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about

With her shrieking baby daughter on her knee, Angharad Jenkins sang the song Sosban Fach into her phone and sent the recording to Jenny M. Thomas of Bush Gothic. Angharad has sung this well known welsh song all her life but never in public. 

While musing upon the loss of the indigenous languages of Naarm (Melbourne) due to colonisation and without knowing what the Welsh words meant, Jenny wrote a melancholy accompaniment that uses stretches of silence to represent the sleeping languages of Aboriginal Australia. 

And then Angharad sent the translation. 

Sosban Fach means ‘Little Saucepan’. The song is widely considered to be a ‘nonsense song’, a light-hearted song about domesticity. 
But are not women’s issues always being derided as nonsense? To Angharad Jenkins and Bush Gothic it seemed fitting to give the harrassed houswife in the song the gravitas she yearned for. Her woes were a tragedy now repeated worldwide as women cope with families in lockdown - As women have coped for centuries. 

Invited to perform at the Welsh National Eisteddfod but unable to attend due to the global pandemic, Bush Gothic collaborated with Welsh composer and fiddler Angharad Jenkins, exploring what it is to be Welsh, to be Australian, to be human, to be folk. In partnership with the National Celtic Festival a team of ten artists and technicians across two hemispheres and four homes collaboratively composed, recorded and produced new arrangements of old Welsh songs with accompanying film clips. 

lyrics

Mae bys Meri-Ann wedi brifo,
A Dafydd y gwas ddim yn iach.
Mae'r baban yn y crud yn crio,
A'r gath wedi sgramo Joni bach.

Sosban fach yn berwi ar y tân,
Sosban fawr yn berwi ar y llawr,
A'r gath wedi sgramo Joni bach.

Mae bys Meri-Ann wedi gwella,
A Dafydd y gwas yn ei fedd;
Mae'r baban yn y crud wedi tyfu,
A'r gath wedi huno mewn hedd.

Sosban fach yn berwi ar y tân
Sosban fawr yn berwi ar y llawr
A'r gath wedi huno mewn hedd.

Dai bach y sowldiwr,
Dai bach y sowldiwr,
Dai bach y sowldiwr,
A chwt ei grys e mas

TRANSLATION
Mary-Ann has hurt her finger,
And David the servant is not well.
The baby in the cradle is crying,
And the cat has scratched little Johnny.

A little saucepan is boiling on the fire,
A big saucepan is boiling on the floor,
And the cat has scratched little Johnny.

Mary-Ann's finger has got better,
And David the servant is in his grave;
The baby in the cradle has grown up,
And the cat is "asleep in peace”

A little saucepan is boiling on the fire,
A big saucepan is boiling on the floor,
And the cat is "asleep in peace”.

Little Dai the soldier,
Little Dai the soldier,
Little Dai the soldier,
And his shirt tail is hanging out.

credits

released October 20, 2020
LYRICS: TRAD
MUSIC: Trad, arranged by Bush Gothic

Angharad Jenkins - vocals
Dan Witton - backing vocals, double bass
Chris Lewis - programming, glockenspiel, percussion
Jenny M Thomas -  backing vocals, violin, viola

Recorded by the musicians in their own homes, July 2020
Mixing Engineer - Justin Marshall
Mastering Engineer - Lachlan Carrick

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about

Bush Gothic Melbourne, Australia

BBC Music Magazine - 5 STARS, World Music Albums of the year 2016,
fRoots Album of the Year 2016: Runner Up. Adelaide Fringe Festival Best Music Weekly Award 2017 & 2018. Defiantly modern, achingly old, Bush Gothic re-imagine songs of heartbreak and tragedy amongst convicts, desperate miners and criminal women. ... more

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