Album Songs and Lyrics

Twist en-dro war al leur goat

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Twist en-dro is this month within >fRoots playlist<, it is time for some explanations + translations!

There is be too much to say about this odd title, en-dro means “again”, but it is also the name of a particular dance from the Vannes area. Al leur goat is a wooden generally non-permanant flooring used outside or in ballrooms for fest-noz, our favorite ones are smooth enough so that you feel lighter while dancing, but not too much either, and it responds by a sharp sound while you dance (see notes bellow from the translation…. )

Plancher de fest-noz Wooden floor for fest-noz
Image source >;

Lyrics used are a very common text mostly sung as a “gavotte” like here, and know under the title “Ar Poatr Yaouank Kozh”. They are however much longer, you may find the full version >here<, with French translation.

Instruments : guitar, violin, ‘oud, electric ‘oud, derbouka

Rythme : gavotte dance

Music: a mix of traditional tunes with Yann’s compositions

[ don’t forget to click on the cover image bellow, so that you can listen to it while reading the translation… ]

Ar Poatr Yaouank Kozh 

The Bachelor

Me zo chomet da goshaat ha n’on ket c’hoazh dimezet
Ha dre-se on gwelet fall gant an dimezelled

I’m getting older but I’m still not married
This is why I get mocked by young Ladies

Ar merc’hed a oa gwechall a glaske labourat
Kannañ gwenn ar rochedoù, ober stamm ha gwriad

Girls used to work hard
To wash, sew and repair clothes

Met ar re yaouank zo bremañ a zo o klask bezañ koant
Setu aze ‘vit petra on chomet poatr yaouank

But young ones now are trying nothing but to look pretty
This is why I’m still a bachelor

Pa vo pardonioù ‘barzh ar vro, ‘hay en noz da zañsal
Neuze ‘vo klevet o c’hoarzhin hag he zreid o strakal (*)

When they are fairs around the country, they’re going at night to dance
You’ll only hear laughing and their feet hitting the floor (*)

Hag an deiz war-lerc’h ‘chomo ‘pad an deiz en he gwele
Gant ar boan ba’n he divhar pe an droug ‘n he c’hostez

And then the next day they stay in bed for the all day
With pain in their legs or on their stomach

Un dilhad eus ar c’haerañ ‘renko c’hoazh da gaoued
Ur robenn brodet gant seiz hag un tok alaouret

They’ll also claim for the most beautiful clothing
A dress embroidered with silk and a goldish hat

An dra-se ‘vez ket gwall-bell ‘tegas ur mil da bemp kant
Setu aze ‘vit petra on chomet poatr yaouank

Before you notice it you’ll out of money

And this is why I’m still a bachelor


(*) strakañ : hitting and making a “bang” noise all together, mostly used for the noise made by dancers feet and… like in aSTRAKAn

This is as usual a personal translation, with emphasis on the meaning than on the exact-correct-official translation

§ Simone

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Album Songs and Lyrics

kreñv ‘veld ar garantez

[lyrics, translation & facts for the 3rd song from our album >here<]

Kreñv ‘veld ar garantez means “as strong as love can be“, is a tragic-romantic song (a young man choosing to let himself dye so that he can be with his beloved one again) that we both treasure, for many reasons.

krenv veld ar garantez2 iwan gamus madame bertrandThe song itself is best know as Iwan Gamus, this version being recorded in 1959, and is part of wonderful and incredible Marie-Josèphe Bertrand‘s repertoire. When recorded, she was over 70 (she died in 1970), and still, she had a powerful and very expressive voice. She’s quite well-known among Breton singers, and a CD from her has even been recently released:

Marie-Josèphe Bertrand chanteuse du Centre-Bretagne

When Yann started to work on this song, there was also a big part of magic and mystery. Indeed he didn’t intend to “work” on this song, he got the idea of the all musical part, and when almost all the structure was done, sounds, rhythms, and the little saz notes. Then he remembered about this song, played it together with his composition… and that was it!!! You can hear her voice at 4’34.



Instruments used : Turkish saz & programming

Keñv ‘veld ar garantez

Iwan Gamus a Blouvino
Eo ‘r glac’haretañ mab ‘zo er vro
Eo ‘r glac’haretañ mab ‘zo er vro

A-greiz kano ha c’hwitellad
Ac’h ae da gas e saout d’ar prad
Ac’h ae da gas e saout ya d’ar- prad

A greiz kano…
E kreiz c’hwitellad ha kano
Komañses e fri diwedo

Ajen a reas war ur men gwenn
O c’hortoz e c’hoar vari da dremen
O c’hortoz e c’hoar vari da dremen


Ma c’hoer Vari din a laret
Peseurt neventiz a poe klevet
Peseurt neventiz a peus klevet

Neventiz awalc’h am eus klevet
‘vid lakaad ho kalon baour glac’haret
Ho muiañ karet a zo nouet

Gant an hent braz, pan avañse
Gweloud a rae an dud, ar veleien,
ar veleien gwisket en gwenn
Da gas e dous sa Sant Jelven
Da gas e dous sa Sant Jelven

Iwan Gamus ya pa gleva
Sa Sant Jelven moned a ra
Sa Sant Jelven moned a ra


En Sant Jelven pa ‘n arruvas
War gornig he bez a daoulina
Razig e galon a ouela

Ma c’hoer Vari mar ma c’haret
Gwele ma c’habinet a riet
Gwele ma c’habinet a riet

Zavet ma breur dag alese
Merc’hed awalc’h a gavit c’hwi

Stang eo merc’hed en Plouvino
‘veld ar sablenn war an heñchoù
c’hwi ‘zo yaouank hag a gavo


Ma n’eo ket graet, o, graet anezhañ aes
Kar birviken ne deuin er-maez
Nemed ur wech da liano
Hag ur wech all da intero

Vimp laket en ur beziad
Pa n’omp pas bet n’ur gweliad
Pa nonpas bet n’ur gweliad

Vimp eurujet gant Doue
Pa n’omp pas bet gant ar c’hure,
Pa n’omp pas bet gant ar c’hure

Personal translation, may be incorrect or incomplete regarding English or the Poetic effect.

As strong as love can be

Iwan Gamus from Plouvino
Is the more afflicted boy in the country

Singing and whistling
He was leading the cows to the fields

He was singing and whistling
When he started to nosebleed (*)

He set on a white stone
And waiting for his sister Mary to come over


“Mary my sister will you tell me
What kind of news have you heard

– I heard some
That will sadden your heart
Your beloved one just passed away”

Walking forward on the main road,
He saw the crowd and the priests
The priests dressed in white
To carry his beloved to Sant Jelven

When Iwan Gamus heard that
He headed to Sant Jelven


When he arrived at Sant Jelven
He knelt down on the grave’s corner
And cried all his heart out

“Mary my sister if you love me,
You’ll prepare my bed in my room (**)

Stand up my brother,
You’ll find other girls

They are as many girls in Plouvino
As there is sand on the tracks
You’re young and you’ll find


If my bed is not ready, get it ready
Since I’ll never get out again
Only once to lie on the shroud
And once more to be buried

We’ll lie down in the same grave
Since we haven’t in the same bed

We’ll be united be God
Since we haven’t been by a priest

(*) this is how he “knows” something happened, he interpret it as a sign (bad in that case).
(**) according to me it as not really a “bedroom”, but it has been translated so into French, and so far I couldn’t find any proper explanation.

Hope you enjoyed! § Simone

Album Songs and Lyrics

Pemp Bolot

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[lyrics, translation & facts for the opening song from our album >here<]

The opening of the album, Pemp Bolot (five bullets) is a composition from Yann with traditional lyrics. In Brittany, we have lyrics and tunes, and they’re in most of cases not connected to each other, indeed, you may pick up some lyrics and use almost any tune with it. There’s of course some rules regarding their geographic origin, but once you get it, it provides musicians a lot of freedom to use them.

pemp bolot - five bulets
five bulets…..

An Dezertour is quite popular among singers most probably because it has a very good inner rhythm. It’s one of the first songs Simone remembers having learned. Regarding the story, it may relate to the 19th century Napoleon’s wars, it may also be older but with late changes, the topic is quite a common one in French traditional music, even with the details regarding “the blue scarf to close my eyes” (see translation below) is to be found in French language versions.

The introduction was initially just an idea for a short sequence that Simone wanted to use for this video, she wanted something very ceremonial to go along with the sun dawn, and on which she could add kind of mystic voices.


Only a week before sending the album for manufacturing, we thought that it could be a nice introduction, both for this song and for the album.

Instruments : guitar, violin, darbuka, percussion sounds on introduction : davul samples.

Rythme : gavotte danse.

This slightly different version was recorded live in Beirut last spring.


Album Songs and Lyrics

Tri Martolod An Oriant


[lyrics, translation & facts for the 2nd song from our album >here<]

A version of this song became very popular since Alan Stivell sung it in the 70’s), and today many bands are still playing it, mostly under the name “tri martolod yaouank“. During a recording break, we watched a video from Kevin Camus playing it on the Irish bagpipes together with Nolwen Leroy.

tro martolod an oriant astrakan project single
. . . 3 boats . . .

While wondering about the origin of the song, that is, before Stivell’s version, we found a very nice and interesting version sung by an old woman (from whom unfortunately we don’t even know the name). We found that version so nice and delicate that we immediately started to work on it, and we arranged this tune very quickly.  The lyrics we’re using are a mixture of both versions.

In our version (you can hear it here or get a free mp3 if you sign-in for our newsletter here), extra beats take it away from the original rhythm that to our hear could well be a dance from the Breton coast(s), but we’re not really specialists about those facts… Yann got inspired for the rhythm by Balkan pop music (Albanian ?)

Instruments used : ‘ud, guitar, darbuka, bendir, violin, and a pack of Nescafé Gold (yes it’s true! you can see it yourself on this >video<)