Folk songs

Malltraeth Cob

T. Morris Owen.
T. Morris Owen.

If Malltraeth cob breaks, my mother will drown;
I fear it in my heart ti–rai, twli wli
I fear in my heart that I shall be the one to suffer.

I can neither patch nor wash my shirt;
I fear it in my heart, ti–rai, twli wli wli ei,
I fear in my heart that I shall soon perish.

But, thank heaven, the old lady was seen
Safely taking refuge, ti–rai, twli wli wli ei,
Safely taking refuge in the shelter of the rock.

SFNHM Tape 69. Collected 10.9.63 from T. Morris Owen (Defence Ministry Officer, b. 1887), 15 Goat Street, St David's, Pembrokeshire, but learned by the TMO around 1900 in his native Anglesey – from farmhands who would congregate in the evenings at the village of Llanfachreth, about 7 miles from Holyhead.


At the beginning of this century 'Cob Malltraeth' was much sung in Anglesey – Malltraeth village, with its sea embankment (completed 1812), is located on the island's southern coast. The song, for the most part, sustains a mock–tragic note but this is triumphantly dispelled in the final stanza.

Cf. the tune with that of Song No. 3 above, and for general comparative material, see especially JWFSS, ii; 704–3.

Click here to download the music to Malltraeth Cob
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