Helen (heleninwales) wrote,

Cylch Llenyddol / Literary Circle

I joined the Merched y Wawr a few years ago. This is a Welsh women's organisation similar to the Women's Institute. The big difference is that Merched y Wawr (literally "Daughters of the Dawn" which sounds more epic than it actually is!) carry out all their meetings and business in Welsh.

Having managed to cope in Merched y Wawr meetings, this year I ventured to join the local Cylch Llenyddol (Literary Circle). It meets once a month and most of the meetings seem to be talks by published authors, but for their first meeting, there was a concert by the harpist Gwenan Gibbard.

She is an excellent musician, but it wasn't just a performance, she explained a little about the songs, several of which were collected locally.

Here's one of the songs she sang. "Codi Angor" (Lifting anchor)

Of course it was a talk and concert given by a native Welsh speaker for an audience of native Welsh speakers, so I didn't get 100%. But of the songs she sang I could get the gist because her words were very clear. There was a very sad song about a cuckoo, which, because they migrate to Africa had crossed the battlefields of the First World War and brought sad news back to Wales. There was also a lovely song from Patagonia, where the Welsh colony still exists. The tune was very Spanish but played on a harp and the words were in Welsh!

Overall, a very enjoyable evening, though I admit that I slipped away once the music was over and didn't go through for the cup of tea and a biscuit afterwards.

Occasionally the audience were invited to join in and I was caught out by Calon Lân, which I thought I knew, but she sang it to a different tune, namely this one.


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