Wyres = granddaughter ~ "oy - res"
Megan = the proper name ~ "May - gan"
"Oy - res May - gan"
“Merch Megan” ~ relations
Key signature: G Major
Submitted on November 20th 2006 by ceolachan.
Some folks, Ar Log included, mate these two 3/4 tune up and even play them simultaneously, as they both go, AABA… It’s fun and it works, I promise… ;-)
“Wyres Megan” ~ some endings & other points
The last time I had a tune dip down to low G, it didn’t make a link for the midi, so I skipped that in this transcription, but as given it is more open to a wider spread of instruments. Here are some other ways to take the final measures, 1st or 2nd endings, as you please:
~ | G6 | ~
~ | G2 GD B,G, | ~
~ | GD B,A, G,2 | ~
Also, I tend to play this as mixed metre, 6/8 & 3/4 in feel and beat, and sometimes I go overboard and swing it too, like a mazurka but not exaggerated, for example:
|: B>c |
dBG dBG | c>d e>c d>B | A>B c>A B>G | A>FD AFD |
d>BG dBG | c>d e>c d>B | c>A B>G A>F |1 G2 G>A :|
2 GD B,A, G,2 ||
b>gd bgd | a>fd afd | gec gec | aa/f/d afd |
bb/g/d bgd | aa/f/d afd | ge^c gfe | d>e d>c B>c |
dBG dBG | c>d e>c d>B | AA/B/ c>A B>G | A>FD AFD |
d>BG dBG | cc/d/ e>c d>B | c>A B>G A>F | G4 ||
The above could be taken with or without the swing ‘>’…
I’ve heard a myth that music is dead in Cymru / Wales ~
~ not myth really, ‘destructive gossip’…
There is a temptation to want to limit the magic that is music to our own personal preferences. This happens with ‘national’ identity too. Cymru / Wales has had its share of categorization, death, rebirth and mutations. Like ‘anyplace-else’, you know, ‘over-there’, the country and its music’S’ have been plagued with good intentions, vested interests, politics and the usual strong personalities that bear such things, the self-assigned ‘carriers’. Rarely such egos are inclusive and open, but sometimes the luck of the draw porduces a few bright sparks of the Democratic and considerate type, sadly though, at times, too often in the minority… While the varied forms of music taken as ‘Tradd’ / ‘Traddodiadol’ / ‘Traditional’ (for the moment avoiding that four-letter trash cache ‘Folk’) is revival and highly processed, what some would call a ‘classical’ influence (unfairly - as most of those affecting that influence aren’t particularly good classical musicians either), there have been and are those who sought and continue to take their inspriation from related traditions, family roots, country roots (distinguished from the gentry, pomp) ~ for example Breizh / Brittany, the same language group, very close ~ and we musn’t forget the neighbours ~ Eire / Ireland, Alba / Scotland, and the nearest, on the border ~ yr Saes / the English and dear ol’ England… My bias will out here, I only wish we could keep it to the ‘better’ influences from these ‘related’ traditions.
The English influence has had a positive effect on the ceilidh / ceili scene in Cymru, ‘Twmpath Dawns’ is the Welsh for it. The Borders influence, dance, music and calling, has in my mind been one of the healthiest inputs to bringing life to that narrow area of music this site has its primary focus on, community music, dance music. Another influence, and excuse me as my biases rise in a grimace, is the Playford branch (there’s a laugh there!) of the ‘English Folk Dance & Song Society’ and the ‘Royal Scottish Country Dance Society’ ~ resulting in the equally starched and affected ‘Cymdeithas Ddawns Werin Cymru’ / ‘The Welsh Folk Dance Society’, who have done some good, and I’ve had fun with that lot, but they take it so damned seriously that the idea that they have ‘Gwerin’ (Werin) / ‘Folk’ in their title just seems wrong, an anathema, one of the misuses the term suffers. They are a group of cliques, and they have their annual balls like the RSCDS do, and they dress up, are affected and everything is just too damned precious, for this peasant anyway… Their performances at times are not far removed from the competitive ballroom scene, with the wide smiles and stiff backs (my grimace is back and my cheeks hurt) ~ and in itchy wool of all things… They must be mad. But hey, they enjoy it, and it would be wrong of me to deny any single person their pleasure, music or dancewise, whatever take they have on it ~ but it ain’t ‘folk’ in my book. ‘Folk’ is too dirty and basic to be applied here, too down to earth and basic…
I think their name might be more appropriately ‘Cymdeithas Ddawns Cymru’, without the ‘Gwerin’. Why, well, mostly their about rehearsal and performance and an annual ball, little if anything else. There isn’t much ‘community’ about that, clique but not community, though a few pub music sessions have grown out of it. Once I had the pleasure of sharing a bus with a load of folks from ‘The Valleys’, one of these ‘cliques’, though they were too inclusive and fun to fully meat that definition. Despite their costumes and general appearance, and they were one of the few groups still sporting those stovepipe hats on the women, they were as common as muck, and I mean that as a compliment. They could laugh about it and definitely didn’t take themselves seriously, it was all a hoot. We sang, we told jokes, we shareds stories and we did a hell of a lot of laughing, up until we go to the venue and things got serious again… (~ but not amongst that lot! ~ bless ‘em!)
I’ve now presented two facets of the Welsh gem ‘music’, ‘two-sides’ of what is currently taken as ‘Tradd’ / ‘the tradition’, or in the case of ‘The Society’, ‘The Tradition’ ~ two sides at least where this sort of dance music in Wales is concerned. On the one side we have the ‘Society’ and on the other side we have the ‘Twmpath’… They don’t cross over much, or at least they didn’t use to. ‘The Society’ tend to consider themselves as ‘dancers’, and in a sense I guess that might be taken that everyone else are plebs? Personally, I’d prefer to be the later. Only one of these really qualifies as ‘folk’ in my book, acknowleding I’ve biases ~ and that is ‘The Twmpath’…they happen for the craic… You’ll find them used for Fresher balls at Welsh Universities North, South and Central. Swimming and boat clubs throw them and the Merched Y Wawr ( the Welsh Women’s Institute) hold them regularly. They are used for fund raising, for special occassions, for family get-togethers. They are English, Welsh and bi-lingual… The ‘craic’ value, and the wide variety of types of folks involved, the high laughter count, make the ‘Twmpath’ more my sort of hwyl / fun / craic…
It isn’t like I haven’t also enjoyed the other, the Cymdeithas, including the RSCDS take on Scottish dance, or one of those new wave Irish ‘pure’ ceilis where sets and couple dances are not allowed ~ but too often when I’m really enjoying myself, someone changes that positive mood with a smirk or a push or a pull or what seems general disapproval of my smile or style. I’m left wanting to say "sorry", and that is considerably more rare in a ‘Twmpath’ where you are openly welcome and generally accepted for who you are, and allowed to be yourself, laughter allowed… Additionally, they are open musically. There is no frown if you play something that isn’t ‘authorized’ as being ‘Welsh’, which is a laugh anyway, considering much of the music is borrowed. The beautiful language of Cymru is the same open and living entity, it has always borrowed, around half of it would be gone if that were not allowed, that half being Latin… So why, oh why, be so precious with a thing that you hold it so tightly that you suffocate the life from it? Sorry, that’s my impression, some folks prefer it that way, ‘pure’, or at least what they concieve that to be, the poor misinformed and misguided soul… Yes, there are Welsh tunes, but they stand their own in any mix and some blend well with English, Irish, Scottish, Northumbrian, Cornish, Breton, French ~ etc… You get the gist of what I’m saying. I’ve been to only a few ‘Welsh Only’ sessions, but they had a stiffness about them that I found uncomfortable, and there was something unreal about them. You’d hear something that was definitely not limited to Wales, was ‘borrowed’ from elsewhere, but because it had a Welsh name, it was O.K., acceptable.
There are markers for life where a living tradition in music is concerned, and they are all over Cymru / Wales. Variety?! Including some of what was mentioned above. There’s all the types of music you might bring to mind, and loads of crossbreeds and cross breeding. The church may have weighed in heavy in the past suppressing the sort of things we are mostly dealing with on site here, favouring hymns and religious themes as you might expect, but that didn’t snuff out the embers. And there’s been bigotry and racism, for which no single country has sole rights, and in this case gypsies were focus, the Romanies, great music bearers, that too had its influence. Such base things, and now I’ll use that four letter word, as music of the ‘folk’ or ‘commoners’, ‘folk music’, was just too unseemly to allow it to flourish, too crass, too base… But, you can’t keep a good thing down for long, and as said, there were all the neighbours and family about to keep things going in Cymru’s temporary lapse. All our neighbours and family, Celtic and beyond, were there to fan those embers and to relight the fires and to drive inspiration along. In all the forms present in Cymru / Wales, whether pop, rock, jazz, blues, opera, choir, tradd, there are new ways and new tunes constantly being exercised. It’s bubbling and alive, contrary to some misconceptions. You’ll always have a few who want it one way only, their way, like me ;-) ~ but with so many different types of people involved, and the surrounding strong relations with those ‘friends & family’, no single dictate from a dictator can rule over the life that music has in Cymru ~ Cerdd Cymru am Byth ~ pob pethau i bawb!!!
Cerdd Cymru am Byth ~ pob pethau i bawb!!!
Just a few varied luminaries ~ Katherine Jenkins, Bryn Terfel, Shirley Bassey, Ivor Novello, Tom Jones, Cerys Matthews, Bonnie Tyler, Shakin’ Stevens, The Stereophonics, Manic Street Preachers, Supper Furry Animals, Lostprophets, Catatonia, Funeral for a Friend, The Automatic, The Kilbride Brothers ~ and a limitless amount of others and ways…
I am particularly fond of the singing voice of Cerys Matthews… :-)
Luminary ~ “Nansi Richards”
Nansi Richards needs to be here on her own, a harpist, bearer of tradition, a source, Welsh and Romany in her influences. For more follow the links to her recordings and for inspiration, granted she wasn’t recorded in her prime, give an ear to her music, which like Cymru / Wales itself, is from many origins. When you are really passionate about music how can you limit it ~ either your passion and appreciation for it or the music itself?? I rarely met an old master who limited themselves in an attempt to be some version of ‘pure’… :-/
It’s a really lovely tune.
A couple of points that come to mind:
1) pronunciation. A more accurate transliteration would be Ooee-ress Me-gann (with the stress on the first syllable in each case).
2) pairing with Merch Megan. The reason for playing the two simultaneously is that Wyres Megan (Megan’s Granddaughter) was composed by Nansi Richards, Telynores Maldwyn as variations on Merch Megan (Megan’s Daughter). As is usual with variations, the original is played ‘straight’ once through and then variations are introduced on subsequent repetitions.
To my knowledge, it is only known as Wyres Megan (and should only be called by that name); the English name ‘Megan’s Granddaughter’ is an unwelcome throwback to the time when the original Welsh names and words of tunes and songs were considered unsuitable for polite company and new English words set to the tunes.