“Marwnat” is based
upon the melody to “The Lament of the Border Widow” by Malcolm Lawson which
was published in “Songs of The North” in 1895. An old ballad provides
Marwnat is the Middle
Welsh word for Lament, Elegy or Death Song.
By 350 e.v. the mainland
of Britain was inhabited by the Keltic race of Britons from the Channel
up to Antonine's Wall and a little beyond. A reasonable boundary
may be noted by drawing a line from the Isle of Arran, which lies off the
West coast of Scotland, through Dumbarton, Perth and Forfar to Stonehaven
in the East. To the North of this line lay Pictland.
At this point in British
history, apart from the wealthy and such as had scaled the then local government
ladder by consorting with the occupying power and system imposed on the
country by Imperial Rome (and who lived in the Roman style, speaking Latin
and subjecting their children to the Empire's standards in culture and
education), the bulk of the population spoke 'Parent' British - a language
now known as Primitive Welsh.
Indeed the bard Aneurin
wrote his epic tale “The Gododdin” in 600 e.v. (in the region of the Forth
where dwelt his kinsmen – the tribe of The Gododdin) - a poem composed
in Primitive Welsh and found in The Book of Aneurin. This was called
the earliest known "Scottish" poem when published by Edinburgh University
press c. 1971/2.
And so I have justly
reintroduced a word from Scotland’s forgotten Welsh origins and heritage.