Y Mabinogi – The Second Branch – 2018

Y Mabinogi – The Second Branch – 2018

This is a retelling of the Second Branch of Y Mabinogi, the second of four albums that will tell The Four Branches.

Pryderi continues to tell his tales…

Let him tell you now, of the beautiful Branwen, of Manawydan, of Nysien and Efnysien, and of the Cauldron of Rebirth. For these are the tales of Bendigeidfran, or as you may know him, Bran the Blessed. Giant, warrior, and High King of the Island of the Mighty!

Disc 1


Ships from the West

As Bran and his brothers stand upon the Rock of Harlech, they see thirteen sails approaching from the direction of Ireland…


Verse 1

Bran the High King, what do you see?

On the rolling tide, O’r the sea from Ireland.

I see thirteen sails, and a shield tip raised high,

On the rolling tide, O’r the sea from Ireland.


Verse 2

Go down, go down, and see what they bring,

Those Ships from the west, on the rolling sea.

Tis the King, tis the King, an alliance to bring,

Branwen’s hand, your sister to marry.


Verse 3

Let him land, let him land, for I do agree,

My sister’s hand, for a promise of peace,

Go now, go now, by land and by sea,

To Ynys Mon, at Aberffaw we shall meet.

Efnysien’s Rage and the Cauldron of Rebirth

Lake of the Cauldron

As Bran offers a gift, so impressive that it must surely restore peace, the tale of how the Cauldron of Rebirth came into his possession unfolds…


Verse 1

A king was a-hunting, upon a high hill,

A great lake below him, so wide and so still,

The sweetness of heather, it hung in the air,

His eyes sharp and searching for prey.

Then down in the valley, from water so black,

A giant came crawling, a cauldron on his back,

And then came a woman, much greater than he,

The dark lake to the light of the day.



From the Lake of the Cauldron,

The Lake of the Cauldron,

From the Lake of the Cauldron they rise, they rise.

From the Lake of the Cauldron,

The Lake of the Cauldron,

From the Lake of the Cauldron they rise.


Verse 2

Pray give us some shelter, they said to the king,

My wife soon with child, and our offspring,

Will be born as a warrior, with sword and with shield,

Fully armed and ready for war.

The king he agreed, and for a full year,

All lived in peace, but he began to hear,

How they made themselves loathsome,

And his people they cried,

Gather arms, and ready the storm.


Verse 3

A chamber of iron, and on every side,

Blacksmiths brought coals, and ran off to hide,

They fed the whole family, with food and with mead,

And soon they were sleeping inside.

The coals soon were blazing, the house filled with screams,

Their children they perished, lost in the flames,

But the man and his wife, they made their escape,

Setting sail on the turn of the tide.


Verse 4

Pray give us some shelter, they said to the king,

We give you this cauldron, our gift to bring,

Our sons and our daughters will spread through the land,

The best weapons are made by our hands.

The Company of Branwen and Matholwch

The Raven set to Flight

A Forest on the Ocean

Bran carried all of the stringed instruments and Bards upon his back, and together, we made our way across the sea, to the shores of Ireland…


Verse 1

Swineherds, sea shore, such a tale to bring,

Came to the palace therefore to meet the king,

May you prosper, please tell what did you see?

A forest on the ocean, where we never saw a single tree.


Verse 2

What else did you see there, tell me, please confide,

A moving mountain, a lake on either side,

Go fetch Branwen for I know that only she,

May know this vision and solve this mystery


Verse 3

What is that forest, moving towards our shore?

The ships and masts of Albion, that carry Her men to war,

The mountain is my brother as he strides across the sea,

The lakes his dark eyes that gaze at you with fury.

Disc 2

A House fit for a King

Battle of the Cauldron

Raven’s Tears

We arrived on the shores of Ynys Mon. Branwen looked out to Ireland, then back to the Island of the Mighty. “Oh that I was never born, two islands have been laid waster because of me”


Verse 1 – Branwen

What have I done, so much pain,

Countless lives lost, and all in vein,

Such brave men, their swords and shields,

Now lay upon those blood-soaked fields.


Verse 2 – Branwen

If I had known, what was to come,

Of the tears I shed for my only son,

Kingdoms broken, torn apart,

Only death will heal my broken heart.



Gwae fi fy ngenedigaeth

Dwy ynys dda, a ddiffeithiwyd o’m achos I


Spoken word: And with those words, Branwen’s heart broke, and she died. We built a four-sided chamber and laid her body to rest, finally at peace, in the sacred earth of Ynys Mon. Burying her there, beside the flowing waters of the river Alaw.


Verse 3 – Pryderi

Walk away into the sun,

For our time here is o’er and done,

What lay ahead, our hopes and fears,

Now flow upon the Raven’s tears.



Gwae fi fy ngenedigaeth

Dwy ynys dda, a ddiffeithiwyd o’m achos I

The Fallen King

The Birds of Rhiannon

As soon as we began the feast three birds came. We had to gaze far out to see to catch sight of them, yet their song was clear and true. As if they were in the court with us. Their song was the most beautiful sound we had ever heard. All other birdsong was harsh when compared theirs. The peak of each wave on the ocean shone white in the sunlight as if a million white horses galloped towards the shore. Then I knew. These were my Mother’s birds. The Birds of Rhiannon had arrived.


Verse 1

Life it can,

Feel just like falling sand,

From my open hand,

I let it fall.

Then on the wing,

Three birds begin to sing,

And white horses bring,

Their song to shore.

I hear your voice over the sea,

Mother take this pain from me!



Comfort me,

Make us strong,

Hear the hope within the Birds of Rhiannon’s song,

Now I see,

All along,

The ocean your white horses ride upon,

Bring Birds of Rhiannon’s song.


Verse 2 – Rhiannon

I am here,

There’s nothing more to fear,

I’ll catch your falling tears,

In the sea.

So hear my song,

And may your heart be strong,

May all your pain be gone,

My son be free.

Wherever you go, whate’er you do,

I am always there with you.


Verse 3

The sky blood red,

Your birds have always led,

Guide the souls of the dead,

To Western Lands,

Neath the setting sun

Branwen walks with her son,

There with Efnyssien,

Hand in hand.

And every soul lost in the war,

Hear waves break upon another shore.

The Company of the Noble Head