Suo Gan.

Another song, this arranged and performed by the lovely singer/songwriter Tamara Dearing, one of our regular actors. (And we’re very lucky to have her.)

This is an adaptation of an old Welsh lullaby, Suo Gan, which has become something of a Christmas song for no apparent reason. It may be most famous from Christian Bale lip-synching it in Empire of the Sun.

We used it as part of our reading of A Child’s Christmas in Wales by Dylan Thomas. It fit nicely at the end, where he’s tucked in bed and going to sleep. Because the lyrics had little to do with Christmas–and because no one seems to sing a true translation of the original Welsh anyway–I wrote a new, simple verse to fit the holiday a little more closely. It starts with the original first lines in Welsh. I gave it to Tamara, said “do what you will with it.”

Tamara, being Tamara, decided to learn the actual Welsh, create a soundscape of voices and then bring in the new verse as a harmony on top of everything. Every element you hear in this track is Tamara, from the voices to the instrumentation. Needless to say, this blew everyone away…

Tamara Dearing – Suo Gan

Suo Gan English lyric by David J. Loehr

Huna blentyn yn fy mynwes
hee-na blen-TIN ar-va MON-wez
Clyd a chynnes ydyw hon
kleed a han-NESS ah-DYOO han
Sleep, my angel, I will hold you,
I will keep you safe from harm

Like the angel told the shepherds,
Like the kings who saw the star,
Like the baby in His manger,
I will love you, forever more.

Creative Commons License

Suo Gan by Tamara Dearing is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://www.tamaradearing.com.

Posted: January 22nd, 2010
Categories: music, songwriting, the process
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