Little Red House In Cardiff reel

Also known as Red House In Cardiff, The Red House In Cardiff, Red House Of Cardiff, The Red House Of Cardiff, Ty Coch Caerdydd.

There are 5 recordings of this tune.

Little Red House In Cardiff has been added to 1 tune set.

Little Red House In Cardiff has been added to 13 tunebooks.

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Two settings

X: 1
T: Little Red House In Cardiff
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
|:BA|G2 g2 gf e2|d4 c2 B2|c2 e2 ed c2|BcBA G2 BA|
G2 g2 gf e2|d4 c2 B2|B2 G2 FGAF|G2 B2 G2:|
|:Bc|dcBA GABc|d2 d2 dcBA|cBAG FGAB|c2 c2 cBAG|
dcBA GABc|d2 d2 dcBA|B2 G2 FGAF|G2 B2 G2:|
|:G2|AB c2 AB c2|AB c2 c2 BA|Bc d2 Bc d2|Bc d2 d2cB|
AB c2 AB c2|AB c2 c2 BA|B2 G2 FGAF|G2 B2 G2:|
X: 2
T: Little Red House In Cardiff
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
|:D2|G3 A B2 G2|c3 B A2 c2|B2 G2 GA Bc|d2 G2 F2 D2|
G3 A B2 G2|c3 B A2 c2|B2 G2 FG AF|G6:|
|:B2|AB c2 c2 c2|AB c2 c2 c2|Bc d2 d2 d2|Bc d2 d2 d2|
AB c2 c2 c2|AB c2 c2 c2|B2 G2 FG AF|G6:|

Twelve comments

Really more of a 4/4 polka than a reel …

X:1 A 48-bar tune that’s well known in South Wales.

X:2 A 32-bar version of the tune that’s played in the Bristol/Gloucester/Somerset area of England. It differs a lot from the 48-bar version - not only in terms of length but also greatly in detail.

I’ve never understood how a version with such major differences could have evolved - maybe someone could explain …

Crazy! I know this was already on site here, yonks back, but then I remember that it may have been a submission by someone who left in the days when that could mean, if requested, everything they’d ever submitted went with them. I’ll have to see if I have their old submission somewhere, and if it is different enough to revive here. As I remember, there are also versions of this in early country dance collections, including Playford? 😏

@Ceol: I’ve just looked in my copy of Playford and it’s definitely not in there. Might well be in other collections, though.

What I’m really keen to know is the origin of the “non-standard” version (X:2 above) which only seems to be played in my area and not in South Wales.

I know that tune’s a different tune Mix. Just can’t remember what it’s called. Very very common tune. I have it on a Nansi Richards recording somewhere …

Oh, and by the way, that tune is definitely played in South Wales. You’ve got some of the notes wrong though …


I’ve posted two completely different versions of this tune.

Q1. Which version are you referring to?

Q2. You claim that some of the notes are are “wrong”. Which notes?

In any case, if a version of a tune that I’ve heard differs in detail from a version of the tune that you’ve heard it doesn’t necessarily mean that one of these versions is “wrong”.

Well, the first one is Ty Coch right enough. The second one is something else - I just can’t remember the name. If I could find that Nansi Richards album I’d have it, but it’s buried in the depths somewhere. I suppose my gut reaction to some of those notes is that this (the second one) really is a very common South Wales tune, and I’ve known it ever since I can remember hearing tunes growing up in South Wales, and that would be since I was about four. It tends to colour how you think of them. A bit like if someone sang “Twinkle Twinkle” and sang something like D2D2 A2A2 | B2F2 A3F | G2E2 … well, you get the gist …

IOW, yes there might be different versions, but I’ve heard the correct ( 😉 ) one so many times that anything else will jar with me.


Thanks for clarifying.

Well, I’ve re-checked X:2 and that is exactly how it’s played in my neck of the woods (Bristol & Somerset). As it differs quite a lot from X:1 I’ve always wondered whether the title was correct - although that’s what folks around here call it.

If you come up with a different title for it, please let me know … 🙂

Trust me, I am still racking my brain for the name. I know it’s in there somewhere …

Re: Little Red House In Cardiff

The Ty Coch in Playford referred to above is Red House in 9th Edition and is a minor tune. Now generally called Hen Dy Coch in Wales.
I guess the major version was based on the older one, for some dance reason perhaps, and now there’s a tendency to play Hen Dy Coch as a minor version of the standard one which I think is a shame.

Re: Little Red House In Cardiff

Mix O’Lydian - Looking at X2, A is very close to Pant Corlan yr Wyn and B a sort of hybrid of Pant Corlan’s B and Ty Coch.

Re: Little Red House In Cardiff

I must admit that calling the tune “Little Red House in Cardiff” makes me wince. There is never any hint of “little” (“bach”) in Welsh. The Welsh, “Tŷ Coch Caerdydd”, just means “Red House (of) Cardiff”.

When I first learned it, with other South Walians, we had quite a long speculation on where and what this Red House was. There was nothing about it in Cardiffian lore. Obviously not Castell Coch, or it would be called that. Perhaps an old inn?

So I went off to find out, and eventually discovered the suggestion that the tune was a descendant of “Red House” in Playford. One look at Playford, and that was obviously reasonable. Finding the Playford version as “Hen Dŷ Coch” (“Old Red House”) in Welsh made me feel it even less likely that the resemblance was coincidence. (“Ancient” is more literal than “old” because “hen” is in front of the noun, instead of after it as normal, but it sounds a bit weird and creaky to me in English.)

So I think that “Tŷ Coch Caerdydd” probably just means “Red House, Cardiff Version”. The Ancient and the Cardiff play well as a set.