Folk songs

The Slender Lass

D. Roy Saer.
D. Roy Saer.

I travelled to London town,
Ah yes, and to [other] large towns,
I did, I did,
And also Spain and Scotland,
Yes, yes, and also Spain and Scotland, yes,
and also Spain and Scotland, yes,
In search of a slender lass.

Her body it was pleasing
And slender at the waist,
Oh, and her little hands as white,
Oh, and her little hands as white, oh,
Oh, and her little hands as white, oh,
As the flowers on the thorn.

After we are married,
We’ll have two little ones;
One will be taller than the chair,
One will be taller than the chair, oh,
One will be taller than the chair, oh,
The other a little mite.

SFNHM Tape 609. Collected 21.9.63 from William Rowlands (coal seller, b. 1888), Dol–werdd, Letterston, near Fishguard, Pembrokeshire.


The song offers the impassioned reflections of a lover who has found his slender lass after seeking one in many countries and now yearningly anticipates marrying her and having children. The only other known printed version of 'Y Fenyw Fain' was also obtained in north Pembrokeshire. See JWFSS, iv, 106.

Click here to download the music to The Slender Lass
  • National Museum Cardiff

    National Museum Cardiff

    Discover art, natural history and geology. With a busy programme of exhibitions and events, we have something to amaze everyone, whatever your interest – and admission is free!

  • St Fagans National History Museum

    St Fagans

    St Fagans is one of Europe's foremost open-air museums and Wales's most popular heritage attraction.

  • Big Pit National Coal Museum

    Big Pit

    Big Pit is a real coal mine and one of Britain's leading mining museums. With facilities to educate and entertain all ages, Big Pit is an exciting and informative day out.

  • National Wool Museum

    National Wool Museum

    Located in the historic former Cambrian Mills, the Museum is a special place with a spellbinding story to tell.

  • National Roman Legion Museum

    National Roman Legion Museum

    In AD 75, the Romans built a fortress at Caerleon that would guard the region for over 200 years. Today at the National Roman Legion Museum you can learn what made the Romans a formidable force and how life wouldn't be the same without them.

  • National Slate Museum

    National Slate Museum

    The National Slate Museum offers a day full of enjoyment and education in a dramatically beautiful landscape on the shores of Llyn Padarn.

  • National Waterfront Museum

    National Waterfront Museum

    The National Waterfront Museum at Swansea tells the story of industry and innovation in Wales, now and over the last 300 years.

  • Rhagor: Explore our collections

    Rhagor (Welsh for ‘more’) offers unprecedented access to the amazing stories that lie behind our collections.