Notes, types and motifs

Notes for the story 'Burying the Sailor from a Faraway Land'

This is one of the many stories told by the tailor, John Griffiths, of Waun Gilwern, Pen-boyr parish, at Treale, Thomas Davies' home: 'I remember John Griffiths on his feet telling that story'. He looked heavenwards while reciting the verse, and his voice 'had a touch of the clergyman' about it. For more on John Griffiths, the tailor, and a description of Thomas Davies' home at Treale, see the item 'The Will of the Farmer and His Three Counsels to His Son'.

More than half a dozen versions with a degree of similarity to this story have been recorded from speakers (see tapes at MWL), especially in south-west Wales. The last three lines of the stanza (cante fable) which closes the story are almost the same in each version. The first line of the stanza refers to the stranger washed to shore: 'Dyn du wyt ti o wlad bell...' [ 'You are a black man from a faraway land...']; 'Dyn diarth wyt ti...' ['You are a stranger...' ] etc. The second couplet of the stanza also exists independently of the story and is found as an epitaph.

  • 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.