Y BORDER BACH - OWEN SHIERS

As part of the Dolau Dyfi project, Ennyn comissioned a song by the Welsh folk singer, Owen Shiers. 

Owen beautifully arranged a poem by Crwys to music. The poem describes a herb garden his mother had, and refers to many of the herbs people would use for medicinal purposes, including Mint, Thyme and Lavender. 

Here is an English translation of the lyrics by Sharon Larkin:

The Small Border

 

Along the edge of a narrow path
that divided the garden in two
my mother had her little border,­
the prettiest flowers of the parish.

A little root of this and that,
here and there, now and again
and, in this way, a little Eden
came quite simply into being

somehow, by chance, every time.
I don’t know how, but Dad always
swore that nothing ever failed
when planted by the hand of Mam.

Yes, almost all the plants were
simple flowers of poor people
and miraculous vegetables, notable
for goodness rather than appearance.

Among them were snowdrops,
mint and thyme and moschatel,
winter savory, sweet lavender,
and a vigorous bush of box.

Two or three primroses
and daffodils were sure to be
– all the plants of the small border
in the care of some ‘old man’.

They were a host of common folk.
None of them in that small border
could claim the pedigrees of those
blooming in the mansion’s gardens.

With a stab to the chest one day,
I came across an old alien, wild,
without precedent in the border –
a dandelion blown in from a distance,

smiling an insolent smile
in sun and dew, and­ I wondered
how that old coloniser knew
that Mam was growing old.

Click on the media player below to enjoy

this beautful song. 

Y Border Bach
00:00 / 03:18
PONT8.jpeg
PONT7.jpeg

“Nature inspires me when I write music. It’s somewhere I go to have peace and to escape. Somewhere that offers itself to the imagination. Sometime feels otherwordly or different to everyday life.” 

Owen Shiers