Cardiff University | Prifysgol Caerdydd ORCA
Online Research @ Cardiff 
WelshClear Cookie - decide language by browser settings

Ymfudo i America: Canu Hiraeth, Canu Caeth

James, E. Wyn 2016. Ymfudo i America: Canu Hiraeth, Canu Caeth. Canu Gwerin (Folk Song) 39 , pp. 54-74.

Full text not available from this repository.


The nineteenth century saw a steady flow of emigration from Wales to the USA. Many of those immigrants wished to preserve their language and culture in the ‘New World’. It is not surprising therefore to see a lively North American Welsh-language culture develop as the century progressed. As one would expect, that culture would come under the influence of its new surroundings, but there also remained much interaction and networking with the ‘Old Country’, as in the case of Dr Joseph Parry for example. Those various interactions can be seen clearly in letters and periodicals, and they are also reflected in Welsh ballads, folk-songs and popular poetry on both sides of the Atlantic. This article, after looking at these matters in general, discusses some examples of poetry about migration and of anti-slavery poetry which are to be found on Welsh ballad sheets, with special reference to some poems by Thomas Tudno Jones (1844–95) and to a poem, recorded by Dr Meredydd Evans from the singing of his mother, in which a slave woman sings a bitter lullaby to her child. That poem was written by Rowland Walter (‘Ionoron Glan Dwyryd’, 1819–84), a quarryman from Blaenau Ffestiniog who emigrated in around 1852 to work in the slate quarries of Vermont, and the version of the poem as it appears on a nineteenth-century ballad sheet in Bangor University Library is reprinted in full at the close of this article.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Welsh
Subjects: E History America > E151 United States (General)
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GR Folklore
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
J Political Science > JV Colonies and colonization. Emigration and immigration. International migration
M Music and Books on Music > ML Literature of music
P Language and Literature > PB Modern European Languages > PB1001 Celtic languages and literature
P Language and Literature > PS American literature
Language other than English: Welsh
Publisher: Cymdeithas Alawon Gwerin Cymru/The Welsh Folk-Song Society
ISSN: 0967-0599
Last Modified: 13 May 2019 13:50

Actions (repository staff only)

Edit Item Edit Item