Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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JONES , WATKIN (‘ Watcyn o Feirion ’; 1882 - 1967 ), postmaster, shopkeeper, folk poet, setter and tutor of cerdd dant ;

b. 12 June 1882 in Tŷ'r nant , Capel Celyn, Mer. , son of Robert Jones and Elizabeth (b. Watkin ). He kept a shop and Post Office in Capel Celyn and carried the post in the Capel Celyn and Arennig area for more than fifty yrs., walking about 15 miles every day. In his cultured home he brought up a family of singers . He had a rich voice, and much musical creativity, and, being well versed in harmony and counterpoint , he was an external examiner of the College of Tonic Sol-fa for many years. He was also proficient in cynghanedd and had the contents of Cerdd Dafod by Sir John Morris-Jones ( DWB , 668-9) at the tips of his fingers. He won a number of bardic chairs at local eisteddfodau . He contributed significantly to making the art of singing to the accompaniment of the harp ( cerdd dant ) more widely known in the 1940s and 50s , travelling far and near to hold classes in setting words to folk tunes for penillion singing . During the same period he prepared settings for numerous less experienced penillion singers . For years he was the conductor of the Cwmtirmynach cerdd dant choir which won many prizes at eisteddfodau . He also composed many airs for penillion singing , such as ‘ Murmur Tryweryn ’ and ‘ Y ffrwd wen ’, which continue to be popular with present day verse-setters. He played a prominent part in founding Cymdeithas Cerdd Dant Cymru , being one of the three conveners of the first public meeting at Bala on 10 Nov. 1934 which led to the founding of the society. He served as treasurer from the beginning until 1950 . He m. Annie Thomas on 13 Apr. 1906 and they had seven children. He d. at Bod Athro , Dinas Mawddwy , 14 Feb. 1967 .

Sources:

  • Personal knowledge and research.

Author:

Dr Aled Lloyd Davies, Mold

Published date: 2001