Monday, August 21, 2006

This song's for you

In a blog comment a few days ago, I mentioned to Jim1927 about a Welsh song "As I Am". Jim, this song's for you! It is found in the 1897 "The Baptist Musical Treasure: a Baptist Welsh and English Hymn and Tune Book", or the Welsh title "Cor-drysor y Bedyddwyr".

I am the vilest sinner, As I Am, As I Am;
To Calvary I'll venture, As I Am.
There's not, within creation,
Such place for my condition
In seas of tribulation,
As I Am, As I Am;
I'll praise my Christ's redemption, As I Am.

The Lamb that died for sinners, I enjoy, I enjoy;
The gospel and its treasures, I enjoy.
Obedience to His precepts,
His promises and projects,
And Zion's festal banquests,
I enjoy, I enjoy;
Communing with His subjects, I enjoy.

Myfi'r pechadur pena', Fel yr wyf, Fel yr wyf;
Wynebaf i Galfaria, Fel yr wyf.
Nid oes o fewn i'r hollfyd,
Ond hwn i gadw bywyd;
Yn nghanol mor o adfyd,
Fel yr wyf, Fel yr wyf;
Mi ganaf gn f' Anwylyd, Fely yr wyf.

The tune in the book is a wonderful minor tune called "Twrgwyn", which in my not so informed opinion, seems to fall within the "Captain Kidd" type of songs. This old hymn book presents each tune in round notes on standard SATB staves, as well as the old tonic sol-fa notation, which represents the solfege syllables with the first letter of that syllable. I can copy that below and hope some of you might be able to kinda pick out the tune. This is for the benefit of some who might be curious as to how the melody might sound.

l:- m :m r :m d :l l :t d:- r :r m:- d:- m :m r :m d :l d :t l:- , m:- s :m L :L s :m m:- s :m L :L s :m ,
l:- m :m r :m d :l l :t d:- r :r m:- d:- m :m r :m d :l d :t l:-

The symbols represent time etc.. I capitalized the "L" to represent the octave. They appear to use a subscript "one" to represent the tonic, but I didn't know how to do that on here.

The notes simply move between half and quarters notes, starting on a full measure:
half note, eight quarter notes, half note, two quarter notes, half note, half note, eight quarter notes, half note; half note, six quarter notes, half note, six quarter notes; half note, eight quarter notes, half note, two quarter notes, half note, half note, eight quarter notes, half note.


Jim1927 said...

Diloch yn fawr, frrind y gwlad y gan.....translated: thank you very much, friend, from the land of song.

When I was in Wales, I was, of course, with the church of England, and we used the Book of common prayer for our hymns, although In Welsh, of course.

I cannot recall the song you show here.

In many of the churches, one did not sit according to family, but rather according to voice. In many of the non-Anglican churches, there were no organs, put a pitch pipe or a lead singer, who would sing the first few words or sentence, and then the congregation would join in.

I can still hear the men coming up from the mines along the village roadway singing the great hymns of the church in Welsh. It was quite a sound.

Again, thank you. By the way, Vaughn, is a common Christian name in parts of Wales.



R. L. Vaughn said...

It is nice to hear of those memories.

One of the things about looking through an old song book that you've never used is that you may find a song that actually wasn't popular among the people who sang from it. So the song "As I Am" may not have even been sung much by the Welsh people. I just "happened" to find it and thought it was a very nice tune. Maybe it will be sung in the future.