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Posts Tagged ‘Welsh language songs’

Today I thought I would share this classic Welsh song “Ti a dy ddoniau” (You and your skills), written by comedian and singer/songwriter/actor Ryan Davies. Ryan formed part of a comedy duo with fellow actor Ronnie Williams. They were popular on Welsh language TV in the 1970s, “Ryan a Ronnie” (Ryan and Ronnie) became so popular that it was transferred to an English language version. I remember watching both Welsh and English versions as a child.

Ryan (1937-1977) was born in Glanaman in Carmarthenshire (west Wales), and first performed professionally at the National Eisteddfod in 1966. “Ti a dy ddoniau” is my favourite Ryan Davies song, although it is possibly not his most famous. He is considered one of the giants of Welsh language TV entertainment, there is a bust of him in the foyer of the BBC studios in Llandaf (Cardiff) which I have seen many times on my visits there to do astronomy interviews.

Ryan Davies (1937-1977) was a Welsh actor, singer and comedian.  He was born in Glanaman in west Wales. He is best known for his TV comedy series "Ryan a Ronnie" (Ryan and Ronnie). He was also an accomplished singer and songwriter.

Ryan Davies (1937-1977) was a Welsh actor, singer, songwriter and comedian. He was born in Glanaman in west Wales. He is best known for his TV comedy series “Ryan a Ronnie” (Ryan and Ronnie). He was also an accomplished singer and songwriter. This is the cover of one of his CDs.

“Ti a dy ddoniau” is clearly written by a man who is very bitter. Lied to, made a fool of and hurt, the man is lashing back. Ryan himself married his childhood sweetheart and they remained married throughout his life; so I can only assume that he did not write these wonderful lyrics from personal experience. 

Here are the lyrics of “Ti a dy ddoniau”.

O ble gest ti’r ddawn o dorri calonne?
O ble gest ti’r ddawn o ddweud y celwyddau?
Ac o ble gest ti’r wên a’r ddau lygad bach tyner?
Ac o ble gest ti’r tinc yn dy lais?

Os mai hyn oedd dy fwriad, i’m gwneud i yn ffŵl,
Wel do, mi lwyddaist, mi lwyddaist yn llawn.
Ond yr hyn rwyf am wybod yn awr,
Dwed i mi, o dwed i mi,
Ble gest ti’r ddawn?

Rwy’n cofio fel ddoe ti yn dweud, “Cara fi nawr”
A minnau yn ateb fel hyn, “Caraf di nawr”.
Ond mae ddoe wedi mynd a daeth heddiw yn greulon,
Ac o ble, ac o ble, ble rwyt ti?

Os mai hyn oedd dy fwriad, i’m gwneud i yn ffŵl,
Wel do, mi lwyddaist, mi lwyddaist yn llawn.
Ond yr hyn rwyf am wybod yn awr,
Dwed i mi, o dwed i mi,
Ble gest ti’r ddawn?

Here is my attempt at a translation. As usual, I have gone for a literal translation, with no attempt to retain any rhythm or rhyme.

From where did you get the skill to break hearts?
From where did you get the skill to tell your lies?
And from where did you get that smile and those two sweet tender eyes?
And from where did you get the lilt in your voice?

If this was your intention, to make me a fool,
Well yes, you succeeded, you succeeded completely.
But what I want to know now,
Tell me, oh tell me,
From where did you get the skill?

I remember like yesterday your saying “Love me now”
And my answering like this, “I will love you now”.
But yesterday has gone and today has come cruelly,
Oh from where, oh from where did you get the skill?

If this was your intention, to make me a fool,
Well yes, you succeeded, you succeeded completely.
But what I want to know now,
Tell me, oh tell me,
From where did you get the skill?

I could not find a video on YouTube of Ryan performing this song, although there are versions sung by other artists. So, I have created this video, which is the definitive version; Ryan singing it with his longtime comedy and entertainment partner Ronnie. Enjoy!

Which is your favourite Ryan Davies song?

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