Saturday, 21 February 2015

Suo Gan

Steven Spielberg made a film in 1987 called " Empire of the Sun" 
For those few that perhaps don't know, the film was set in Shanghi during the war and centred upon the survival of a British Schoolboy( a very young Christian Bale) in a
Japanese prisoner of war camp.
The musical theme weaving throughout the film is, I always thought, somewhat of a strange one
as it is an old Welsh Lullaby, " Suo Gan"
Suo Gan quite literally means lullaby in Welsh.
I know it's lazy blogging but as I'm working tonight and tomorrow night
I thought I would post a video of the great Bryn Terfyl 
singing it!
A rough translation of the first verse is below

Sleep my darling,
Harm will never come to you,
Mother's arms enfold you safely
Mothers heart is ever true
As you sleep, there's naught to scare you
Naught to wake you
Close your eyes


  1. Never saw the film John, but I have a dear friend who loves all things Welsh and who speaks Welsh too, so I do know this Welsh folk song - and what is more, I love it.

  2. Fantastic movie and even better book. Incredible that it is semi-autobiographical.

    Such haunting music, had not made the Welsh connection.

    Great "lazy" post

  3. Nothing wrong with "lazy bloging", this is beautiful.

  4. I am not a great one for co-incidences so it is funny that Terfyl is here in Melbourne and I posted a promotional poster of him at our concert hall. Found somewhere here,

  5. I thought this was going to be about crochet!! (as in 'Afhgan' which is what the Americans call a crocheted blanket). Lovely voice that fella has. Also, you seem to have a new follower??

  6. well I guess comment moderation will be on from now on!!! Loved the post and song; never heard of either.

  7. Thank you. Here in the US I check your blog first thing in the morning and what a beautiful way to start my day. In english the title is "All through the night".
    Cheers Peter

  8. Loved that film....didn't know the boy was Christian Bale!

    1. Incidentally Christian Bale IS Welsh

  9. As I have said before I am not a big movie goer but Empire of the Sun has always been one of my favorites. It has been a while since I watched it but I remember it left a lasting impression on me. And the musical theme was most appropriate. Never knew it was a Welsh lullaby, but it certainly sets the mood for the film.

  10. I saw the film, back in the day. That's three hours of my life I'll never get back....

  11. I have a strong emotional attachment to that song. I am a music teacher. Several years ago now, back when I taught high school chorus, I found an amazing arrangement of that song in our library. I introduced it to my chamber group and they fell in love with it instantly. My best soprano was to the point: "That's the most beautiful thing I've ever sung!" It was the beginning of a marvelous journey with that group.

    Thank you for sharing this song today, John.

  12. Thank you so much for posting this video! I've loved that lullaby ever since I was a kid. It is one of my favourite folk songs to play on my recorder. And I love Bryn Terfel too! I just bought the highlights CD & DVD set of the Ring Cycle where he plays Wotan.

  13. I saw the film and had some problems with it as I do with most Spielberg films. But I was intrigued by the story. I should check out the book. Even though I saw the movie such a long time ago, the story has stayed with me.
    The song is wonderful.

    cheers, parsnip

  14. I saw that movie for the first time recently and loved it. Don't know how I missed it. Also loved The Last Emperor by Bertolucci. The music was especially beautiful as I am a huge Ruichi Sakamoto fan.

  15. I haven't seen the film and don't recall even hearing of it. Thanks for the video, I will listen to it now.

  16. I loved that movie. Haven't seen it in years.


  17. Wow, I haven't seen that movie in ages. Christian Bale is very good in it, though, I remember that.

  18. Haven't seen the movie but do like the lullaby.

  19. Haven't seen the movie but do like the lullaby.


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