Croen Y Ddafad Felyn barndance

Also known as Croen A Ddafad Felan, Croen Y Ddafad Felen, Three Jolly Sheep Skins, The Three Jolly Sheep Skins, Three Jolly Sheepskins, The Three Jolly Sheepskins, The Three Sheep Skins, The Three Sheepskins, The Yellow Sheep Skin, The Yellow Sheepskin.

There is 1 recording of this tune.

Croen Y Ddafad Felyn has been added to 14 tunebooks.

Download ABC

Three settings

X: 1
T: Croen Y Ddafad Felyn
R: barndance
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
|:G>AB>c d2 d2|c>Bc>A d2 d2|c>BA>A B>AG>G|A>GF>G A2 A2|
G>AB>c d2 d2|c>Bc>A d2 d2|c>BA>A B>AG>G|A>Ad>d G2 G2:|
|:g>f (3efg f2 d2|c>B (3ABc B2 G2|e>dc>e d2 B2|G>AB>G A2 D2|
[1 g2 e>g f2 f2|e2 c>e d2 d2|c2 (3ABc B>AG>B|(3ABA d>F G4:|
[2 G>AB>c d2 d2|c>Bc>A d2 d2|c>BA>A B>A G2|A>Ad>d G2||
|:(3DEF|G>AB>c d2 D2|c>Bc>A d2 d2|c>BA>d B>A G2|A>GF>G A2 (3DEF|
G2 (3ABc d>^cd>B|c2 (3ABc d2 D2|c>B (3ABc B>A (3GAB|A2 d2 G2:|
|:B>c|d>c (3Bcd g2 d2|d>cB>d g2 g2|d>cB>d c>B (3ABc|
[1 B>AG>B A2 (3ABc|d2 B>d g2 (3Bcd|(3ded (3Bcd g4|c2 (3ABc B2 (3GAB|A>Fd>F G2:|
[2 B2 G>B A2 D2|G>AB>c d2 d>G|c>BA>c d2 d>B|c2 A2 B2 G>G|A>Ad>d G2||
X: 2
T: Croen Y Ddafad Felyn
R: barndance
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
d>e fg|a2 f2|g>a g/f/g/e/|a2 e2||
fd df|e/f/e/d/ c/d/e/f/|d/e/d/c/ b/c/d/e/|c2 A2||
X: 3
T: Croen Y Ddafad Felyn
R: barndance
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Emin
|:E>FG>A B2 B2|A>GA>F B2 B2|E>FG>A B2 B2|A>GA>F B4:|
|:A>G F2 G>F E2|D>EF>G E2 E2|A>G F2 G>F E2|D>EF>G E4:|

Eighteen comments

“Croen Y Ddafad Felen” ~ with swing

There are three tunes in this transcript ~ AA & AABB & CCDD:

tune #1 ~ The first part, just the A-part, is as the song is known, though some people play that basic melody over and over again in different keys for a particular Welsh dance by the same name, and also known as “The Three Sheep Skins”.

tune #2 ~ The first two parts given in this transcript, A & B, the B part being a second part I’d known of.

tune #3 ~ The 3rd and 4th parts given here, the second half, CCDD, are from me, with another second part ~ as I remember playing it, and played very much like a ‘barndance’ or ‘schottische’, and I had used it for that purpose too…

“Croen Y Ddafad Felen” / “The Three Sheep Skins”

A related 2/4 ‘polka’ transcript of the bare melody can be found here

“Croen Y Ddafad Felen” ~ polka
Key signature: G Major
Submitted on December 15th 2002 by Dafydd Monks.

Another transcript of the basic single-part tune can also be found in the comments for this submission…

“Croen Y Ddafad Felen / Felyn” ~ a rough guide to pronunciation

Croen = skin
This is pronounced like groin, except replace the ‘g’ with a ‘k’, kroin

Y = the
uh ~ or ~ uhr

Ddafad = Dafad = Sheep, Ewe
‘d’ mutated to ‘dd’
‘dd’ is pronounced as an aspirated ‘th’ ~ as in the English ‘the’
‘f’ sounds as ‘v’
~ thahvahd

Melyn = Felyn = Felen = Yellow (‘m’ mutates to ‘f’)
Felyn ~ V - ell - in
Felen ~ V - ell - an

‘e’ in Welsh has an ‘a’ sound to it, which may account for the prevelance of the spelling ‘felan’… ‘Felen’ is archaic and the use in common in the present is ‘Melyn’ or the mutated form as given above of ‘Felyn’…

‘Y’ has a number of possible sounds, in ‘Melyn’ / ‘Felyn’ it is akin to the English ‘i’, while for the article ‘Y’, meaning ‘the’, its sound is similar to the English ‘u’…

Playford 1698 ~ “The Dancing Master:

Or, Directions for Dancing Country Dances, with the Tunes to each Dance for the Treble-Violin“
Tenth Edition, Henry Playford, 1698

page 215: “Three Sheep Skins” ~ Longways for as many as will, Duple Proper…

In this printing of the dance the melody is different.

L: 1/4
M: 4/4
K: G Major
G2 B>c | d2 B2 | c2 A2 | d2 A2 :||: BG GB | AG GB | AG FE | F2 D2 ||

The 1st couple take hands and set twice to the 2nd man,
and then go the Hey till they come into their own places again.
(The tune thorow twice)
The 1stnd couple do the same to the 2 woman ~
Then all four hands a Breast,
go the Figure thorow in 2 couple’s place,
the same as before.

Damn, where’d that ‘c’ do? 😉 ~ “Dancing Master”

And the ‘g’ too?! ~ ‘go’… 😏

Yma o hyd! ~ 😉

! ~ ‘C’ymru am beth ~ !

Here’s some words from (cut & pasted in case the link gets lost in the future):

See the yellow sheepskin,
Swinging from your shoulders,
Once it raced the mountainside
And leapt the mountain boulders,
Now the yellow sheepskin,
Soft as cloud in summer,
Whirls around from hand to hand
And dances for the drummer.

Take the yellow sheepskin,
Tenderly embrace it,
Once it climbed a mountain top
And had the wild wind chase it.
Now the yellow sheepskin,
Bright as sun in summer,
Capers like the firelight flames
And dances for the drummer.

Source: Singing Together, Summer 1970, BBC Publications

These lyrics were specially written by John Edwards. A Welsh version is given below:

Croen y ddafad felen
Tu gorchwyneb allan,
Troed ymlaen a throed yn ôl
A throed yn taflu allan ;
Croen y ddafad felen
Dan ddwy bibell glaerwen,
Troed i fyny a throed i lawr
A throed yn cicio’r nen-bren.

Croen y ddafad felen,
Gorwedd ar ei gefen
Crwth a phib a thelyn rawn,
A’r traed yn gwlwm dolen ;
Croen y ddafad felen,
Lle mae lluoedd llawen,
Ysgafn droed ac osgo’r dryw,
I lamu fel colomen.

Croen y ddafad felen
Pawb yn ôl ei elfen,
Naid yn ôl a naid ymlaen,
A naid yn ôl drachefen.
Croen y ddafad felen,
Dawns y noson lawen,
Traed yn gwau fel troad gwynt ;
A neidio fel dwy aden.

Croen y ddafad felen,
Ddaw a hoen a heulwen,
Pawb a drÿ ar ysgafn droed,
A llywio’i gwrs yn llawen,
Troed yn ôl a throed ymlaen,
A throed yn cicio’r nen-bren.

Yeah, my wife kept singing the Welsh words while I was playing the tune… She knows it from her childhood, but the Welsh lyrics are relatively recent, 20th Century…

“Croen Y Ddafad Felen / Felyn” ~ e minor swing

This e minor version was pulled out of JC’s database by noxious blanket as a 2/4, but as it is played as a hornpipe I’ve repeated it here as 4/4 with the swing notated… As NB puts it ~ “It’s just struck me that the version above sounds like a Breton tune.” I suspect it is a ‘modern’ interpretation of the old tune, with that affect in mind. There are strong ties between Cymru (Wales) & Breizh (Brittany) and people move back and forth and many enjoy each others music, crossover is not unusual…

K: e minor
|: E>FG>A B2 B2 | A>GA>F B2 B2 | E>FG>A B2 B2 | A>GA>F B4 :|
|: A>G F2 G>F E2 | D>EF>G E2 E2 | A>G F2 G>F E2 | D>EF>G E4 :|

The 2/4 e minor version the above is made from can be found in the comments here:

“Croen A Ddafad Felen”
# Posted on August 20th 2006 by Noxious Blanket

Croen Y Ddafad Felyn - Dinogad

What a nice surprise to see this tune. I learned this in a minor key some years ago from Ceri Matthews. A friend of mine I used to work for then learned and recorded it as “Dinogad’s Coat”
you can hear it online here (I’m not on it):


Posted by .

“Dinogad’s Coat” is the name of a poem in English, a loose translation based on the ancient 7th Century Welsh nursery rhyme “Pais Dinogad”. The link above is to an MP3 of this English version of the poem woven as a song in amongst the traditional air taken in a minor key.

Diolch/Thanks for the link. 🙂

‘I suspect it is a ‘modern’ interpretation of the old tune, with that affect [ the version above sounds like a Breton tune] in mind.’

Not really ceolachan. At least in this case . There is perhaps a tendency to view tunes from the Welsh traditon transposed to minor keys as ‘Breton’ influenced, whatever that is, especially tunes with short compass. John Tose, who set this version, is A) originally from the north east of England, and B) A (Welsh) Border Morris Dancer. I suspect the latter had more to do with this setting than anything pan- Brythonic.

The tune is of course pan-British, in the Island sense of the word, and was always particulary popular in eastern Wales and the March

I think it suits Pais Dinogat very well, oddly enough, and with some bending the original Brythonic words would scan very well

Geraint Jones’ description is concise and neat “ traditional air taken in a minor key“

Thanks Ceri, points well made… Morris dancing has had a place in and around Cymru for as long as there has been Morris, at least on record…