Merch Megan

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X:1 T:Merch Megan T:Megen’s Daughter M:3/4 L:1/8 R:Air Q:"Amoroso" B:Edward Jones – Musical and Poetical Relicks of the Welsh Bards (1784, p. 149) Z:AK/Fiddler’s Companion K:F (AB)|(cA)(Fc) (AF)|B2 (dB)(cA)|G2 (BG)(AF)|(cG)(Ec)(GE)| (cA)(Fc)(AF)|B2 dcBA|[G2B2][F2A2][E2G2]|[A,4C4F4]:| |:(3cde|f2 f>gf>g|e2 e>fe>f|d2 defd|eccdec| f2 fgaf|e2 efge|d2 defd|Tc4 B2| (c/A/)(Fc)(AF)|=B/c/ dBfA|G/A/=BGAF|G/E/CGEC| c/A/FcAF|B2 dcBA|BGAFGE|F4!fermata!:|]



John Parry

The tune is said to appear in John "Blind" Parry's (1710-1782) Twelve Airs for one and two Guitars, 1781 edition, and also his British Harmony of the same year. Parry (Parri Ddall, or Blind Parry) was born in about 1710 on Pen Lion, Gaernafonshire, Wales, blind from birth, and as a child found a patron in the Griffiths family who initially gave him a Welsh triple harp and support for mastering it. He later became harpist to Sir Watkin Williams-Wynn at Wynnstay, Ruabon, and where he perfected his baroque composing. Willams-Lynn periodically brought him to his residence in London bringing his music and playing to a wider audience. In fact, his harping was admired by George Frederich Handel (who resided in England as court composer to George II), and Parry played the great composer's Concerto in B flat at Hickford's Great Room in Brewer Street, Soho. Parry died in 1782. Edward Jones, Harpist Laureate to George IV, included it in his book The Bardic Museum (1802) under the title "Wyres Megan." Harpist Henry Humphreys won the prize of the Silver Harp at the Welshpool Eisteddford in 1824 for his rendition of this tune. Ludwig van Beethoven composed music for an art song by this title. Lyrics, translated by John Oxenford (Cole, Folk Songs of England, Ireland and Wales, New York, 1961), begin:

A welsoch chwi 'rioed mo Elin merch Megan
O gwmpas ei gwaith yn ddiwyd a llon?
Mae pob peth a wnêl yn bleser I'w weled
A'I gwên yn y ty fel heulwen ar don.
Bydd cysur a mwyniant o'I gwyneb yn t'wynnu
Wrth olchi a smwddio a gweithio'n ddigwyn
Yn beraidd o'I min bydd miwsig yn llifo
Mor swynol â llais yr eos mewn llwyn.

I see her in my dreams, she trips to me lightly,
With joy on her lips she whispers my name.
Her eyes look in mine, so fondly, so brightly,
I wake an 'tis then no longer the same.
Her glance then is chilly, her step seems to shun me,
The lips that have smiled wear the curl of disdain;
Oh! Megan's fair child my love hath undone me,
But yet in my dreams I'd see thee again.


Additional notes



Printed sources : - Bingley (North Wales...delineated from two excursions), 1804; pp. 2-3. Jones (Musical and Poetical Relicks of the Welsh Bards), 1784; p. 149. Edward Jones (A choice collection of 51 Welsh airs), 1863; p. 36. Kennedy (Traditional Dance Music of Britain and Ireland: Slip Jigs and Waltzes), 1999; No. 195, p. 53 (appears as "Welsh (The)").

Recorded sources : - Robin Huw Bowen - "Harp Music of Wales" (1994). "Ar Log, vols. 1-3: 1976-1981" (2001).

See also listing at :
Jane Keefer's Folk Music Index: An Index to Recorded Sources [1]



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