated from the Welsh by Dic Jones)
GWAHODDIAD, was originally the English-language gospel song I Am Coming, Lord, written in 1872 by the American Methodist minister,Lewis Hartsough during a revival meeting at Epworth, Iowa. The Welsh version GWAHODDIAD was freely translated by Calvinistic Methodist minister and musician John Roberts (Ieuan Gwyllt) and has become so well known in Wales that, despite its American origin, many people believe it to be an indigenously Welsh hymn.
hear thy tender voice
To come and wash my sins
In the River of Calvary.
Lord, here I am
At your call
Wash my spirit in the blood
That flows from Calvary.
To receive with the saints
Faith, hope, pure love and peace
And all of heaven’s honours.
For the Atonement and the Cleansing
I will receive Jesus as I am
And be washed clean in the blood.