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Fernhill -- Hela'r Dryw (Hunting the Wren)

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Published on Jun 18, 2013

A haunting rendition of the Welsh folk song Hela'r Dryw (Hunting the Wren), which is based on a tradition found throughout the British Isles. The band is Welsh folk band Fernhill, though the track does not feature on any of the band's albums; instead it was only released on a couple of compilations, and was credited to the individual performers rather than the band (Julie Murphy, Andy Cutting, Ceri Rhys Matthews and Jonathan Shorland). The compilation I found it on was "The Fairy Dance: Myth and Magic in Celtic Songs and Tunes" on Beautiful Jo Records.

Below are the lyrics and English translation. Each verse follows the same pattern, so only the 1st verse is written out in full.

I am intrigued by the term "the Never Beyond", which I assume is an obscure reference to God? Some versions replace this with the slightly more mundane "everyone".

Welsh:
1.
Ble rwyt ti'n mynd? meddai Rhisiart wrth Robin,
Ble rwyt ti'n mynd? meddai Dibyn wrth Dobyn,
Ble rwyt ti'n mynd? meddai John,
Ble rwyt ti'n mynd? meddai'r Nefar Biond

2.
Mynd tua'r coed, meddai ...

3.
Be wnei di yno? meddai ...

4.
Hela'r dryw bach, meddai ...

5. (repeat of 3)
Be wnei di yno? meddai ...

6.
Lladd y dryw bach, meddai ...

7.
A'i hebrwng e gartref, meddai....

8.
Ceffyl a chert, meddai...

9.
Beth am ei fwyta? meddai....

10.
Cyllell a fforc, meddai...


English translation:
1.
Where are you going? said Richard to Robin
Where are you going? said Dibyn to Dobyn
Where are you going? said John
Where are you going? said the Never Beyond

2.
Going to the woods, said ...

3.
What will you do there? said ...

4.
Hunt the wren, said ...

5. (repeat of 3)
What will you do there? said ...

6.
Kill the wren, said...

7.
And carry him home, said...

8.
A horse and cart, said...

9.
How shall we eat him? said ...

10.
A knife and fork, said ...

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