Review of “Branwen” (Tudur Morgan) From Alun Rhys Jones

CD Review

Title: Branwen


Tudur Morgan

CD Album (1999-2000)

Label: SAIN

ASIN: B000024CLI

Before you listen to this iconic Welsh-language album, it’s best that you know at least a little about Branwen’s story from Welsh Bronze-age literature. See Wikipedia’s version on:

Guitar and second vocalist of the Dafydd Iwan A’R Band, Welsh-born Tudur Morgan collaborates with Irish musician/producer Donal Lunny on Branwein, a song and music cycle, based on the Welsh legend Mabinogion. The delicate and sensitive interplay between the two distinct styles of Morgan and Lunny comes through in the wide-ranging tracks. The whole album is nothing if not atmospheric, throughout its 22 tracks, from its mysterious start, with the fading in and out of the evocative Irish Bodhran (Goat-skin drum) mixed along with superb acoustic guitar sounds. The guitar work is a delight, with plenty of melodic motifs and interludes to please the ear. Rock’n’Roll it certainly ain’t, but a lot of heart’n’sould is evident.

To say that this is an album that will grow on you with listening is an understatement. I had to stop listening to it, as I was playing it all the time and feared that I might get fed up and put it away and forget all about it. I am now rediscovering the simple beauty in its tracks, coupled with the essential home-spun feel of the Welsh-language lyrics, some new and some traditional, some a cappella and some accompanied. I commend this album to you unreservedly, especially if you’ve an inkling of Welsh in you. Sadly, it is quite difficult to obtain “Branwen” at a reasonable price, but do try eBay and/or Amazon (where it’s sometimes mis-spelled as “Branwein”


1. Eire/Llongau Ddaeth/Efnisien/Wedi’r Wledd (O Erin/From …)

2. Part a Music from Wales and Ireland

3. Hiraeth Am Feirion

4. Cefnfor Erin (Between Erin and Mon/Anglesey)

5. Bryniau Iwerddon (The Hills of Erin)

6. Damhsa Tara (Dawns Tara, Dance at Tara)

7. Ar Lannau Llinnon (On the Banks of Llinnon)

8. Gwern (Gwern, Son of Matholwch)

9. Drudwy Branwen/Hiraeth (Branwen’s Starling/Longing)

10. Cennad Aber Menai (Aber Menai Messenger)

11. Bendigeidfran a Brwydr Bryniau Erin (Bendigeidfran and the Battle …)

12. Ffarwel Erin

13. Alaw’r Alaw (The Alaw Air)

14. Llongau Aeth (Ships Sailed Away)

15. Hedd I Ti, Branwen (Peace to You, Branwen)

16. Cyn Delwyf I Gymru’n Ol (Before I Return to Wales)

17. Yr Eneth Glaf (The Ailing Girl)

18. Titrwm Tatrwm

19. Suo Gan/Lullaby

20. Bryniau Wicklow (The Wicklow Hills)

21. Mil Harddach Wyt (You’re a Thousand Times Lovelier)

22. Mae ‘Nghariad I’n Fenws (My Love Is a Venus


7 Responses to “Review of “Branwen” (Tudur Morgan) From Alun Rhys Jones”

  1. jonesthephones Says:

    Cymrwch nodyn: Os gewch chi ddim cael yr albwm hwn dyddiau hyn, wedyn efallai rhyw enaid caredig yn gallu gwneud copi i chi… ond peidiwch â dweud wrth y byd i gyd amdano fo

  2. Iawn Alun popeth yn iawn-diolch am yr adolygiad!
    Welist ti Christy yn Y Rhyl?-gwych fel arfer,Tudur

  3. I own this CD and have loved it ever since I first played it. Can anyone tell me the approximate year or era “Yr Eneth Glaf” was written? I know it’s a folk song, but an era would be nice to know, as I’d like to refer to it in a novel I’m writing and don’t want it “out of time.” Thanks.



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