Difyrrwch Gwyr Dufi

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DIFYRRWCH GWYR DUFI (The Delight of the Men of Dovey). AKA and see "John Arscott of Tetcott," "Woodicock." English, Welsh; Country Dance Tune (6/8 time). E Minor. Standard tuning (fiddle). AB. Aber Dyvi is the name of a seaport in Merionethshire, and also a considerable river twhich divides North and South Wales. Mellor finds the oldest version of this harp tune to be a Devonshire fox-hunting song, "vastly popular," about "John Arscott of Tetcott," printed some 75 years before the Welsh version. An Irish version goes by the name "Dear Catholic Brother." The melody was used by D'Urfey (who was from Devonshire) in his Pills to Purge Melancholy (1719). It appears in Watt's Musical Miscellany (1731), and finally in Edward Jones's Musical and Poetical Relicks of the Welsh Bards (editions of 1784 & 1794) under the "Difyrrwch" title. The English collector and annotator William Chappell (1859, p. 64) thought the tune to be "an inferior copy of 'Greensleeves,'" but Samuel Bayard (Studies in Folklore, "A Miscellany of Tune Notes") finds is "a fuller copy" of "Woodicock," which appears in the Fitzwilliam Virginal Book (1609, set by Giles Farnaby) and in Playford's English Dancing Master (1651). A version of this tune appears in van Duyse's Oude Nederl. Leid, II (1905) under the title "Engels Woddecot" set by Valerius. Bayard concludes "the evidence indicates that the Welsh forms are examples of secondary lengthening (a phenomenon hard to pin down in folk music), and are borrowings from the English or Dutch tradition."

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Mellor (Welsh Dance Tunes), 1935; p. 11.

Recorded sources:




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