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Updated 04/18/2017

 

Suo Gn

Suo Gn (pronounced [sɨɔ ɡɑːn]) is a traditional Welsh lullaby written by an anonymous composer.  The song's title simply means lullaby.  It was first recorded in print around 1800 and the lyrics were notably captured by the Welsh folklorist Robert Bryan (18581920).

Bryan was born at Llanarmon-yn-Il, Denbighshire, Wales, son of Edward and Elinor Bryan . He was a pupil and a pupil teacher at the Wrexham British School and then educated at the Normal College, Bangor, the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth, and at Oxford. He was forced to discontinue his studies at Oxford in 1893 without attaining a degree because of ill health. He lived at Wrexham and Marchwiel until 1903 when he moved to Caernarvon, where his brothers, Edward and Joseph Davies Bryan had a house. His brothers ran a successful retail business in Egypt with large stores in Cairo and Alexandria, and branches in Port Said and Khartoum. Robert Bryan spent most of his winters there, returning to Caernarvon each summer.  He died in Cairo, Egypt, on 5 May 1920, and was buried there.

The song has been recorded numerous times and used in films scores including Empire of the Sun.  The Vienna Boys' Choir features Suo Gn (entitled "Suo-Gan") on the 2003 The Christmas Album.  It is on The Irish Tenors album Home for Christmas. The rock band Savatage used the song as a base for their song "Heal My Soul" on the 1991 album Streets: A Rock Opera.

 

Lyrics

Welsh

Huna blentyn ar fy mynwes
Clyd a chynnes ydyw hon;
Breichiau mam sy'n dynn amdanat,
Cariad mam sy dan fy mron;
Ni chaiff dim amharu'th gyntun,
Ni wna undyn thi gam;
Huna'n dawel, annwyl blentyn,
Huna'n fwyn ar fron dy fam.

Huna'n dawel, heno, huna,
Huna'n fwyn, y tlws ei lun;
Pam yr wyt yn awr yn gwenu,
Gwenu'n dirion yn dy hun?
Ai angylion fry sy'n gwenu,
Arnat ti yn gwenu'n llon,
Tithau'n gwenu'n l dan huno,
Huno'n dawel ar fy mron?

Paid ag ofni, dim ond deilen
Gura, gura ar y ddr;
Paid ag ofni, ton fach unig
Sua, sua ar lan y mr;
Huna blentyn, nid oes yma
Ddim i roddi iti fraw;
Gwena'n dawel yn fy mynwes
Ar yr engyl gwynion draw.

Translation

Sleep child upon my bosom
It is cosy and warm;
Mother's arms are tight around you,
A mother's love is in my breast;
Nothing shall disturb your slumber,
Nobody will do you harm;
Sleep in peace, dear child,
Sleep quietly on your mother's breast.

Sleep peacefully tonight, sleep;
Gently sleep, my lovely;
Why are you now smiling,
Smiling gently in your sleep?
Are angels above smiling on you,
As you smile cheerfully,
Smiling back and sleeping,
Sleeping quietly on my breast?

Do not fear, it is nothing but a leaf
Beating, beating on the door;
Do not fear, only a small wave
Murmurs, murmurs on the seashore;
Sleep child, there's nothing here
Nothing to give you fright;
Smile quietly in my bosom,
On the blessed angels yonder.