Folk songs

Love is a Great Force

A Lovespoon from the Museum's Collections.
A Lovespoon from the Museum's Collections.

Love is a great force when it does not run smoothly,
It's a thing that has driven many away from their homes;
What drove me away was my father's words,
And my mother, who was kind, drove me from my land.
Toh mee wec ram dee doodl al ee dal fall dee–dl alee doh.

I'd rather see you buried and laid under the earth
Than see you be married, I'd bury you, truly.
I'll put a sod on your face and a stone above you
Before [seeing] you march your body towards that fair maid.
Toh mee wec ram dee doodl al ee dal fall dee–dl alee doh.

When I heard that, I took a man–of–war,
I was on it for seven years without seeing my mother or father;
Seven years had passed before I returned to Wales,
Having thought in my heart that I should never be so foolish.
Toh mee wec ram dee doodl al ee dal fall dee–dl alee doh.

I walked towards my father's house, where I'd been many a time,
And everyone was happy to see me back again;
Night soon fell, and my mind it was made up,
I turned my steps quite boldly towards the dear girl's house.
Toh mee wec ram dee doodl al ee dal fall dee–dl alee doh.

SFNHM Tape 171. Collected 30.4.59 from Miss M. M. Williams (teacher, b. 1894), Idanfryn, Brynsiencyn, Anglesey.


The song tells of a young man who spends seven years aboard a man–of–war because of parental opposition to his love affair. On the very evening of his return to his parents he cannot resist the urge to visit his sweetheart again. According to the singer, a fifth stanza (which she had never actually heard) revealed that there was offspring as well as sweetheart to greet the exile. Cf. the tune with that published alongside a different text in JWFSS, ii; 274, under the title 'Dydd Llun y Bore'/'Cerdd y Gog Lwydlas'('Monday Morning'/'The Song of the Grey Cuckoo').

Click here to download the music to Love is a Great Force
  • 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.