Cadair Idris waltz

Also known as Arthur’s Chair, Ca’ Cannel Ucha, Cadeir Idris, Cader Idris, My Sweet Jenny Jones, Sweet Jennie Jones.

There are 4 recordings of this tune.

Cadair Idris has been added to 71 tunebooks.

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Four settings

1
X: 1
T: Cadair Idris
R: waltz
M: 3/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
A2|d2 A2 F2|D3E F2|G2 B2 e2|c2 A2 c2|
d2 A2 F2|G3A B2|A2 d2 c2|d4:|
de|f2 d2 f2|e2 c2 A2|d2 B2 d2|c2 A2 de|
f2 d2 f2|e2 c2 A2|d2 c2 B2|A4 Bc||
d2 A2 F2|D3E F2|G2 B2 e2|c2 A2 c2|
d2 A2 F2|G3A B2|A2 d2 c2|d4||
2
X: 2
T: Cadair Idris
R: waltz
M: 3/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
g2G Bcd|e2a fef|g2G Bcd|egf g3:|:
bag bag|bag bag|afg afg|acb a3|
g2G Bcd|e2a fef|g2G Bcd|egf g3||
3
X: 3
T: Cadair Idris
R: waltz
M: 3/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
|: A/B/c | d2 A2 F2 | D3 E FD | G2 B2 ed | c2 A2- Ac |
d2 A/B/A F2 | G3 A B2 | A2 d2 c2 | d4 :|
|: de | f2 de fd | e/f/e c2 A2 | d2 B>c dB | c2 B/c/B A2 |
f>e d2 f/e/d | e/f/e c2 A2 | d3 c B2 | A4 A/B/c |
d2 A3 F | D3 E F2 | G2 B2 e2 | c/d/c A2 Bc |
d2 A2 F2 | G3 A BG | A2 d/e/d c2 | d4 :|
4
X: 4
T: Cadair Idris
R: waltz
M: 3/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
A2|"D"d2 A2 F2|D3E F2|"G"G2 B2 ed|"A"c2 A2 c2|"D"d2>A2 F2|"G"G3A B2|"D"A2 d2 "A"c2|"D"d4:|
de|"D"f2 d2 f2|"A"e2 c2 A2|"G"B2>c2 de|"A"c2 A2 de|"D"f2 d2 f2|"A"e2 c2 A2|"E7"d2 c2 B2|"A"A4 Bc||
"D"d2 A2 FE|D3E F2|"G"G2 B2 ed|"A"c2 A2 c2|"D"d2 A2 F2|"G"G3A B2|"D"A2 d2 "A"c2|"D"d4|]

Thirteen comments

I was taught this gentle rocking tune in a workshop the other day.
Trevor

Sweet Jenny Jones

My Sweet Jenny Jones is the pride of Llangollen,
My sweet Jenny Jonesis the girl I love best.

This isa tune fromthe Welsh Borders and was enormously popular throughout England (I don’t know about Wales) in the Nineteenth century.It is used as a Morris tune (not gently rocking but with a a punchy upbeat three beat) in a couple of traditions.It was pinched by the Northumbrians, renamed Grace Darling after a local heroine and variations were composed..

Its a memorable tune and desreves to be played boldy.Its certainly got too much fire to tiddle about as a woosey slow waltz.

Noel, Thanks for the input and background on this tune, which I was unaware of. I’ll try it at a more robust pace, as well. Being at a workshop it was taught at a moderate speed, which of course may not be the only way to play it.
Trevor

I came across the following Welsh jig in an old tin whistle tutor:

M:6/8
K:G
g2G Bcd|e2a fef|g2G Bcd|egf g3:|:
bag bag|bag bag|afg afg|acb a3|
g2G Bcd|e2a fef|g2G Bcd|egf g3||

It bears more than a passing resemblance to Sweet Jennie Jones, albeit to my ear a bit more primitive. Interestingly, this jig, when squeezed into a different rhythmic framework, becomes the Irish set dance tune, Hunting the Hare.

Sweet Jenny Jones AKA Cader Idris (Arthur’s Chair)

This tune is AKA Cader Idris (Arthur’s Chair and there is a Welsh Trad dance associated with it. The dance is very similar to, or the same as a dance I’ve seen done at Nashville contra dances called The Duke of Kent’s Waltz. I can recall seeing the dance done in Vermont as well, but don’t know what it was called. When I used to play Nashville dances I would use The Ash Grove for this dance. This was before I learned of the Welsh connection, so my instinct was pretty good on that one. The tunes have a similar feeling and make a nice medley. O’Carolan’s Beauty in Tears may also be based on the Ash Grove melody.

"Dawnsie Twmpath: 55 o ddawnsiau gwerin cymdeithasol o ddewis"

= ‘Twmpath (ceili/ceilidh) Dances’ - Eddie Jones
Y Lolfa, 1987 - pages 22 - 23

The actual dance, a part of the Welsh Twmpath circuit, will be familiar to some as ‘The Family Waltz’, similar to ‘The Oslo Waltz’, and was something also danced in Eire… It is a mixer, 32 bars from start to finish and repeating for as long as you like or your dancers can put up with…

The jig given above ~ "Hela’r Sqwarnog" / "Hunting The Hare"

"Dawns Gŵyl Ifan" / "St. John’s Eve Dance"
Submitted on April 22nd 2005 by swarbrules.
https://thesession.org/tunes/4426

"Cader Idris"

We sometimes repeated the B-part…

Re: Cader Idris

The link to Acronet is now dead, so I’ll paste an exerpt that I found on https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=28483, rather than trusting that it will last:

An original tune by John Parry (bardic name: Bardd Alaw), based on the style of old harp tunes, and written by him in Denbigh in 1804. It was first published in "The Welsh Harper, being an Extensive Collection of Welsh Airs" (1839). It is interesting how Charles J. Mathews, the famous entertainer, came to set the English words for the tune, and how it came to be known in English circles as Jenny Jones. According to "The Life of Charles James Mathews" (Charles Dickens; London 1879), Mathews visited Wales during 1824-1826, and he heard a harper playing the tune on his harp in a hotel in Llangollen. He had never heard the tune before and had no idea who had written it, but he liked it so much that he memorized it. In the farmhouse where he was staying in Pontblyddyn there was a maid called Jenny Jones and a farm servant named David Morgan. Mathews wrote a ballad for the tune, giving it the name of the maid. One night, he said, he sang the ballad in the house of friends in London, and at the end of the evening of entertainment, an old man came up to him and said that he had written the tune and that it had been awarded a prize in the 1804 Eisteddfod under the title Cader Idris. That old man was Bardd Alaw. Later Mathews used the ballad under the title Jenny Jones in a revue (review?) called, "He would be an actor", and it is said that the tune was whistled everywhere in the London streets after that.

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Re: Cader Idris

On the previous commentary I posted (by "Sean"), Sean had assumed the name was "David Morgan," but it was probably Edward ("Ned") Morgan who was courting a fellow servant Jenny Jones.

This is from "Margaret V": “Jenny Jones was a dairymaid at Pontblyddin Farm. Her sweetheart, Edward Morgan, was a ploughman. Morgan spent 20 years with the navy and returned and married Jones. In 1825 actor Charles James Mathews met the Morgans and heard their story. He composed the ‘Song of Jenny Jones and Ned Morgan,’ which was used in a show in 1836. The romantic ditty was popular for the next 20 years. [Staffordshire china] figurines of Jenny Jones, Edward Morgan, and the pair leaning on a milestone were made in the 1840s.”

Here are the lyrics, written in 1825 to the melody composed in 1804:

My name’s Edward Morgan. I live at Llangollen,
From the vale of St. Taffy’d, the flower of North Wales.
My father and mother too live at Llangollen.
Good truth, I was born in that sweetest of vales.
Yes indeed, and all countries so foreign and beautiful
That little valley I prize far above,
For indeed in my heart I do love that Llangollen,
And sweet Jenny Jones too in truth I do love.

For twenty long years I have plough’d the salt seas
And serv’d my full time in a man-o’-war ship;
And ‘deed, goodness knows, we had bloody engagements
And many a dark storm on the pitiless deep;
And I’ve seen all the lands that are famous in story,
And many fair damsels to gain me have strove;
But I said in my heart I do love that Llangollen,
And sweet Jenny Jones too in truth I do love.

I’ve seen Queen Victoria and the Lord Mayor of London,
With kings of far countries and many a queen,
The great Pope of Rome and the Duchess of Dangouleme [d’Angoulême].
Up from King George to Sir Watkin I’ve seen;
But no, not princesses, kings, dukes, nor commissioners,
No, goodness knows it, my envy could move;
For indeed in my heart I do love that Llangollen,
And sweet Jenny Jones too, in truth I do love.

I parted a lad from the vale of my fathers
And left Jenny Jones then a coquet young lass;
But now I’m returned a storm-beaten old mariner.
Jenny from Jones into Morgan shall pass;
And we’ll live on our cheese and our ale in contentment,
And so thro’ our dear native valley shall rove;
For indeed in our hearts we both love that Llangollen,
And sweet Jenny Morgan with truth will I love.

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Cadair Idris, X:4

With Chords.