The Mash-Tub March waltz

Also known as Diferiad Y Gerwyn, Diferion Y Gerwyn, Droppings Of The Mash Tub, The Droppings Of The Mash Tub, The Drops From The Mash-Tub, The Mash-Tub Dregs.

There is 1 recording of this tune.

The Mash-Tub March has been added to 11 tunebooks.

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Five settings

X: 1
T: The Mash-Tub March
R: waltz
M: 3/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
|:FG AB AG|FG AF D2|FG AB AF|A2 d2 c2|
Bc de fd|ed cB A2|Bc df ec|dA FA D2:|
|:fe fg af|ed cB A2|BG Bc dB|AG FE D2|
fd fg af|ed cB A2|Bc df ec|dA FA D2:|
X: 2
T: The Mash-Tub March
R: waltz
M: 3/4
L: 1/8
K: Cmaj
|:EF G2 GF|EF GE C2|EF GA GF|Ec B2 D2|
AB cd ed|ce dB G2|1 AB c2 ce|dB c2 C2:|2 AB ce dB|c2 C4||
|:e3 f ge|dc BA G2|A3 B cA|GF ED C2|
ef gf ec|dc BA G2|AB ce d/c/B|c2 C4:|
X: 3
T: The Mash-Tub March
R: waltz
M: 3/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
|:FG A2 AG|F>G AF D2|E/F/G A^G AF|Ad c2 E2|
Bc de f2|f/e/d c>B A2|1 Bc d3 f|ec d2 D2:|2 Bc df ec|d2 D4||
|:f3 g a/g/f|e/f/e d/c/B A2|B2 Bc d>B|AG FE D2|
fd e/f/g a2|ed cB A2|Bc d2 e/d/c|d2 D4:|
X: 4
T: The Mash-Tub March
R: waltz
M: 3/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
|:FG A2 AG|F>G AF D2|(3EFG A^G AF|Ad c2 E2|
Bc d3 f|(3fed c>B A2|1 B>c d3 f|e<c d2 D2:|2 Bc df ec|d2 D4||
|:f3 g (3agf|(3efe (3dcB A2|B3 c d>B|A>G FE D2|
[1 fd (3efg a2|e>d c<B A2|Bc d2 (3edc|d2 D4:|
[2 fd Ad fd|ec Ac ec|B>c d3 f|e<c d2 D2||
X: 5
T: The Mash-Tub March
R: waltz
M: 3/4
L: 1/8
K: Cmaj
|:E>F G>A G>F|E>F G2 C2|E>F G>A G>F|E>c B2 D2|
A>B c>d e>d|c>e d2 G2|A>B c>B (3cde|d>B c2 C2:|
|:e>f g>a g>e|d>c B>A G2|A>B c>d c>A|G>F E>D C2|
e>f g>f e2|d>c B>A G2|A>B c>B c>e|(3dcB c2 C2:|

Sixteen comments

“Diferion / Diferiad Y Gerwyn”

This is recorded as “Diferiad Y Gerwyn” in the Welsh collection ~
“Blodau’r Grug: 100 Popular Welsh Folk Dance Tunes”
Selected and arranged by Alex Hamilton
Revised by Robin Huw Bowen
Cymdeithas Ddawns Werin Cymru / The Welsh Folk Dance Society, 1992

“Diferion / Diferiad Y Gerwyn” ~ meanings & pronunciation

Diferion / Diferiad = Drops or Droppings or synonymous terms like ‘dregs’…
Y = The
Gerwyn = Tub (mash-tub ~ in the old days everyone was into brewing and cheese making and ~ )

The basics ~ Diferion / Diferiad Y Gerwyn = The Tub’s Drops / Droppings

Dif ~ as it is, such as in ‘difference’…
er ~ ‘air’
i ~ ‘ee’
on / ad ~ just as it sounds…

Y ~ ‘uh’

G ~ ‘g’
er ~ ‘air’
wyn ~ ‘win’

“Blodau’r Grug” ~ the collection

Page 37, tune #82 “Diferiad y Gerwyn” / “The Droppings of the Mash-Tub”

DIF ~ one ‘F’ ~ I was seeing double ~ correction:

Two ‘f’s, or ’ff‘, sounds as ’f’ does in English

One ‘f’ in Welsh is ‘v’, so ~

Dif ~ ‘Div’, as in ‘division’…

Thanks for posting this, Nicholas…a simple but lovely waltz. A joy to play on flute.

(And as always ‘C’, thanks for all the pertinent info.)

Posted .

Always good to hear from you whatsit… 😉

So when are we going to have those two weeks up in the wilderness?

“The Tub’s Droppings”..! I thought it would have some more romantic title, like “Lovely Blodwen From Llanfairpwllgwyn-whatever”… anyway, many thanks for the info, Ceolachan, and I’m chuffed to have got the tune’s provenance right.

“Waste Not, Want Not!!!” ~ every drop counts ~

It is usually taken to mean ‘mash-tub’, in other words that last sip of brew/beer left over, yeasty but still potentially potent…though not the same kick as Cape Breton swish… All over Cymru/Wales you can still find small houses and parts of barns that were used for the brewing of beer and the making of cheese… Every little bit, or drop, counts… We can’t think of it just now, but there’s sure to be several saying in Cymraeg/Welsh along the lines of ‘waste not want not’…it is in the nature of the culture… 😉

I’ve been knocking my head against the monitor trying to remember Welsh for poteen, but neither of us is coming up with it. I’ll be back with it if it surfaces. Their brewing, like anyplace else, wasn’t limited to beer or mead. With mash-tubs the distilation process could and sometimes would be taken further, in which case it could easily out do ‘swish’ in its potency…

Like everywhere that such distilation takes place, those in the know produce some damned fine stuff ~ but there are always a few idiots who blind folks and kill them off, including themselves… When I was a kid there was news of some such nut cases who produced bad liquor that killed something like 11 people…

There have been Irish and Tinkers/Gypsies living in Cymru/Wales for a long time, including music making and brewing, and ‘poteen’ would have consequently been another shared term for it there too…

“Diferion / Diferiad Y Gerwyn” ~ different strokes

K: C Major
|: EF G2 GF | EF GE C2 | EF GA GF | Ec B2 D2 |
AB cd ed | ce dB G2 |1 AB c2 ce | dB c2 C2 :|
2 AB ce dB | c2 C4 ||
|: e3 f ge | dc BA G2 | A3 B cA | GF ED C2 |
ef gf ec | dc BA G2 | AB ce (3dcB | c2 C4 :|

K: D Major
|: FG A2 AG | F>G AF D2 | (3EFG A^G AF | Ad c2 E2 |
Bc de f2 | (3fed c>B A2 |1 Bc d3 f | ec d2 D2 :|
2 Bc df ec | d2 D4 ||
|: f3 g (3agf | (3efe (3dcB A2 | B2 Bc d>B | AG FE D2 |
fd (3efg a2 | ed cB A2 | Bc d2 (3edc | d2 D4 :|

“Diferion / Diferiad Y Gerwyn” ~ 3/4 possibilities

Sadly I haven’t the Welsh National Library at hand (within a 50 mile radius) or I’d have visited it to see if I could find out anything else. There are various friends too that might have been able to help, and I may pester them later. The problem with some tunes taken into the fold of ‘Welsh’ identity is that they are often not in context. I have looked to see if I could find more information on this one, but sadly, while I did make cryptic notes besides it, suggesting I had chased up an origin or history, I can’t figure what shorthand I was using and haven’t been able to find my key.

Those specifics missing I took a closer look at the tune. Too often if something is 3/4 it gets lumped under ‘waltz’, whether or not that was its original use or not. This melody has a couple of other possibilities, and in both the cases given they would still be ways to accompany dance. Anyway, here are those other ways and a few more variations:

As a 3/4 march: Ymdaith Y Gerwyn / The Mash-Tub’s March
~ around 115 (1/4) beats per minute…

K: D Major
|: FG A2 AG | F>G AF D2 | (3EFG A^G AF | Ad c2 E2 |
Bc d3 f | (3fed c>B A2 |1 B>c d3 f | e<c d2 D2 :|
2 Bc df ec | d2 D4 ||
|: f3 g (3agf | (3efe (3dcB A2 | B3 c d>B | A>G FE D2 |
1 fd (3efg a2 | e>d c<B A2 | Bc d2 (3edc | d2 D4 :|
2 fd Ad fd | ec Ac ec | B>c d3 f | e<c d2 D2 ||

or swung like a mazurka ~

K: C Major
|: E>F G>A G>F | E>F G2 C2 | E>F G>A G>F | E>c B2 D2 |
A>B c>d e>d | c>e d2 G2 | A>B c>B (3cde | d>B c2 C2 :|
|: e>f g>a g>e | d>c B>A G2 | A>B c>d c>A | G>F E>D C2 |
e>f g>f e2 | d>c B>A G2 | A>B c>B c>e | (3dcB c2 C2 :|

(3NNN ~ N/N/N or NN/N/

Missed that, in the D Major march version just above it would more likely not be triplets, or (3EFG / (3fed / (3agf | (3efe (3dcB / (3efg / (3edc ~ but, in a march, would tend to be one of two rhythmic groups, using the same 3 notes. Here is the first triplet used as an example, (3EFG ~

E/F/G ~ or ~ EF/G/

Age of tune - Diferiad y Gerwyn

Just a bit to add that this tune is at least 300 years old. It’s in Alawon John Thomas (yes that was his name) a 17th century fiddler’s tunebook. The collection is edited by Cass Meurig.

I know a slightly different version with a different ending to the A music from the B. In fact what is played around sessions here is different from the John Thomas version as well and has a definite dance feel to it - genteel and stately. That’s folk music for you!