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'I Have a Hen,' said Richards, Cefen-gâr...

Mary Thomas (1905-83)

'I have a hen,' said Richards, Cefen-gâr.
'Oh, no you haven't,' said Morgan, T? Gwyn.
'Oh, yes, indeed,' said Peter, Pen-wern-hir.
'She's flown away,' said Dic, Bron Berllan.
'Where did she find food?' said Leisa, Llwyn Llwyd.
'She's gone to sit on her eggs,' said Tomos, Bryn Coryn.
['Where?' said Tomos, Pen-dre.
'To the fair,' said Tomos, Llidiart Ffair.]
'Where did the eggs hatch?' said Jacob of Cloddie.
'In Tan-bryn,' said Ianto Gwyn.
'How many chicks?' asked Leisa, Troed-rhiw.
'A hen and a cockerel,' said Tomos, Cae Madog.
'Are they strong?' said Morgan, Dôl Ebolion,
'Rather weak,' said Richard Pen-lan.

[WT] It worked well, didn't it. You know who it was? William Jones - he kept a tavern here, in Pontrhydfendigaid, it was William Jones. Yes, it worked well, you know.

William Jones -

Of the Red Lion, and his children live here still.

Where is the Red Lion?

[WT] It's a tavern here in Bont [Pontrhydfendigaid]. He did [live there], but he died years ago. He has a son living in Bont, and a daughter living up towards Tregaron. But they wouldn't know anything about that.

'I have a hen,' said Richards, Cefen-gâr... Now, these people -

Richard, Cefen-gâr, was his father. He lived in Cefen-gâr. Billy Cefen-gâr was his name, you see -Billy, Cefen-gâr. When he was a young lad, he was home on the farm at Cefen-gâr. And then, he made up this rhyme about his father. His father was Richard, Cefen-gâr...

Round about when did he do this, do you think?

Oh, no idea.

Before your -

Before my time, when he was a young man.

In your father's time, was it?

Yes, in my father's time. Yes, in my father's time.


'I Have a Hen,' said Richards Cefen-g

More information


MWL 6453; recorded 5.v.1979.


This accumulative rhyme refers to farms and smallholdings in the Ffair-rhos, Pontrhydfendigaid and Ystrad-fflur area. According to Mary Thomas and her husband, William Thomas, these are the names and surnames of the people mentioned in the rhyme: Richard Jones, Cefen-gâr, Ffair-rhos; Morgan Jones, Tŷ Gwyn, Ffair-rhos; Richard Hughes, Bron Berllan, Pontrhydfendigaid; Thomas George, Llidiart y Ffair, Ffair-rhos; Elizabeth Jones, Llwyn Llwyd, Ffair-rhos; Thomas Jones, Bryn Coryn; Jacob Jones, Cloddie; Thomas Lloyd (Mary Thomas's father's brother), Cae Madog, Ystrad-fflur; Morgan (Jones?), Dôl Ebolion, Pontrhydfendigaid; Rhisiart (Mary Thomas's grandfather's brother), Pen-lan, Ystrad-fflur.

When Mary Thomas was questioned about the people mentioned in the rhyme, she added the following lines which she had forgotten when first reciting the verse:

'Where?' said Tomos, Pen-dre.
'To the fair,' said Tomos Llidiart Ffair.

These have been included in the text.

Mary Thomas recited this accumulative rhyme quickly, with spirit and zest.