Welsh Folk Songs –

a collection by Arfon Gwilym

Build up your repertoire of traditional folk songs from Wales with Arfon Gwilym, one of our major tradition bearers. Arfon, with help from trac, has created this source collection for singers to make these traditional songs available in their purest form: unaccompanied voice.

Arfon says:

“It can’t be emphasised enough that folk songs and tunes have always been passed on orally over the generations, and that they should always be learnt by ear if at all possible. These are songs – almost all of them – that I heard before I ever saw them on paper. That’s why I probably imitate, almost unconsciously, a style of singing that’s impossible to convey on paper. That’s why, also, when I see a song noted in sol-ffa or old notation, that my instinct is to regard that as a guide rather than an exact version set in concrete.

I am also very much aware that there is a growing number of people who are interested in these songs but need to know a little more about their background and how to pronounce the words. This resource will hopefully help to put you on the right track.”

The videos are illustrated with photography by John Pocklington, taken especially for our Songs project.