TRIAWD Y COLEG
The close harmony trio – Meredydd Evans; Cledwyn Jones; Robin Williams – who dominated the Welsh language popular music scene during the 40s and 50s, and whose appeal remains due to their masterful technique and musical wit.
Triawd y Coleg (literally The college trio) were students at University College of North Wales, Bangor, during the years following the war:
Meredydd Evans from Blaenau Ffestiniog who later became the
doyen of Welsh folk music, and head of BBC Wales Light Entertainment,
Robin Williams who became a popular preacher, broadcaster and
author, and Cledwyn Jones who became a lecturer at Bangor. They
were ‘discovered’ by the head of the BBC at Bangor at the time,Sam Jones, and he saw in them ideal material for a series of light entertainment shows he created for radio called Noson Lawen (literally
Merry Evening, the name given to the traditional form of informal singing
and social evenings held in Welsh rural homes), which soon established
itself as a firm favourite with listeners the length and breadth of Wales.
Triawd y Coleg wrote all their own songs – mostly penned by Meredydd Evans – and worked on the harmony together, by instinct rather than musical theory. The songs are usually humorous, full of witty word-play and musical parody, borrowing from many sources. But what makes their music exceptional is the way the voices complement each other, and the seemingly effortless way they harmonize. Their main aim is to entertain, but now and again, amidst all the subtle irony and humour, there is a genuine expression of feeling, as in some of the “love” songs, and especially the two carols, where the humour gives way to a genuine, heart-felt sincerity. Carol y Blwch (The box carol) is one of the finest of traditional Welsh Christmas songs, and Stille Nacht is heard here in as fine a rendition as you will ever hear, in any language.