Shawn L. Bird

Original poetry, commentary, and fiction. All copyrights reserved.

harp tune-Suo Gan June 24, 2014

Here is Suo Gân, a Welsh lullaby, arranged by me and dedicated to David Prosser of the Barsetshire Diaries.



My paternal great-grandmother was Margaret Owen, born in Holyhead, Wales. She was married to Thomas Mosses of London, England.  About the only time the two appear to have been together is on their marriage certificate.  According to many years of census data, Margaret was alone from the time of the marriage onward.  My grandfather was David Owen Mosses.  I wonder if single mother Margaret ever sang this lullaby to young David?


(And if you happen to be a Mosses from Liverpool or London, I’d love to hear from you).


47 Responses to “harp tune-Suo Gan”

  1. Rajiv Says:

    Very nice. I can feel the Celtic in you!

  2. I’m from Liverpool and I’ve studied genealogy for 15 years now but in all my searches I don’t remember ever coming across a Mosses. I will be aware of the name for future searches though and will let you know. Good luck with your family history trail and your music.

    • Thanks Carole. There were lots of them in Lancashire in the 19th century. I find David in a few censuses. E.g. with wife 1 in 1901 (left with 3 kids when he left for Canada and married my grandmother who was left with 3 kids when he left to live a woman 20 years his junior), and in California, where he died in the 50s. Bit of a rotter, apparently, as he never actually divorced anyone before marrying the next! Since his mom was never with Thomas Mosses, it’s very curious! (Thomas and his father Thomas before him, were wood engravers/artists in London- Thomas Sr had 3 wives himself. Census data for him is quite fascinating!). My dad just shakes his head at all this!

      • It’s amazing isn’t it? Most people think those generations were rather staid but quite often it’s the opposite we find. My dad’s family seem to have always been in Liverpool but my mum’s family farmed in Pemberton, Haydock, Winstanley and Orrell. I think they originally came from Ormskirk and judging by their surname of Alker, may well have been Norsemen. Ormskirk comes from the name of the viking Orm and kirk is the church, hence Ormskirk is Orm’s church. There were a couple of Alker families in Salsbury and Altcar too in the 17th century. It’s certainly a fascinating subject. Good luck with your searches.

      • Very interesting! History is fascinating. Someday I hope to get to the UK and explore from Cornwall (my mother’s EVA relations) to Scotland (my husband’s connections) and all my family spots in Gloucester, Worchester, Cheshire and Lancashire along the way! 🙂 I’ve been to London briefly a couple of times, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

      • My husband has Scottish ancestors too. They are Macdonald from Stornoway. Ewen (or Evan) Macdonald was a Ship Master living in Stornoway, Outer Hebrides.. He was born about 1806 son of Donad Macdonald of Idaclaid. Ewen married Margaret Reid of Stornoway (daughter of Joseph Reid, Shoemaker). Small world isn’t it?

      • And here in Canada, the Ottawa residence of the leader of our Official Opposition is called Stornoway. 🙂

      • As I said, small world.

  3. Ginz Says:

    Hey fancy that my great-grandmother came from North Wales and married a Londoner!

  4. Very soothing music, gentle and soft, to ease me into lullaby land. Thanks for the performance.:)

  5. davidprosser Says:

    That was beautiful Shawn. I feel very honoured too. I’ve reblogged this to showcase your talents and to show how lucky I am . Thanks so much.
    xxx Massive Hugs xxx

  6. Absolutely beautiful! Thanks for sharing this


  7. Very, very pretty! Thanks for sharing this. 💛

  8. billremski Says:


  9. colonialist Says:

    A pretty melody, well-suited to the harp, and an attractive arrangement. The volume had to be turned up to full, though. Maybe the recording sensitivity should be set higher?

  10. joegergen Says:

    Awesome melody!

  11. That was a lovely way to start my day, thank you!

  12. David, this is so beautiful! Surely your great-grandmother Margaret is smiling down on this lovely music.
    Add some gentle deer eating grass on the lawn outside and enjoying the melody, and it reminds me of the writing retreat at St. Francis when the Celtic Harp Society had their retreat next to ours.
    Many thanks to you and Shawn for sharing this

    • I wonder if David has a great-grandmother Margaret, as well? That would be a coincidence!

      Thanks for coming by my blog Marylin! I take it you came by via David’s? 🙂

  13. Evan White Says:

    This is so amazingly awesome! I wish that you could put this on a CD (if you haven’t already) I could listen to this all day!

  14. RoSy Says:

    Very nice – Soothing flow.

  15. raroto Says:

    Aaw Beautiful! I enjoyed that immensely, thank you so much for sharing with us Shawn 🙂

  16. Genuine Poetry Says:

    Beautiful. Very peaceful and relaxing. thanks for sharing.

  17. A.P. Says:

    That was beautiful, Shawn.

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