Ar Lan y Mor (Beside the Sea)

Check out my other translations and love songs.

Ar Lan Y Môr (Beside the Sea) is a traditional Welsh folksong. Various forms of the text exist, including some where the metre and subject of some verses suggest insertions from other unrelated songs. The song is a love song. As with many other Welsh songs, there are alternative words set to the same tune.

Here’s my attempt to put together a coherent Welsh version, and a metric English translation.

Ar Lan Y Môr

English translation

Beside the sea red roses growing
Beside the sea white lilies showing
Beside the sea their beauty telling
My true love sleeps within her dwelling

Beside the sea the stones lie scattered
Where tender words in love were uttered
While all around there grew the lily
And sweetest branches of rosemary

Beside the sea blue pebbles lying
Beside the sea gold flowers glowing
Beside the sea are all things fairest
Beside the sea I found my dearest

Full the sea of sand and billows
Full the egg of whites and yellows
Full the woods of leaf and flower
Full my heart of love for ever.

Fair the sun at new day’s dawning
Fair the rainbow’s colours shining
Fair the summer, fair as heaven
Fairer yet the face of Elin.

Original Welsh

Ar lan y môr mae rhosys cochion
Ar lan y môr mae lilis gwynion
Ar lan y môr mae ‘nghariad inne
Yn cysgu’r nos a chodi’r bore.

Ar lan y môr mae carreg wastad
Lle bûm yn siarad gair â’m cariad
O amgylch hon fe dyf y lili
Ac ambell gangen o rosmari.

Ar lan y môr mae cerrig gleision
Ar lan y môr mae blodau’r meibion
Ar lan y môr mae pob rinweddau
Ar lan y môr mae nghariad innau.

Llawn yw’r môr o swnd a chegryn
Llawn yw’r wy o wyn a melyn
Llawn yw’r coed o ddail a blode
Llawn o gariad merch wyf inne.

Mor hardd yw’r haul yn codi’r bore
Mor hardd yw’r enfys aml ei liwie
Mor hardd yw natur ym Mehefin
Ond harddwch fÿth yw wyneb Elin

Translation Malcolm Cowen copyright 2008
Notes
“blodau’r meibion / young men’s flowers” = St John’s Wort (which has golden flowers)

This translation is exceptionally available under the Wikipedia licence.

“I am in the process of arranging Ar Lan Y Mor (I am welsh, and it is a melody much infused within my childhood) and thought it would be sweet to perhaps add in a verse or two of the english translation. Could I have the honour of using your translation? I would obviously put your name with the music as well…” Jack writing from Manchester, Jan 2013.

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