Here we're playing for a dance called Circassian Circle, at Pen y Gwryd's New Year Ceilidh. We often play this easy and fun dance as the last of the evening. If you click in the bottom right corner it will play full screen.




If the tracks don't play, you can try right clicking the mouse and "saving the target as" (I usually save to desktop, makes finding it later easier) and it will download slowly, enabling you play it when it has all downloaded completely. Or you may need to download Adobe Flash Player to play the tracks. You can download it free from here

If you can't get your compuer to cooperate, or if the tracks still won't play, even this extra special low resolution one, contact us here and send us your address for a free 9 track CD.


Recorded LIVE in our front room! Absolutely NO EXPENSE spared!



Lower resolution excerpts for slower connection - Jig - THE CASTLE - Polka - GIRLS I'M OFF TO BOSTON - Song - WILD MOUNTAIN THYME - Hornpipe - PIBADAWNS Y CAR GWYLLT



The Castle (tradional) Nial learnt this tune from Pete Challoner of the incomparable and indescribable New Rope String Band - ADERYN PRIN'S favourite ever live band.

Girls I'm off to Boston (traditional), a great ceilidh tune, is snipped from one of the other tracks on this page here.

Wild Mountain Thyme (tradional) is the well known folk song, sung here by Pete.

Pibdawns y Car Gwyllt (traditional) a local twmpath tune is also snipped from the full resolution version on this page. Read about the extraordinary Car Gwyllt here!


And some more tracks in higher resolution...

Track 1

Hornpipe - PIBDAWNS Y CAR GWYLLT (The Wild Car Hornpipe)

 Track 2

Jigs - CHWI FECHGYN GLAN FFRI (You Carefree Young Lads), DIFYRWCH GWR Y BONTNEWYDD (The Bontnewydd Man's Delight), 24 BARS AND NOWHERE TO DRINK

Track 3

Seashells of Moeltryfan)

Track 4 

Lower resolution excerpts for slower connection - Jig - THE CASTLE - Polka - GIRLS I'M OFF TO BOSTON - Song - WILD MOUNTAIN THYME - Hornpipe - PIBADAWNS Y CAR GWYLLT

Hornpipe - PIBDAWNS Y CAR GWYLLT – The Wild Car Hornpipe 


Pibdawns y Car Gwyllt -  Local tune named after the Car Gwyllt. Car Gwyllt? See below...

The Car Gwyllt was an extraordinary contraption used in the Craig Ddu Quarry at Manod, near Blaenau Ffestiniog.

In the mornings, the quarrymen were hauled up to the quarry in empty slate wagons, but when work was over in the evenings and wagons had ceased to run on the inclines, the weary plod down to tea and civilisation was not appreciated, and to speed the workmen's homeward journey the Car Gwyllt was invented. The benefactor responsible was Edward Ellis, the quarry blacksmith, and the date was some time early in the tramway's life - the first reference is in the late 1870s. The name means "Wild car", and wild car it was.

The Ceir Gwylltion, to use the Welsh plural, were simple machines made by the Quarry blacksmith, gravity cars running on the middle pair of the four rails on the double-track inclines. They ran thus because the centres of the proper tracks were occupied by the incline cable and rollers, and because the distance between the tracks, 3 ft. instead of 2 ft., gave a steadier ride. The car itself consisted of a board, about 8 in. by 2 ft., supported in front by a small double-flanged wheel and at the back by a flat iron casting with guiding flanges, which simply slid down the rail and provided some much-needed friction. This wheel and slider ran down the left-hand rail of the right-hand track, and a simple brake bore on the wheel, operated by a lever projecting through the front of the board. Fixed to the middle of the board, and at right angles to it, was a long iron bar with a double bend near the end, terminating in a roller which rested on the right-hand rail of the left-hand track. The rider merely sat on the back of the board (with his posterior barely two inches above the rail), stretched his feet straight out in front, and grasped the brake lever between his knees with his right hand, and the cross-bar with his left. Every workman had his own car, on which he would carve his initials, and the really car-proud owner would have a detachable brake handle, which he would pocket so that nobody else could use his car.

Illustration for article on car gwyllt on ceilidh band aderyn prin' website
The sight at the end of the day must have been memorable. The moment the hooter went at 4 o'clock a queue formed at the head of the incline, and a stream of 200 cars or more poured down the top three inclines. On arrival at the road, the mean threw their cars into empty wagons, ready to be hauled up in the morning, and took their different ways home. Former quarrymen enthuse over the joys of the ride "50 miles an hour we went" but it is prosaically recorded that to cover the journey of 1,800 yards, with a descent of 1,040 ft., it normally took eight minutes; this time, however, included the two walks between the inclines, and the maximum speeds must have been quite high."

(from an old Festimiog Railway Magazine)


Jigs - CHWI FECHGYN GLAN FFRI, DIFYRWCH GWR Y BONTNEWYDD, 24 BARS AND NOWHERE TO DRINK (You Carefree Young Lads, The Bontnewydd Man's Delight)


Chwi Fechgyn Glan Ffri - You Carefree Young Lads (traditional) - This is a well known tune in Welsh sessions, and, as are all the tunes in this set of the older form of jig, has a short A part and longer B, giving a total length of 24 bars rather than the more usual 32.
Difyrwch Gwr y Bontnewydd – the Bontnewydd Man’s Delight (traditional). At calling his house Llamedos, maybe?
24 Bars and Nowhere to Drink (Nial Cain)- Nial wrote this third jig in the same style and structure to follow on from the previous two tunes.

Seashells of Moeltryfan)


Girls I’m off to Boston (Traditional)– An enigmatic farewell by a man clutching an invite to a tea party? This rattling polka sounds more Irish than American to our ears so perhaps its theme is more emigration and optimistic departure than rebellion and government destabilisation. Shame!
Gan Aimn (Traditional) Not much known about this dramatic e minor polka, except that Nial played it in both Flop Eared Mule and Dog Leap Stars, two noted Tyneside bands of the eighties.
Cregin Moeltryfan – the Shells of Moeltryfan (Nial Cain). That there were sea shells to be found on the summit of Moeltryfan, 1400 feet above sea level, was extremely interesting to a certain Mr Darwin. Finding handfuls of these shells on the brink of Moeltryfan quarry inspired Nial to write this polka.