Program notes

Two Welsh Lullabies (2021)

Two settings of well-known Welsh folksongs:   Ar Hyd y Nos (All through the night) and Suo Gân (Lullaby). Written for baritone and piano, the songs can be performed in Welsh or in English with both text languages provided in the score. The songs were written for Jeremy Williams and Wendy Hiscocks in March 2021.

 Ar Hyd y Nos uses a gentle pulsing background figure in the piano part creating a continuous and slow moving  rocking pattern which eventually slips away as if drifting off to sleep. The foreground is given to the vocal line which is unchanged from the well-known traditional version.

In Suo Gan likewise –  the traditional vocal part is retained intact from this beautiful lullaby. In this song the piano part has short interludes between low strumming harp-like chords that support the voice. In these arrangements, both songs have a slightly modal feel to them.

1. Ar Hyd y Nos

Holl amrantau’r sêr ddywedant

Ar hyd y nos

“Dyma’r ffordd i fro gogoniant,”

Ar hyd y nos.

Golau arall yw tywyllwch

I arddangos gwir brydferthwch

Teulu’r nefoedd mewn tawelwch

Ar hyd y nos.

O mor siriol, gwena’r seren

Ar hyd y nos

I oleuo’i chwaer ddaearen

Ar hyd y nos.

Nos yw henaint pan ddaw cystudd

Ond i harddu dyn a’i hwyrddydd

Rhown ein golau gwan i’n gilydd

Ar hyd y nos.

 

All through the night (English version)

Deep the silence ’round us spreading

all through the night.

Dark the path that we are treading

all through the night.

Still the coming day discerning

by the hope within us burning.

To the dawn our footsteps turning

all through the night.

Star of faith the dark adorning

all through the night.

Leads us fearless t’wards the morning

all through the night.

Though our hearts be wrapt in sorrow,

from the hope of dawn we borrow

promise of a glad tomorrow

all through the night.

 

2. Suo Gân

Huna blentyn ar fy mynwes,

Clyd a chynnes ydyw hon;

Breichiau mam sy’n dynn amdanat,

Cariad mam sy dan fy mron;

Ni chaiff dim amharu’th gyntun,

Ni wna undyn â thi gam;

Huna’n dawel, annwyl blentyn,

Huna’n fwyn ar fron dy fam.

 

Lullaby (English version)

Sleep my darling, on my bosom,

Harm will never come to you;

Mother’s arms hold you safely,

Mother’s heart is ever true.

As you sleep there’s naught will hurt you,

None will wake you from your rest;

Close your eyelids now, my angel,

Sleep upon your mother’s breast.

 

© Andrew Schultz, 2021.