Glanbran

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GLANBRAN (Banks of the Bran). AKA - "Glan Bran." Welsh, Air (2/4 time). G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. Glanbran is a place-name by the river Bran between Llandovery and Llanwrtyd Wells, and is also the name of a former 18th century, once the residence of the descendants of David Goch Gwyn. The following tale is told by Wirt Sikes in his book British Goblins: Welsh Folk-Lover, Fairy Mythology, Legends and Traditions (1880, p. 201):

Not far from Glanbran, in Carmarthenshire, lived a tailor, who added to his trade as a breeches-mender the loftier, if wickeder, employments of a worker in magic. A certain Mr. Gwynne, living at Glanbran, took it upon himself to ridicule this terrible tailor, for the tailor was a little man, and Mr. Gwynne was a burly six-footer, who feared nobody. ‘Thou have the courage to look upon the devil!’ sneered Gwynne; ‘canst thou show him to me?’ ‘That I can,’ said the tailor, his eyes flashing angrily; ‘but you are not able to look at him.’ ‘What!’ roared Gwynne, ‘thou able to look at him, and not I?’ ‘Very well,’ quoth the tailor; ‘if you are able to look at him I will show him to you.’ It was in the day time, but the tailor went immediately into a little grove of wood in a field hard by, and made a circle in the usual manner. In a short time he returned to fetch the incredulous Mr. Gwynne, saying, ‘Come with me and you shall see him.’ The two then crossed the field until they came to the stile by the wood, when suddenly the tailor cried, ‘Look yonder! there it is!’ And looking, Mr. Gwynne saw, in the circle the tailor had drawn, ‘one of the fallen angels, now become a devil.’ It was so horrible a sight that the terrified Mr. Gwynne was never after able to describe it; but from that time forth he had a proper respect for the tailor.

A famous Welsh harper, Thomas Gruffydd [1] (1815-1887), composer of the song "Gwlad y Bard" (The Land of the Bard), was apprenticed to one Jones, harper to one of the Gwynnes of Glanbran, a position to which he succeeded to in due course.

Source for notated version:

Printed sources:

Recorded sources: Ar Log - "Ar Log" (1978).




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