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April 23, 2023 4:00 p.m.  -  St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Bloomsburg, PA

Welsh Song Recital

Good afternoon (Prynhawn Da)! I am so glad you are joining us for this recital. Hopefully this site will help you follow along and dig deeper into the music on today's program. Enjoy!


Mae'r Ddaear yn glasu

The Earth is greening and the trees are growing
And the gardens are green – the groves are so merry,
And beautiful are the buds and the leaves on the meadows
And the orchards are full of blossoms.


Even if lately there’s been a dark look to the earth
The birds sang harmoniously together.
To see the trees coming into leaf makes them carol
Harmonising throughout our beautiful vallley


The great fruitful Earth with all her treasure is sufficient
To feed her inhabitants with ease every day
If only we men, in a state of peace,
Would love each other with one heart.



The title means 'The Earth is in Bloom'. The tune was collected by John Owen of Dwyran Anglesey, from the singing of Robert (Robyn) Hughes, a cobbler from Rhenc Fawr


Vale of Llangollen

In the Vale of Llangollen a cottage is seen,

Well shelter'd from tempests by shades ever green.

There the daisy first opens it's eye to the day,

And the hawthorn first blooms on the bosom of May.

There, far from the haunts of ambition and pride,

Contentment and virtue and friendship abide

And Nature complacent, smiles sweet on the pair

Who have splendor forsaken to worship her there.

If you are interested in the actual translation from the Welsh (not the sweet version I am using...) you can find it here -  Translation


All through the night

(Direct translation verse 1)

All the stars' twinkles say

All through the night

"This is the way to the realm of glory,"

All through the night.

Other light is darkness

To show true beauty

The Heavenly family in peace

All through the night.

Through the night.

(Sung translation verse 2)

Angels watching ever round thee

All through the night, 

All through the night.

They should of all fears disarm thee, 

No forebodings should alarm thee,

They will let no peril harm thee,

All through the night.

The tune was first published in 1784 although the composer is unknown. The Welsh lyrics that are most often sung today were written by John Ceiriog Hughes (1832–1887). The most common English lyrics were written by Sir Harold Boulton in 1884 which are not a literal translation. 


One Bright Summer Morning

One bright summer morning, the sun in it's splendor, 

Was painting the summit of Cadair with gold:

The shepherd, his flocks on the mountain was tending,

And bringing the wanderers back to the fold:

Thro' our dear native valley a troop of young soldiers

Came tempting the lads and the lassies from home:

And such stories they told of the glories of fighting,

My sweetheart enlisted a soldier to roam.

Ah! sad was the moment when he had to leave me, 

And vainly I tried to hide from him my tears,

I thought of the dangers he had to encounter,

but dared not at parting to tell him my fears.

He forbid me to sorrow, and tried to console me,

I promis'd to do as he wish'd for his sake,

As I followed him far on the way from our valley,

I thought every step that my poor heart would break.

Long years then passed by without even a word from him, 

Often I feared he thought no more of me:

My friends and relations they all jeered and laughed at me,

Saying they well knew he would faithless be.

I heeded them not, but still patiently waited on,

Trusting my sweetheart all others above.

One bright summer morning with smiles and caresses,

He came back and proved he was true to his love.


Ar lan y môr - arr. Mansel Thomas  (1909-1986)

Down by the sea red roses are blooming;
Down by the sea white lilies are gleaming;
Down by the sea my true love is dwelling,
Sleeping all night, rising up in the morning


Down where the sea laps at the flat rock
My love and I did wander and talk;
All around us grew the white lily,
And there were sprigs of rosemary.


Across the sea the white birds streaming,

Towards the shore of which I'm dreaming 

Although the sea from sight may sever,

My love's with me in thought forever.

First published in the Journal of the Welsh Folk-Song Society. A love song, which uses flower and herb metaphors to represent qualities such as purity (lilies), virginity (thyme) and faithfulness (rosemary). It is constructed of combined traditional quatrains of the form referred to as Hen Benillion (Old Stanzas), which are independent units that were often strung together with others of the same metre, not necessarily on connected topics, meaning that several versions are known. This song also exemplifies the 'triad' formula in which three ideas are expressed, the third being the climax or contrast.


My Little Welsh Home - W.S. Gwynn Williams   (1896-1978)

I am dreaming of the mountains of my home
Of the mountains where in childhood I would roam
I have dwelt 'neath southern skies
Where the summer never dies
But my heart is in the mountains of my home

I can see the little homestead on the hill
I can hear the magic music of the Rhyl
There is nothing to compare
With the love that once was there
On the lonely little homestead of the hill

I can see the quiet churchyard down below
Where the mountain breezes wander to and fro
And when God my soul will keep
It is there I want to sleep
With those dear old folks that loved me long ago



Lisa Lân - arr. Brian Hughes  (b. 1938)

I have loved you many times

Yes many an hour in prolonged tenderness

I have kissed you mysterious Lisa

And your company was better than honey.

When I stroll at nightfall

My little heart melts like wax

On hearing the sound of the little birds

I feel great longing for fair Lisa.

Lisa will you escort me

To place my body in black earth?

I hope you will come, my dear friend

To the graveside where I am going.

Oh Lisa, Oh Lisa mine.

a Welsh folk song that is a lover's lament for Lisa, ending when the heartsick lover asks dead Lisa to guide him to where she is, so that he may be reunited with her.


Daisy's Song - Morfydd Owen 
(1891- 1918)

The sun, with his great eye, sees not so much as I:

And the moon, all silver proud, Might as well be in a cloud.


And Oh the spring, the spring! I lead the life of a king!

Couch'd in the teaming grass, I spy each pretty lass.


I look where no one dares, And stare where no one stares,

And when the night is nigh, Lambs beat my lullaby.



"One of the fascinations of (Owen's) compositions is the plethora of contrast, often simply between major and minor, melancholy and joy.....the juxtaposition of  self consciousness and sophistication - the cosy homely feel of Welsh harmony suddenly layered with unexpectedly complex and deft modulations and almost modern jazz-like harmony,”

- Dr. Rhian Davies, Morfydd Owen’s biographer wrote


I was fortunate enough to spend a few hours with Dr. Davies on a trip to Wales a few years ago. It was a wonderful experience to sit and discuss the music of this amazing composer with the person who knows her best. I came away with a whole new perspective on Morfydd and her music.


Speedwell - Morfydd Owen

Speedwell, speedwell, what is your dream

Of sorrow and joy by your murmuring stream?

I dream that beyond this veil of dispair

Someone who knows is watching there.

Speedwell, what of the bitter strike,

The crimson pools on the path of life?

This I can tell: whatever befall,

Somebody knows about it all.

What can you tell of the suffering child,

The striken hope by a sin defiled?

Dark is the veil of this mystery,

And little of life comes through to me.

Speedwell what of the grey distress

Of the souls who weep for their loneliness?

This I can tell of those pilgrim bands:

Somebody knows and understands.

Speedwell, what of the river of night,

The wearied heart and the fading light?

This I know: there glimmers afar

The gentle light of the morning star.

Speedwell, speedwell, what is your dream

Of sorrow and joy by your murmuring stream?

I dream that beyond this veil of dispair

Someone who knows is watching there.


To Violets - Morfydd Owen 

Welcome, maids of honor, 

you do bring 

In the Spring

And wait upon her.

She has virgins many,

Fresh and fair,

Yet you are

More sweet than any.

You're the maiden posies;

And so graced,

To be placed

'Fore damask roses.

- Yet though thus respected,

By and by

Ye do lie

Poor girls, neglected.




God made a lovely garden - Morfydd Owen

God made a lovely garden full of roses,

And all the sweetness of the world lurked there:

And from it's wealth were pluck'd the choicest poises,

Nor ever shone the sun on scene more fair.

So full of wonder were it's sunlit spaces,

And every shadow held such sweet allures!

One day I learned the secret of its graces,

My soul no longer marveled, it was yours.

God made a lovely garden full of roses.


February: The Snowdrop - Mansel Thomas

Who can it be that's peeping from the earth so chill,

Braving the biting wind, while snow is on the hill?

Who can it be that's peeping from the earth so white,

Under the silent branches in the wintry light?

Who can it be that's brightening all the day for me?

So pure in green and white? 

Little white flow'r, Little white snowdrop she.


Mansel Thomas was one of the most important and influential musicians of his generation in Wales. He wrote a large range of music - solo vocal, choral, instrumental, band and orchestral and his composing career spanned almost 60 years.

The “Songs for the Year” is a collection of 12 songs, each describing something unique to its month. I have chosen to  “February” , "April" and "October" to give a taste of the song set.


April: Cuckoo - Mansel Thomas

There's a voice across the plain, cuckoo! cuckoo!

Cuckoo come with spring again, Cuckoo! Cuckoo!

Now he's here among the trees,

Overhead, yet no one sees,

Cuckoo! Cuckoo! Cuckoo!

Hither, yonder, far or near, Cuckoo! Cuckoo!

Shout or echo, faint or clear, Cuckoo! Cuckoo!

April rain or April sun,

Fickle days and song are one,

Cuckoo! Cuckoo! Cuckoo!

Sun on hill and leaf on tree, Cuckoo! Cuckoo!

Winter's ended now for me. Cuckoo! Cuckoo!

Hear him calling all day long,

Till the Summer ends his song,

Cuckoo! Cuckoo! Cuckoo!


October: Dance of the Withered Leaves - Mansel Thomas

Tonight, beneath the branches

Where birds no longer sing,

The restless leaves of autumn

Are dancing in a ring.

Dancing, whirling, dancing

Beneath the waning moon,

A fitful wind is playing, it calls a fitful tune.

I hear their rustling dresses

That brush upon the grass,

The shuffling of their sandals

As to and fro they pass.

Until November's torrents

Shall drench them, every one,

And then no gust shall stir them,

October's dance soon done.


Guardian Angel - Robat Arwyn

I lie awake
Alone as night has fallen
I listen, and it’s clear I hear you calling
Don’t be afraid, I love you
I’ll save you and protect you
I'll hold you gently, in my loving arms

A Guardian Angel
Keeping watch till morning
A Guardian Angel
With undying love
I’m safe with you to guide me
I rest with you beside me
My Guardian Angel from above

Sometimes I feel, the world is unforgiving
One daily battle, just to go on living
But when all hope is fading
An angel then descending
And dawn is breaking full of hope once more.


You are my angel my shield and protector,

You're the light in the darkness,

In the storm you're the stillness.

You are my angel, my strength and defender,

I will remember how you changed my life.

A Guardian Angel
Keeping watch till morning
A Guardian Angel
With undying love
I’m safe with you to guide me
I rest with you beside me
My Guardian Angel from above



Katherine Crusi holds a Masters in Vocal Performance from The University of Akron and is sought after in Eastern Pennsylvania as a Concert, Recital and Church soloist, often appearing at  Welsh Society of Philadelphia events as well as other National and International Welsh functions. She was the winner of the 2018 David Morris Award from the North American Festival of Wales, and is also a member of Côr Cymry Gogledd America. Her experience stretches across Opera, Musical Theater, Recital, Concert and Religious Services both Nationally and Internationally. As an accomplished teacher for 20 years in Southeastern PA, she has received the accolade of one of Philadelphia's Top 12 Best Voice Teachers for 8 consecutive years.

Keith David Trievel ~ Though largely self-taught (or as he prefers- God taught), Keith has been participating in music as long as he can remember. While still in elementary school, he became regular church pianist and school accompanist. Those skills got him into touring groups that have taken him to all 48 contiguous states and over 40 countries. Additionally, Keith is an accomplished artist and landscape designer with studies at Westminster College, Taylor University, Purdue University, and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. His greatest joy is his family: wife Patti, 2 sons and a daughter, 4 grandchildren and 2 grand dogs. 

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