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Welsh Music

I have found that listening to music really helps me learn, or at least get comfortable with hearing, a language. It's also very helpful to hear the accent in a bigger context than just one sentence at a time. Can anyone suggest some artists or bands?

Thank you! Diolch!

January 28, 2016



Dacw 'Nghariad

I love this song. Really, it's amazing. One of my favorite songs ever and one of the reasons why I want to learn Welsh.


I absolutely adore it too. Here is another video of Eve singing it in Cardiff. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TD6ysZEaqS4 and here are the words and a translation to English http://www.ffynnon.com/music_celtic_08.php Good luck with the Welsh course :)


One of the titles in your link states Celtic Music. Is Welsh culture Celtic? Is it different than Irish Celtic, if so in what ways are they different?


'Celtic' refers to cultures with traditional holdovers from the ancient Celts. In modern times, the official 'Celtic nations' include Wales, Scotland, Ireland, the Isle of Man, Cornwall and Brittany. The folk music of Wales, Ireland and all the other Celtic nations descends from the music of the Celts, and has a lot of stylistic similarities.


Is it true there were Celtics as far south as Modern day Spain?


Yes, before the roman conquest it's is believed that celts ocuppied 2/3th of the peninsula (center, west, north). Though nowadays scholars believe more in an indoeuropean iberia and not celtic, because the only attested celtic language in the peninsula is Celtiberian, spoken in the centre-east of the peninsula (there are several inscriptions from the 2nd century BC to 1st century AD. During the roman conquest (celtiberian and lusitanian wars) Celtiberian leaders started traveling and fighting in other iberian regions, and "celtified" some of those lands (there was a tribe called Celtici in the south-west, others went to the west and north west.)

During the 19th century romanticism created the myth of the "celtic" Galicia, which is quite false, Gallaecia was probably an indoeuropean region, but there is not a single incription in any celtic language and only a small part of place-names and personal names can be surely cetified as "celtic" (we don't know if those names came from Celtiberia or are indigenous from Gallaecia).

There is one hypothesis though called "Celtic from the west" that says that the celtic languages originated in the iberian peninsula (Tartessian) and expanded from there to the rest of the "celtic" peninsula, the British isles, Gaul, Halstatt area etc. But it's still being studied and I think it has some flaws, for example it's believed that Tartessian was an indoeuropean language, but it's not possible to tell that it is celtic yet.


Celtic is a mayor branch of Indo-European, along with Italic, Germanic, Slavic, etc. So, any Celtic-language region is an Indo-European one. According to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gallaecian_language it appears to have been a Q-Celtic language. At the end of that article are a few inscriptions in Gallaecian language, of which you assure there are none.

  • 2054

There were Celtic groups all over - Germany, France, the Alps, and even modern day Turkey. As a result, Galicians in Spain today sometimes claim to be a seventh Celtic nation, as there are certain aspects of their culture which at least superficially still seem Celtic (not everyone thinks they're very Celtic anymore. Personally I don't know enough to have a strong opinion.)


This is a product of romanticism, but I believe not a single scholar believes in this pure celtic influence. The only 100% sure iberian celtic language was Celtiberian, with many inscriptions available, written in iberian script (with Phoenician origin) and latin script.


The lyrics/translation link didn't work for me, but I found it also here: https://www.omniglot.com/songs/welsh/dacwnghariad.htm


Gwenno has lots of songs in Welsh. Her most recent album Y Dydd Olaf is in Welsh (plus a Cornish song), and the lyrics in both Welsh and English are on her website (https://ydyddolaf.wordpress.com/).


She's one of the relatively few native speakers of Cornish, having grown up with both Cornish and Welsh.

I've never had the chance to meet her myself but I've heard that it's quite something talking to a native speaker of Cornish when most people are second-language learners; the way they simple use the language naturally without thinking. I've also heard that she conjugates many verbs "the hard way" in Cornish (e.g. "y hwrav" instead of "my a wra")... not so hard for her, apparently :)


Gorky's Zygotic Mynci has some cracking songs in Welsh. They're....a bit wacky though - I recommend Patio Song from them, starts in English and finishes in Welsh; if you've done the weather unit you should understand at least a bit of the Welsh in Patio Song.

Cerys Matthews is a fairly well known Welsh singer, who's sung some songs in Welsh (and by extension, the band she was in, Catatonia). Catatonia has a great, patriotism-inducing song, International Velvet, which has Welsh verses, but breaks out into "Every day when I wake up I thank the Lord I'm Welsh" in the chorus.

The alarm were a big rock band in Wales in the 1980's, and they've recorded some of their albums in Welsh, as well as English. I couldn't find the Welsh versions of their albums to stream anywhere though, unfortunately (Newid is the Welsh version of the album change, you can find some songs from that on youtube, I think).

Wales is also fairly well-known for it's history of hymns, so there's loads of those in Welsh. A few hymns off the top of my head are Calon Lân, Cwm Rhondda (most versions of this are in English, but you can find some Welsh versions of it floating around) and Dyma Gariad.


Seconding Cerys Matthews! Her album Tir is beautiful, and is packed full of traditional welsh songs. Definitely give it a listen if you have the time! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ICXrhPSxIM


+1 for Gorky's.

Tatay ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rUvpzwU14b0&list=PLA000E58FEA1CF02E ) is mostly in Welsh.

Bywyd Time ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cUftTWBh8ww&list=PL2DDD1856BDFF996D )is mostly in Welsh, their later stuff is a mixed bag.

One of my favorite songs by them is called "Methi aros tan haf", but it's on one of their EP's and I don't know how easy it is to buy. But, as always - it's on youtube : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v5L68LxfuaU


Wow, that last song is awesome, thanks for sharing!


There's tonnes on this YouTube channel:


And I'll include some essentials. ;)

Yma o Hyd

Yr Hen Dderwen Ddu


Ysbryd y Nos

And more contemporary, Can y Tan

And hip-hop!

And I'll throw this in for kicks.

There's plenty of beautiful Welsh (and other Celtic) music out there. Just look around, and you won't have a hard time finding something you like.


There are a couple of ace compilations of 70s stuff called "Welsh Rare Beat" - mainly folk, with elements of psychedelia and a bit of funk. Details here http://www.finderskeepersrecords.com/shop/welsh-rare-beat-volume-one/, but they are available on Spotify and I think some of the tracks are also on YouTube.

Also Super Furry Animals! All the lyrics on their album Mwng are in Welsh.


Mwng is great a album; also the best selling all welsh record ever!


I've made a play list that I sometimes let the kids listen to in class here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FI8M07j3S3U&list=PLvgBej93eIXEn7qIx0n-azQgcs50uo0fZ


Hey we're in the same club!

Anyway this channel has lots of catchy Welsh music often with simple lyrics: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N5ZHRYVBGok


You can't get much better than this!
And this, although I'm sure there's recordings with better quality.


Ha ha, I think I'll set that first one as my alarm.


If you like folk music - I love Siwsann George, although that might be mostly because I grew up listening to her music with my dad. One of my favorites: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H5XjfN_R4NA There's also Mary Hopkin's Welsh recordings from the '60s. She recorded both translated versions of pop songs and original Welsh songs. I love this song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZJ8NnNjWZeo


Dyma rhestr chwarae arall / Here's another play list with folk songs - bendigedig! https://youtu.be/486V-xLTd6M?list=RD486V-xLTd6M


I really like Gwyneth Glyn, especially her version of sweet home Alabama, "Adra" (home)


Another song of her I like (can y siarc): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qXs9yP35aww

I was about to recommend Eve's version of Dacw 'Nghariad, but some people did already :)


Sŵnami are quite popular, at least they were a couple of years ago.


If you haven't already, you might want to check the "DistantDreamer93" channel on youtube. =) They have uploaded welsh lyric videos - so you can read the words as you listen to the song! =3


I like Candelas myself. Surprised to see them not mentioned here.


Thank you very much. I am really liking them.


Candelas are one of the biggest Welsh bands around at the moment. This is them at the Eisteddfod in 2015. Class!! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B5WSZIzLTH0

Swnami are also well worth taking a look at.


If you search Ceredwen on youtube, they have many Welsh Folk songs that are really nice


Gwibdaith Hen Frân have some catchy tracks such as Coffi Du and Trôns Dy Dad and you might find the lyrics overlaid on some YouTube videos, for example.

Kizzy Crawford, too.


I'm a fan of Dafydd Iwan and Cerys Mathews.


Thoroughly recommend The Gentle Good, if you want some lovely welsh music.


I've listened to a lot of the stuff on this thread now and nobody comes close to Gwyneth Glyn in my humble opinion :) Great guitarist and songwriter, very thoughtful lyrics. Great for learning Welsh although I guess quite a lot is local dialect (?) Cerys Matthews has some great songs too but is less consistent...


For the metalheads out there, there are apparently 218 bands registered in the UK with their region containing "wales" in the Metal Archives.

Edit: I went through the entire list to see if any of them actually have Welsh lyrics, the results are thus:

Wenfflam and Y Diawled have lyrics mostly or completely in Welsh. The following bands have some (often just a few) songs in Welsh: Nierty, Avagddu, Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard, Ogoneddus Anifail, Hiraeth

The few songs I found, I put on this playlist


I've added some welsh songs on lyrics training. https://lyricstraining.com/search?qry=cymraeg&pending=1 Adwaith are a popular up-and-coming band at the moment, having won the welsh music prize last year. Welsh music is also promoted with the annual 'Dydd Miwsig Cymru' (Welsh language music day).


Just search "Welsh Music" on Spotify. The playlist is by the user "Miwsig". The user just released a Christmas playlist called "Un Seran Nadolig/Welsh Christmas", it's on their profile. I also have a short playlist but it's not public. Contains artists such as Clwb Cariadion (one song), Cotton Wolf, Cowbois Rhos Botwnnog (several good songs), and my latest new acquaintance is Cadi Gwen, she doesn't have many songs but they're all great. Also, there is a playlist called "Cymraeg" by user WilHughes, I'm currently going through it.


Anything by harpist Claire Jones!

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