Light of Aidan - Lament

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TennysonXII
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Light of Aidan - Lament

Postby TennysonXII » Thu Dec 31, 2009 9:57 pm UTC

Okay, hopefully you all can help me with a problem. I heard this song in the "We Are ODST" trailer for Halo 3: ODST and said, "Wow, that's a pretty song." I tried to find a version without the guns going off, and stumbled upon this version, which I found to be even more intriguing. However, since the first version received much more attention due to it's connection to ODST, I can't find the lyrics for the latter. As far as I can tell, the lyrics aren't the same in both versions, and the languages themselves may be different.

For those interested, the lyrics for the ODST version are as follows: "Gafflwn Dihenydd, o'r fuddugoliaeth wiriol sydd. Ni fydd neb yn ein Drechu, Falch ydy ni i drochu traed o flaen i'r Annwn yn y gwybodaeth fe godwn ni." The site I got this from says it's Welsh. The other song is a Gaelic language. I don't know if there's a difference. Can you help me figure out the words for the second version are, in the original language? I don't care about the translation, although you can post that if you'd like.

Many thanks.

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Re: Light of Aidan - Lament

Postby ZLVT » Mon Jan 04, 2010 1:13 pm UTC

Well the first certainly looks welsh and Celtic langs break down into continental and insular (british Isles). Insular breaks down further into goidelic or Gaelic (irish scottish manx) and brythonic (cornish welsh breton). Based on the sounds though (lateral and velar fricatives) I'm gonna go ahead and guess that the second song is Welsh too. Alas I couldn't find the lyrics but lost a lot of hair while reading some of the Halo boards.

You might try posting here but I'm not sure how active the forum is.

Still don't get why they made the soldiers speak hungarian. No-one is going to pick that and I doubt if the world became unified we'd all use magyar (but one can dream...). Budget cuts maybe, or do they just not know the difference?
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Re: Light of Aidan - Lament

Postby reu » Sat Jan 30, 2010 10:06 pm UTC

Both versions are Welsh. Although I doubt the singer is a Welsh speaker as her pronunciation makes things really difficult to understand, despite my being a native speaker. Some of the vocabulary is unfamiliar as well- I'm fairly certain "gafflwn" isn't a word, as googling it returns nothing but links to the song. Annwn is very archaic, and refers either to hell (the celtic mythology version, that is), or could mean "infinite depth" (should be spelt "annwfn" though.) Here's my translations...

...fuddugoliaeth wiriol sydd. Ni fydd neb yn ein Drechu, Falch ydy ni i drochu traed o flaen i'r Annwn yn y gwybodaeth fe godwn ni." can be translated as...

"There is true victory. No one will defeat us, we are pleased to plunge feet forward to hell in the knowledge that we shall rise"

I've listened quickly to the version you linked to, and can make out most of it, although a couple of words escape me. Here goes, translation in brackets...

Ble'r a ddoi chi eto'n ol? (Where will you come back again?)
Arian fach i'r cilion ffol. (Small reward for the foolish bugs) "cilion" means flies or bugs, put here is intended to mean something like 'coward'.

Nid yw'r haf i mi (The summer is not for me)
Dim ond *something* gollest ti (Only *something* that you lost)

Dyna chdi gwboi!

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Re: Light of Aidan - Lament

Postby Ianto47 » Thu Mar 18, 2010 3:11 pm UTC

The halo version is;
Gafflwn Dihenydd, O'r fyddygol wiriol sydd
Ni fydd neb yn ein drechu falch ydy ni i drochu
Traed o flaen i'r Annwn
yn y gwybodaeth fe godwn ni.

"cafflu" = to cheat. gafflwn is we cheat. there are gramatical reasons for the lenition of the first letter from C to G.
In some Welsh mythological tales "Annwfn" is spelt that way in reference to the Welsh word "Dwfn" = deep. To present the notion of the otherworld being "The great deep" My research seems to suggest that this is an addition that was made after the conversion (To Christianity) It is also spelt "Annwyn" in some texts giving the ending "Gwyn" = white. For the benefit of meter in this song, and bearing in mind that the vocalist Kathy Fisher, is not a Welsh speaker, Annwn was decided upon.

The light of Aidan song is a song about lost love. The lyrics are;
Dweud a ddoi di eto n'ol
Cariad bach er cilio'n ffo
Nid yw'r haf i mi
Ddim ond hirlwm er pan gollais ti.

The lines are repeated throughout the song. I wrote a full explanation of the lyrics with a bit about Cafe del Mar, a place I have only visited once but I hope to again. You can find it here;
http://hubpages.com/hub/Light-of-Aidan-Lament

I also wrote a full treatment of the Halo song;
http://hubpages.com/hub/Halo-3-ODST-Lyrics
Last edited by Ianto47 on Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:47 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Light of Aidan - Lament

Postby ZLVT » Sat Mar 20, 2010 3:59 pm UTC

great info thanks, but any chance of a step by step translation? Welsh is a bit strange to me. Also which dialect is this? Sounds southern to me but I have trouble with my i-bar so I'm not sure. the welsh schwa sounds a lot like /a/ to me as well.

P.S. - in the lyrics on the link you said

Gafflwn Dihenydd O’r fuddugol yn wiriol sydd
Ni fydd neb yn ein drechu, Falch ydy ni I drochu
Traed o flaen I’r Annwn
mewn y gwybodaeth fe godwn ni.

but here you said

Gafflwn Dihenydd, O'r fyddygol wiriol sydd
Ni fydd neb yn ein drechu falch ydy ni i drochu
Traed o flaen i'r Annwn
yn y gwybodaeth fe godwn ni.
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Re: Light of Aidan - Lament

Postby Ianto47 » Sun Mar 21, 2010 3:07 am UTC

ZLVT wrote:great info thanks, but any chance of a step by step translation? Welsh is a bit strange to me. Also which dialect is this? Sounds southern to me but I have trouble with my i-bar so I'm not sure. the welsh schwa sounds a lot like /a/ to me as well.

P.S. - in the lyrics on the link you said fuddugol but here you said fyddygol. Which is it?


First it is "Fuddugol" a typo and I thought I was perfect. Oh well!
As for dialect. I'm from Llanelli, a town in what used to be Carmarthenshire so the dialect I use is called "Shir Gar" but that's just casual conversation in the local pub. Speech between people from different parts of Wales as well as most written words tend to be easily understood by anyone. Kind of like the Welsh version of BBC English.
A line by line translation? sounds good hope others find it interesting.

Gafflwn Dihenydd
Cafflu means "To cheat" the more correct way of saying "We cheat" would be "Fe gafflwn ni" or perhaps "'Rydw ni'n cafflu" These obviously do not fit the meter of the song. So I have to use the more colloquial way of simply saying "Gafflwn" and letting the context define the word. This is common in poetry and is a technique used in every language I'm aware of. Though it is not grammatically pure it is coloquially acceptable. In other words it could be used in common speech.
Dihenydd goes into Welsh mythology. The word for death is "marwolaeth" taken from the root "marw" (To die) However Dihenydd, usually translated as "The ancient of days" makes death a person. The troopers are vowing they will defeat death as they would any other enemy. I use mythological references in the song because they make a good fit with the general ODST mythos.
O'r fuddugol yn wiriol sydd
Buddugoliaeth means victory. I use the word buddugol (meaning "victor") instead to emphasise Dihenydd as a person. The letter 'B' changes to 'F' under these conditions. Wiriol from the word "wir" (Truth) means truthful or, in this context, rightful is the better English word. There is a certain irregular word order change here, again a poetic device to assist meter and rhyme so it would literally translate as; "From the victor who rightfully is" It translates into English as "From his rightful victory"
Ni fydd neb yn ein drechu
Bydd (another lenition of the first word, I would need a post twice as long to explain the rules) is the future tense of the verb "to be" Placing "Ni" in front negates the word so it becomes "No one will" yn makes the next verb active ein = us, trechu = to overcome or "To achieve victory over" It translates in English as "No one will defeat us" though the sense is that they are saying that neither death nor any other enemy can acheive victory over us.
falch ydy ni i drochu
Balch can mean proud or glad. ydy ni = are we. 'ni' here is a different word to the one in the previous line. Here it means "we". i drochu = to plunge.
Traed o flaen i'r Annwn
Traed is plural of 'troed' 'foot 'feet' o flaen = to the front. Welsh doesn't use "The" in the way English does so you hear Welsh people, when speaking English, say "To hospital" rather than "to THE hospital" i'r Annwn = into Annwn I've dealt with Annwn extensively elsewhere but again I'm using Welsh myth to emphasise the ODST military philosophy.
Yn y gwybodaeth fe godwn ni
Yn y gwybodaeth = in the knowledge. fe godwn ni = we will rise. That last is a well known phrase with one word missing because of the beat of the song. The missing word is 'eto' = again. I wish I could have been able to include it but that extra syllable didn't fit so I have to be satisfied that the sense is implied.

To go over the "Lament" lyrics would make this post way too long but I will make another post on that if there is enough interest.
Best Wishes.............Ianto
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Re: Light of Aidan - Lament

Postby ZLVT » Sun Mar 21, 2010 4:22 am UTC

I want to understand the way welsh works, so that'd be:

Gafflwn Dihenydd O’r fuddugol yn wiriol sydd
cheat Death of the (I assume it's 'o yr'?) victor who rightfully is (the victor) - sydd is a form of to be?

Ni fydd neb yn ein drechu,
no-one will [neb?] us overcome

Falch ydy ni I drochu
proud are we to plunge - what is the I and why is it capitalised?

Traed o flaen I’r Annwn
feet (to) front to Annwn - is it 'i yr' and is the i "in"? Any link between traed and tread?

yn y gwybodaeth fe godwn ni. (so it is yn y gwybodaeth not mewn?)
in the knowledge [fe? future tense?] rise we (again)


I assumed you wrote this song, any chance of an extended version being made? The feel is pretty sombre so with a rousing ending it just might be the most awesome thing ever.
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Re: Light of Aidan - Lament

Postby Ianto47 » Mon Mar 22, 2010 6:07 am UTC

Am I going nuts or are there some weird alterations being made to these posts?
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Re: Light of Aidan - Lament

Postby ZLVT » Mon Mar 22, 2010 8:29 am UTC

two posts up when I asked for a clarification I edited my post to include more inconsistencies I found but that was after you'd already posted, I just hadn't noticed.
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Re: Light of Aidan - Lament

Postby Ianto47 » Mon Mar 22, 2010 1:24 pm UTC

OK then, I just saw some weird things but;

Yes, it's o yr, sydd is the present tense of the verb 'to be'

Neb = no one, Ni fydd neb = no one will.

I proof read a couple of times and still.....it is 'i' should not be capitalised it's the equivalent of 'to' so i drochu = to plunge.

"i yr" yes. literally 'to the' no link to tread, Welsh has irregular plurals traed is simply the plural of troed. I'd never noticed rearranging the letters like that before. Very good.

"Yn y" literally 'in the' "mewn" though translated as 'in' gives the meaning of being inside. So we have "mewn y ty" = In the House,
"Yn y dyfodol" = in the future.

Hope that clarifies it all, though poetry and song lyrics are not always the best way to understand a language, relying as they do on irregular sentence structure. Even the simplest of rhymes meets with dificulty when translated into another language and that applies to any language.
As for the song, if they are planning to make a full song out of it, no one has told me. I was contacted through the Los Angeles Celtic Arts Center, I was told it was a one off gig specifically for Halo. Any future plans may or may not include me but it's a great feeling to see how much attention the song has got.
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Re: Light of Aidan - Lament

Postby ZLVT » Mon Mar 22, 2010 2:34 pm UTC

Well can you make a longer version yourself? Or do they own the copyright
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Re: Light of Aidan - Lament

Postby Sizik » Tue Mar 23, 2010 7:09 pm UTC

Ianto47 wrote:Am I going nuts or are there some weird alterations being made to these posts?

See this thread: viewtopic.php?f=25&t=58039
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Re: Light of Aidan - Lament

Postby Bobber » Thu Mar 25, 2010 1:10 am UTC

ZLVT wrote:Any link between traed and tread?
Ianto47 wrote:No link to tread, Welsh has irregular plurals traed is simply the plural of troed.
My interest was piqued by this suggestion. I traversed the web, but can't find an established etymological link to suggest they are cognates. All we have is the similarity in sound. So either they are false cognates, or.... something else. I'm not entirely sure what. Tread was *tredanan in Pre-germanic, so it's not insane to suggest that there was a *tr-d root in PIE which survived through Proto Celtic into Welsh. Its meaning would either pertain to walking/stepping/treading and from there have been expanded to mean foot/feet in Welsh, or would pertain to a foot/feet and from there have been expanded to mean stepping on something, taking a step, walking [on something, probably] etc. in pretty much all Germanic languages.
What do you think?
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Re: Light of Aidan - Lament

Postby Ianto47 » Thu Mar 25, 2010 5:51 am UTC

I personally view them as false cognates. It is always possible to make a word seem like it derives from something else. If you ever saw the movie "My big fat Greek wedding" you would agree. The father in that movie can prove that every word in every language came from Greek.
As far as Traed having something to do with tread this is just an accident of spelling. Other linguistic cognates come to mind that do not relate, for example the Welsh word for "Child" is Plentyn. The plural is Plant. Now if you want to stretch things you can be like that amusing Greek and say that because plants grow and children grow the words are cognate. I respectfully disagree.
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Re: Light of Aidan - Lament

Postby Bobber » Thu Mar 25, 2010 8:16 am UTC

Alright, fair deuce. I think I saw the first few minutes of that film once, and I do remember the father making the outrageous claim that "Arachnophobia" somehow derives from Greek :shock: Nonsense!
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