Dacw mam yn dwad - Here's Mummy - Welsh Folk Nursery Rhyme

Dacw mam yn dwad - Here's Mummy - Welsh Folk Nursery Rhyme

Here is an old Welsh nursery rhyme for Mothering Sunday! Do you remember it? The lyrics are quite strange but children enjoy singing it. Here is a link to it being sung. Why not share with your mam?

Dacw mam yn dwad
Ar ben y Gamfa Wen,
Rhywbeth yn ei ffedog,
A phiser ar ei phen.
Y fuwch yn y beudy
Yn brefu am y llo,
A’r llo’r ochor arall
Yn chwarae Jim Cro
Jim Cro Crystyn
Wan, tŵ, ffôr,
A’r mochyn bach yn eistedd
Mor ddel ar y stôl.
Here's Mummy coming
Over the white stile,
Something in her apron
With a pitcher on her head.
The cow is in the cow shed
Lowing for her calf,
And the calf is on the other side
Playing Jim Crow.
Jim Crow Crust
One, two and four,
And the little pig is sitting
Pretty on the stool.
 

Jim cro was a card game popular with the Welsh miners during their lunch breaks. It has also been linked to awful 'Jim Crow' Laws in America, a brutal segregation of black and white people. You can read the BBC Wales news story here

There is another version of the song with yn gweiddi 'Jim Cro' (shouting 'Jim Crow') or 'Ar Ben y garreg wen' (over the white stone) which one do you remember? As these songs were passed from generation to generation by word of mouth there are often many variations. There are often differences between North and South Welsh songs too.

These old folk songs are often very mysterious - which makes them so fascinating!

View our gifts for mam here.

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8 comments

I was head of music in a comprehensive school in south east Wales back in 2002-2017.
We used to teach this nursery rhyme as part of our curriculum, pupils and staff enjoyed singing and playing this song, I was called into the Head mistresses office and told the song was to be removed from the curriculum as one parent out off 1600 pupils complained the song was racist. I had no idea of any racial connections, it doesn’t seem so obvious from the translated lyrics. There was actually a petrol station opposite the school called Jim Crow station! :(

David hale

I was head of music in a comprehensive school in south east Wales back in 2002-2017.
We used to teach this nursery rhyme as part of our curriculum, pupils and staff enjoyed singing and playing this song, I was called into the Head mistresses office and told the song was to be removed from the curriculum as one parent out off 1600 pupils complained the song was racist. I had no idea of any racial connections, it doesn’t seem so obvious from the translated lyrics. There was actually a petrol station opposite the school called Jim Crow station! :(

David hale

I was head of music in a comprehensive school in south east Wales back in 2002-2017.
We used to teach this nursery rhyme as part of our curriculum, pupils and staff enjoyed singing and playing this song, I was called into the Head mistresses office and told the song was to be removed from the curriculum as one parent out off 1600 pupils complained the song was racist. I had no idea of any racial connections, it doesn’t seem so obvious from the translated lyrics. There was actually a petrol station opposite the school called Jim Crow station! :(

David hale

Just love this nursery rhyme. my nain taught it to me when i was little (im 23 now) she learnt it as a child and she was born in the 40s! my nain has passed away but always think of her when im singing all the songs she taught me… like dau gi bach yn mynd ir coed esgid newydd ar bob troed dau gi back yn dwad adra wedi colli un or sgidiau dau gi bach :D

Poppy Owen

we sang ‘Ar ben y garreg wen’ together with ‘yn chwarae jim cro’
what was the possible connection with the jim crow laws? the link to the bbc is now dead…

Ej

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