Notes, types and motifs

Notes for the story 'Hearing a Hymn Sung at Three o' Clock in the Morning'

Mary Thomas heard this story 'many times' from Rhys Morgan, at her home in Cwm Gwyddyl, when she was a child. Rhys Morgan lived on a smallholding called Glan Pond in the Ffair-rhos area, on the way to Teifi Pools. He kept 'three cows and a couple of sheep' and 'worked in the lead-mine'. He was a young man when he heard the hymn being sung. He died 'when he was over seventy, I should think,' around 'fifteen years, maybe' previous to the date of the recording. He was a likeable character, and Mary Thomas said of him: 'He was a man who knew a great deal about the Bible. He was my Sunday-school teacher [at Ffair-rhos].'

Mary Thomas retold Rhys Morgan's experience with conviction and sincerity, in a gleeful style. Although she and her husband, William Thomas, believed in all conscience that Rhys Morgan's experience was true, they both enjoyed presenting this story (and a number of other, similar stories) so much that at times they couldn't refrain from laughing, especially at the end of the story, in response to a comment from the interviewer or a hint of surprise in his expression.


Types

ML 4002 (W)Supernatural manifestations.
ML 4040 (W)Premonitions of death.
ML 4040 (W) (h)The sound of angelic music heard.

Motifs

D 1827.1Magic hearing of voices portending death.
D 1827.1.2Sounds heard before death. The sounds are later repeated in connection with death or funeral.
D 1827.1.4Sounds heard from distance at time of death.
F 966Voices from heaven or from the air.


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