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Posts Tagged ‘Meic Stevens’

It’s been a while since I posted a Welsh-language song, so today I thought I would share this beautiful song by Meic Stevens – “Lan a Lawr” (Up and Down). There are many things I love about this song, including its simplicity and the enchanting duetting with Heather Jones in the chorus.



Meic Stevens' song "Lan a Lawr" (Up and Down) was on his album 1979 album.

Meic Stevens’ song “Lan a Lawr” (Up and Down) was on his 1979 album “Caneuon Cynnar” (Early Songs).



The song appeared on Meic Stevens’ album “Caneuon Cynnar” (Early Songs), which was released in 1979. I bought this album (on vinyl) around that time, here are my photos of the front and back of the album.



The front cover of my copy of Meic Stevens' 1979 album "Caneuon Cynnar" (Early Songs)

The front cover of my copy of Meic Stevens’ 1979 album “Caneuon Cynnar” (Early Songs)





The back cover of "Caneuon Cynnar".

The back cover of “Caneuon Cynnar”.



The song is also included on the Meic Stevens compilation “disgwyl rhywbeth gwell i ddod” (expecting something better to come), which I can see is available both at Amazon and on iTunes. According to the sleeve notes on “Caneuon Cynnar”, this song “Lan a Lawr” was first recorded at the BBC studios in Cardiff in 1969.

I haven’t been able to find the lyrics anywhere (either online or on the original record), so this is my best attempt to transcribe what Meic Stevens is singing. Although I adore his voice, he doesn’t always have the clearest diction; so I may have made a few mistakes. If you spot any, please let me know and I will correct them.


Lan a lawr, lan a lawr.
Yn yr awyr, ar y llawr.
Mi welaf fam y ddirgel hardd.
Aur yr heulwen, dŵr y wawr.
Lan a lawr, lan a lawr.

Beth yw’r llais mor swynol?
Sy’n canu yn y cwm?
‘Chlywais gân mor esmwyth.
Mae gen i’r galon drom.

Lan a lawr, lan a lawr.
Yn yr awyr, ar y llawr.
Mi welaf fam y ddirgel hardd.
Aur yr heulwen, dŵr y wawr.
Lan a lawr, lan a lawr.

Es yn fore tua’r coed.
Mi welais afon las.
O dan y dail rhyw frenin mawr.
Bwyta gyda’i was.

Lan a lawr, lan a lawr.
Yn yr awyr, ar y llawr.
Mi welaf fam y ddirgel hardd.
Aur yr heulwen, dŵr y wawr.
Lan a lawr, lan a lawr.

Edrychais yn yr afon.
A rhwng y cerrig crwn.
Llysywen wen fel arian.
A seren ar ei bron.

Lan a lawr, lan a lawr.
Yn yr awyr, ar y llawr.
Mi welaf fam y ddirgel hardd.
Aur yr heulwen, dŵr y wawr.
Lan a lawr, lan a lawr.

Lan a lawr, lan a lawr.


Here is my attempt at a translation. If you find any mistakes in my translation (or have suggestions for a better English wording), again please let me know.


Up and down, up and down.
In the air. On the ground.
I see the mother of the handsome secret.
Gold of sunlight, water of the dawn.
Up and down, up and down.

What is the so melodious voice?
Which is sining in the valley.
I have never heard such a smooth song.
I have such a heavy heart.

Up and down, up and down.
In the air. On the ground.
I see the mother of the handsome secret.
Gold of sunlight, water of the dawn.
Up and down, up and down.

I went early to the woods.
I saw a fresh river.
Under the leaves some kind of important king.
Eating with his servant.

Up and down, up and down.
In the air. On the ground.
I see the mother of the handsome secret.
Gold of sunlight, water of the dawn.
Up and down, up and down.

I looked in the river.
And between the round stones.
A white eel like silver.
And a star on her breast.

Up and down, up and down.
In the air. On the ground.
I see the mother of the handsome secret.
Gold of sunlight, water of the dawn.
Up and down, up and down.

Up and down, up and down.


Here is a video that I have created of this beautiful song. Enjoy!





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I thought it about time I posted another song by Meic Stevens. I have, so far, only posted one of his songs, Tryweryn, in this blog here.


Meic Stevens, often referred to as “the Welsh Bob Dylan”


Whereas Trywyen is a protest song, Môr o gariad is a love song. The title means “Sea of Love”. It is a very tender song. Here is a YouTube video of Meic Stevens singing the song.



Eistedd yma’n unig
‘ Ben fy hun
Heno ‘sdim amynedd
I helbul byd.
Ond mae’r nos yn ffoi,
Fel mae’r byd yn troi.
Fel y môr o gariad.
A roddais iti.

‘Sdim byd yma heno
Ond adlais cariad mawr.
Ac i’m gwydrau gweigion
Ar y llawr.
Ac i gwpla’r llun
Yn y botel, gwaddod gwin
Gwaddod y môr o gariad
A roddais iti.

O, hwn oedd cariad glân
Hwn oedd cariad ffôl
O roeddwn i ar dân
Ie, ‘sdim ar ôl.

Strydoedd oer y ddinas
Strydoedd mor llawn.
Atgofion fydd amdani
Ei serch a’i dawn.

Serch hynny mae’n rhaid byw
Ymuno efo hwyl y criw
Sych yw’r môr o gariad
A roddais iti.
Ie, sych yw’r môr o gariad
A roddais iti.



As usual with my translations, I will go for a literal translation, without trying to retain rhythm or rhyme. My rather poor attempt to translate these beautiful lyrics are

Sitting here, lonely
All on my own
This evening I have no patience
For the turmoils of the World.
But the night is escaping
As the World turns.
Like the sea of love
That I gave to you.

There is nothing here this evening
But the echo of a great love.
And my empty drink glasses
On the floor.
And to finish the picture
In the bottle, dregs of wine.
The sea was the dregs of love
That I gave to you.

Oh, this was a great love.
This was a stupid love.
Oh, I was on fire.
Yes, there is nothing left.

The cold streets of the city
Streets that are so busy.
It will be memories of her,
Her lust and her skill.

Despite this, one must live
Join in with the fun of the group
The sea is dry of love
That I gave to you.
Yes, the sea is dry of love
That I gave to you.


I needed a little help with the translation from Gwen Rice, of Cardiff University‘s Welsh Language Services. Meic Stevens does not have the most correct grammar, and often does not mutate properly. Also, sometimes his enunciation is not the clearest.So, many thanks Gwen for helping me out.

Enjoy!

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