Nyth Y Gog hornpipe

Also known as Cuckoo’s Nest, Nyth Y Gwcw.

There are 5 recordings of this tune.

Nyth Y Gog has been added to 7 tune sets.

Nyth Y Gog has been added to 45 tunebooks.

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Six settings

X: 1
T: Nyth Y Gog
R: hornpipe
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Emin
|:E>F|G>FG>F E2 g>e|d>BA>G F>AG>F|G>FG>A B>^AB>c|d2 A2 A2 B>A|
G>FG>F E2 g>e|d>BA<G F>AG<F|G>FG>A B>cA>c|(3BcB E2 E2:|
|:(3Bcd|e>^de>f e<g (3gfe|d2 B2 B3 A|G>Bd>B G>B (3dcB|(3cdc A2 A3 d|
e3 d e>gf>e|(3ded B2 B2 (3cBA|G2 G>A B2 (3ABc|B2 E2 E2-:|
|:E>G|B>GE>G B>G (3EFG|B>GA<F E2 F>G|A>FD>F A2 (3DEF|(3ABA (3GFE D2 E>F|
G2 G<F E2 g>e|d>BA<G F>AG<F|G>FG>A B>cA<c|B2 (3EEE E2:|
X: 2
T: Nyth Y Gog
R: hornpipe
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
|:F2|GFGF E2 ge|dBAG FAGF|GFGA BABc|d2 A2 A2 F2|
|:B2|e^def egfe|d2 B2 B3 A|GBdB GBdB|c2 A2 A3 B|
e^def egfe|d2 B2 B3 A|GFGA BcBA|G2 E2 E2:|
X: 3
T: Nyth Y Gog
R: hornpipe
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Amaj
|:(FG)|(AG)(AG) TF2 (af)|(ec)(BA) GBAG|(AG)(AB) (cB)(cd)|e2B2B2 (cB)|
(AG)(AG) TF2 (af)|(ec)(BA) (GB)(AG)|(AG)AB cdcB|A2F2F2:|
|:Tc2|f^efg fagf|e2 c2 Tc4|(Acec) (Acec)|d2B2TB4|
f^efg fagf|e2c2c2 (cB)|(AG)(AB) (cd)(cB)|A2F2F2:|
|:TA2|(cAFA) (cAFA)|(cA)(cA) TF2 (GA)|(BGEG) (BGEG)|(BGBG) TE2 (FG)|
(AG)(AG) E2 (af)|(ec)(BA) GBAG|(AG)(AB) (cd)(cB)|A2F2F2:|
X: 4
T: Nyth Y Gog
R: hornpipe
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Fmaj
DE|:"Dm"(FE)(FE) D2 (fd)|"F"(cA)(GF) "C"EGFE|"Dm"(FE)(FG) (AG)(AB)|"Am"cGGF G2 (AG)|
"Dm"(FE)(FE) D2 (fd)|"F"(cA)(GF) "C"(EG)(FE)|"Dm"(FE)FG "Am"ABAG|1 "Dm"FDDCD2DE:|2 "Dm"FDDCD2 Ac|
|:d3c df(ed)|"Am"cAAG A2AG|"F"(FAcA) (FAcA)|"C"( BGGF) G2Ac|
"Dm"d^cd(e df)(ed)|"Am"cAAG A2AG|"Dm"(FE)(FG) "Am"(AB)(AG)|1 "Dm"FDDCD2 Ac:|2 "Dm"FDDCD2 FG||
|:"Dm"(AFDF) (AFDF)|(AG)(AF) D2 (EF)|"C"(GECE) (GECE)|(GFGE) C2 (DE)|
"Dm"(FE)(FE) D2 (fd)|"F"(cA)(GF) "C"EGFE|"Dm"(FE)(FG) "Am"(AB)(AG)|1 "Dm"FDDCD2 FG:|2 "Dm"FDDCD4||
X: 5
T: Nyth Y Gog
R: hornpipe
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
|:EF|GFGF E2 ge|dBAG FAGF|GFGA BABc|d2 A2 A2 F2|
|:B2|e^def egfe|d2 B2 B2 BA|GBdB GBdB|c2 A2 A2 B2|
e^def egfe|d2 B2 B2 BA|GFGA BcBA|G2 E2 E2:|
X: 6
T: Nyth Y Gog
R: hornpipe
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Emin
|:EF|GFGF E2 ge|dBAG FAGF|GFGA BABc|d2 A2 A2 F2|
|:B2|e^def egfe|d2 B2 B2 BA|GAcA GAcA|d2 A2 A2 B2|
e^def egfe|d2 B2 B2 BA|GFGA BcBA|G2 E2 E2:|

Fifteen comments

“Nyth Y Gwcw” / “Nyth Y Gôg” / “The Cuckoo’s Nest” ~ with Hetty in mind

Here are some others that share the name ~

"The Cuckoo’s Nest"
Key signature: Gmajor
Submitted on March 2nd 2002 by Mad Baloney.

“The Cuckoo’s Nest” / “Eamonn McGivney’s”
Key signature: Edorian
Submitted on September 29th 2003 by lazyhound.

"The Cuckoo’s Nest"
Key signature: G Major
Submitted on January 15th 2004 by gian marco.

“Nyth Y Gwcw” / “Nyth Y Gôg” / “The Cuckoo’s Nest”
Key signature: D Dorian
Submitted on August 16th 2006 by ceolachan.

This last one has some guidance to pronunciation in its ‘Comments’, but here goes for this take on it ~

Nyth = nest ~ pronounced ‘knee’ ‘th’ (‘unvoiced’ as in ‘bath’ or ‘theme’)

Y = the ~ pronounced, roughly, ‘uh’

Gôg = Cuckoo ~ pronounced pretty much like it looks, and if you put the ‘Y’ and ‘Gôg’ together, well ~ ‘agog’ is a good approximation… 😉

“Nyth Y Gwcw” / “Nyth Y Gôg” / “The Cuckoo’s Nest”

~ a basic and slightly different take on this, minus the swing or snaps:

K: G Major
|: F2 |
GFGF E2 ge | dBAG FAGF | GFGA BABc | d2 A2 A2 F2 |
GFGF E2 ge | dBAG FAGF | GFGA BcBA | G2 E2 E2 :|
|: B2 |
e^def egfe | d2 B2 B3 A | GBdB GBdB | c2 A2 A3 B |
e^def egfe | d2 B2 B3 A | GFGA BcBA | G2 E2 E2 :|
|: G2 |
GFGF E2 ge | dBAG FAGF | GFGA BcBA | G2 E2 E2 :|

I’ve gathered and bumped into and along with a host of tunes under this title, English, Welsh, Scottish ~ and elsewhere. I suspect some of you will have different versions of one of these, or one of the several others that haven’t made it on site yet, I’d love to see them and road test them… 🙂

I’d been holding back on this one because I was convinced it had to already be on site here, but over the last couple of years I’ve not bumped into it yet, and as I was on a Welsh spree, and this tune being adopted there too, I thought it was time to share it and hope I wasn’t wrong in determining that this one isn’t here yet… I remember playing a multi-part (5 or 6 parts) tune by this name too, but I haven’t been able to find my notes for it yet. Is anyone else familiar with on like that. I remember it was ‘dreamy’ possibly minor like this one, or Dorian?

~ am y to ~ ^ ~ about the roof ~

It isn’t so much ‘ah’ as ‘oh’ when there’s that roof over the ‘o’, or ‘ô’ ~ as here with ‘Gôg’ ~ so, for a bit better clarity, the sound would be as follows:

Gô ~ as ‘go’ in in English, or G-OH

Gôg ~ ‘g-oh-g’ ~ and not ‘g-ah-g’ as my suggested comparison with ‘agog’ might lead some accents to believe… So, like ‘goal’, but with a ‘g’ to close it off instead of the ‘l’…

Welsh Cuckoo

I enjoy these Welsh tunes youve been posting.. now is there a similarity between the Welsh and Northumberland stuff…

What instrument/s to you play "c"

I may post one of my versions of The old Cuckoo on here soon… one of my favorites.

I look forward to it MH…

Welsh similar to Northumberland stuff?

Will have to read more of c’s Welsh submissions to answer that one.

Northumberland is not associated with a harp tradition, certainly such a tenacious one as the Welsh one, linking ancient times with the present day. I assume some well-off girls played it in the c18, as this was general in England; maybe it’s been recorded from the Middle Ages; the Anglo-Saxons played a kind of lyre, and I’m sure I’ve seen a representation of a proper harp on an Anglo-Saxon stone cross; but in recent centuries - c18, 19, 20 - when most the characteristic Northumbrian trad music of today was in the process of being described, recorded and/or created, there seem to be no records of harpers, harping families, etc. - or at any rate not that I know of.
Northumbrian music does in fact contain some tunes that are naturals on the harp ("Felton Lonnin", "Sir John Fenwick", "Sir Sydney Smith’s March", "Bonny At Morn", e.g.) - a happy accident, and a bit of a mystery.

So in brief, the harp has been lacking or insignificant in at least the last few centuries of traditional trad music-making in Northumberland, while it has a key place in Wales and must have had a huge influence on forms of the music. Must stop now, hope to get back to this one.

Wow! ~ where did all that come from? Anything to start up a dialogue and an investigation. I think it was that MH saw that the ‘Rant’ had made its way to Cymru / Wales, but then rants and ranting have that way about them, they get around and can be infectious… 🙂

I like the sound of my own print.

Harps in Northumbria

Trusty (?!) Wikipedia tells me that the wire-strung early Irish / Scottish type of harp was the favourite Court instrument in Scotland till the end of the Middle Ages. Apparently it was also popular at the English court, c16 / 17. (One can understand it being so in c17, with the Scottish Stuart kings on the throne.)
There must surely have been the odd harper entertaining the grandees, at any rate, in North East England during, if not after, the Middle Ages. Come to think of it, there’s a place called Harperley ("Harper’s Clearing / Meadow) in County Durham, and I think there are one or two more such names in the region.

The Welsh Counties ~ The Reaches ~

Durham & Northumberland & Cumberland & Lancashire & Yorkshire & Cheshire & ~

On the history side of things, taking it back a ways, the ‘language’, ‘Brythonic’ or ‘Brittonic’, well covered ‘The Borders’ and beyond…until more of those waves of immigration and conquest drove them into the corners that are now known as The Isle of Man, Cymru / Wales, Cornwall and Brittany (fellow Britons!!!)… ‘Brythonic’ is from the Welsh for the ‘indigenous’ Briton, as opposed to the Gaels, Anglo-Saxons or Normans, the ‘foreign invaders’!!! 😉

Settlement in Northumbria / Borders

The jury’s permanently out on whether many British remained in areas that came under Anglo-Saxon control, in England and S. Scotland. I think, in the North-East and Borders, too few to matter. Gildas and Bede attest to slaughter and terror far and wide, with Britons facing death by the sword or hardship, or at best becoming slaves, that is if they couldn’t get away to Wales or Brittany; and the detestation each side had for the other. There has been a cosy theory in archaeological circles (I worked in archaeology for a time) that the two groups substantially settled down to local coexistence and intermarriage, the British merely deferring to the English language (the "continuity" school of thought): there’s precious little evidence for this.
(Though in other parts of N. England / S. Scotland British groups might have hung on longer: Cumbria, Strathclyde, maybe Galloway, e.g.)
The placenames and language of NE England and SE Scotland are overwhelmingly based on Anglo-Saxon, when not standard English, or contemporary Scottish English. There’s nothing to indicate that a Celtic-speaking population survived the Anglo-Saxon takeover. If a Celtic language could survive till comparatively recent times in little places like Man and Cornwall, it would have been recorded in the Border regions if any continuing group had used it.
For all that early Norse Vikings raided it and Scandinavian words are in the dialect (as well of course as in everyday English), the North-East, is I think, the only part of Northern England not to have been fairly thickly settled by Scandinavians, whether Danish or Irish-Norse (Danish settlement got as far as the Southern parts of County Durham). Maybe they found it too cold for them..!
The Anglo-Saxons who settled Northumberland were those who also settled the Borders and beyond in Scotland. The Scottish kingdom overran them and established more or less the present Border by defeating the Northumbrians in 1018, but before long it adopted Northumbrian English as its official language - the ancestor of Lowland Scots.
So, as I see it, the Northumbrians and the Border Scots (give or take some Normans, etc., etc. …) are at base an Anglo-Saxon nation, divided by history: not a Celtic nation, except insofar as they have a tolerance of diddly - diddly. But a lot of people in the cities / industrialised areas are descended from immigrants from Ireland / Wales / Scotland / Cornwall.

Re: Nyth Y Gog

This is not played with a swing Irish hornpipe rhythm
they are played similarly too reels with more flexibility

Re: Nyth Y Gog

Is this tune a variant of Little Stack of Barley? Something about it sounds very similar to me.

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