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X:1 T:Meillionen o Feriony ‘dd M:C L:1/8 Q:"Very Slow" B:Daniel Wright – Aria di Camera (London, 1727, No. 48) N:”being A Choice Collection of Scotch, Irish & Welsh Airs N:for the Violin and German Flute by the following masters N:Mr. Alex. Urquahart of Edinburgh, Mr. Dermot O'Connar of Limrick N:Mr. Hugh Edwards of Carmarthen” F: Z:AK/Fiddler’s Companion K:D A|d2 fe/d/ c/d/e/f/ gg|f2 g/f/e/d/ Tc>d e/f/g/e/|da fe/d/ c/d/e/f/ ga/g/|Tf2 e>d d2:| f/g/|ad cd|e3 f/g/|a2 g/f/e/d/ c/d/e/f/ g/e/d/c/|d>e fg a/g/f/e/ fe/d/| Tg>a ba g/a/g/f/ ef/g/|f2 g/e/f/d/ c/d/e/f/ ga/g/|f2 Te>d d3||

MEILLIONEN. AKA - "Consêt Gwraig Meillionen," "Delight of the lady of Meillionen," "Lady of Meillionen's Conceit," "Meillionen o Feriony ‘dd," "Y Veillionen o Veirionydd," "Yr Hen Veillionen." AKA and see "Sir Watkin's Delight." Welsh, Country Dance Tune (4/4 time). D Major (Mellor, Walsh): C Major (Barnes). Standard tuning (fiddle). AB (Mellor): AABB (Barnes). The title (pronounced 'methlionen') is the Welsh name for clover or the trefoil (a pea-plant which has three rounded leaves, like clover). A trefoil can also refer to an ornamental design of three rounded lobes like a clover leaf, used typically in architectural tracery. Edward Jones, in his Bardic Museum (1810), notes:

There is an old mansion called Meillionen, near Reddgelert, in Caernarvonshire; and this Tune was formerly called "Consêt Gwraig Meillionen", or the "Delight of the lady of Meillionen." It has also been called "y Feillionen o Feirionydd," therefore she might probably be a native of Merionethshire: But Meillionen literally implies, the Trefoil.

The air was employed as a hornpipe, with great popularity, as well as a slow or stately dancing and song air. John Parry, Bardd Alaw, wrote beautiful variations to it. The poet John Jones (1810-1869), known as Talhaiarn, wrote verses to it on the occasion of the birth of a daughter of the local baronet, in English and Welsh, to which Owen Alaw arranged the music. Sir Watkin greatly admired the tune, a fact used to good effect by Welsh minstrels who called on him at his mansion Wynnstay during their clera seasons (a traveling circuit), and who called it "Sir Wakin's Delight."

Hugh Mellor (1935) states the air appears in many early English, Scotch and Welsh collections of dance music, "usually with two or three extra bars in the second part," which he unfortunately deletes so as to make "regular" eight bar parts. He believes, however, the tune is certainly very old and probably has a good claim to a Welsh origin. Perhaps the first printing of the tune is in London publisher Daniel Wright's Aria di Camera (c. 1727, as "Meillionen, or Sir Watkin's delight"), followed by several occurrences in country dance books of about 1735-40, including Walsh's Third Book of the Compleat Country Dancing Master (London, 1735, reissued in 1749) and Johnson's Wright's Compleat Collection of Celebrated Country Dances, vol. 2 (London, 1742). The melody can be found in the first publication of Welsh airs, by John Parry, the Blind Harpist of Ruabon, and Evan Williams (Ifan William), a London musician, entitled Antient British Melodies (1742). A somewhat later volume in which this tune appears is John Walsh's Caledonian Country Dances, Book 3 (London, c. 1745), wherein a country dance set to it that incorporates a clapping routine between partners. There are similarities between "Meillionen" and John Playford's "Row Well Ye Mariners" from the English Dancing Master (1651).

Additional notes

Printed sources : - Barnes (English Country Dance Tunes, vol. 2), 2005; p. 82. Jones (The Bardic Museum), 1810; pp. 80-82. Mellor (Welsh Dance Tunes), 1935; p. 21. Walsh (Caledonian Country Dances, Book 2), c. 1745; p. 38. Wright (Aria di Camera), c. 1727; No. 48.

See also listing at :
See the country dance performed on [1]
Hear Anahata and Mary Humphreys play the tune on [2]

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