The lead single from Cynefin’s debut album ‘Dilyn Afon’ – ‘Y Fwyalchen Ddu Bigfelen’ (The Yellow Beaked Blackbird) is out now! You can listen to the premier on Lisa Gwilym’s BBC Radio Cymru show here – you can buy/listen to it on Bandcamp below.
Noted from the singing of Mrs. J Emlyn Jones near Llandysul at the turn of the last century, ‘Y Fwyalchen Ddu Bigfelen’ belongs to a unique sub-genre of Welsh folk songs known as ‘llatai’ (love messenger) songs. Usually the domain of star crossed lovers, this llatai song goes one step further and invokes the ‘hiraeth (longing) felt by a boy who has crossed the border into England and is longing for his homeland. His heartache embodied in song by the mellifluous calls of a blackbird, this old song speaks to a very modern problem, as young people continue to leave rural Wales and the old traditions struggle to find new bearers.