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Light of Aidan-Lament, the lyrics

Updated on January 24, 2015
Sunset from the Cafe del Mar
Sunset from the Cafe del Mar

In early September 2009 I was approached by Human LLC to write a Welsh song for a commercial they were making for the new Halo 3 ODST game that was soon to be launched. I was shown the video and given suggestions of the theme they were looking for. I was also provided with the music I had to fit the words around. At the time I had no idea that the score was an adaptation of a song called “Lament” by Light of Aidan. In fact I had never heard of the song or Light of Aidan at that time. The adaptation is a very martial tune. “Lament” itself is a soft, meditative sound. Sung in Welsh it’s about lost love and has that sad, wistful quality that is very easy to the ear.

The song appears on the second Café del Mar CD of 2005.

Café del Mar is somewhere I have heard of. Most Europeans like to vacation in Spain, especially the Balearic islands in the Spanish Mediterranean. Ibiza is one of the most popular of those islands and a spot that attracts thousands of visitors is the Café del Mar in San Antoni de Portmany, owned by Lorena de Tena. The sunset views are breathtaking and literally thousands of people will line the beach by the café just to watch the sun go down. The café itself has become famous for its music. World class performers from all over Europe play there. Easy listening, chill out music is what you hear, don’t expect to be rockin’ or rappin’ this is the gentle natural rhythm of the Mediterranean shore. The first CD of the café’s music was released in 1995 from then on there has been at least one CD every year, a compilation of the most favored music. In 2005 two CDs were released. On the second was a song called “Lament” by Light of Aidan.

Light of Aidan is Daniel Lozinski, writer, producer, programmer and engineer and Phil Baggaley, Musician, producer and writer.


The song is called “Lament” though the lyrics are Welsh the title remained English.

 For the curious the Welsh word for Lament is Galarnad.

The lyrics are;

Dweud a ddoi di eto n’ol

Cariad bach er cilio’n ffo

Nid yw’r haf I mi

Ddim ond hirlwm

Er pan gollais ti


The first two lines are sung twice then the next three lines are sang three times.

The lyrics translate to;

Say you will not return

Sweetheart, since you flew away

I have no summer

Only the worst of winter

Since I lost you.

A little Welsh lesson (Gwers fach yn Gymraeg)

Welsh has its share of idiom and Welsh poetry has a way of expressing ideas with words that take a book to translate. The short piece here is rich in examples of how Welsh speakers express deep emotions with an economy of phrase.

The words in the second line; cariad bach  Cariad  means Love, bach means Little. Little love wouldn’t make sense if you were relying solely on a dictionary without knowing that bach is a term of endearment, put together Cariad bach is the Welsh equivalent of calling someone “Sweetheart”. Cilio’n ffo  Cilio means “To retreat” the apostrophe n is actually yn in this context it means “In” the apostrophe is there because “Y” is a vowel in Welsh and it would be bad grammar to end a word with a vowel and start the next with a vowel so Cilio yn becomes Cilio’n  Ffo means Flight So the phrase would literally mean “Retreat in flight” The singer is saying, with sad emphasis, that her sweetheart left in a hurry and went far away. It also implies a cowardly retreat. Just a short phrase, it carries so much meaning.

The fourth line has the word Hirlwm. This word means “The worse time of winter” The word harks back to the days when the winter was almost at an end but so was the food supply. Nothing would grow and the winter food is getting low. So she is saying that since her love went away there is no summer in her life, all is as the worse time of winter where there is only cold and little nourishment.

As an aside to this I have heard that the people of North Wales these days use the phrase Hirlwm Pres to mean “Credit Crunch.”

My Rant

One last point that I feel constrained to make. I have been pleased to see the promotional video for the Halo game getting a lot of attention, particularly on Youtube and in various forums. Generally the whole thing is very well received and that does give me a lot of personal satisfaction. However, Halopedia somewhere got the idea that the translation of the Halo song involved a “Brothers over the hill and into hell” type of nonsense. Where they got that from I have no idea but they continue to peddle it. Welsh is very much a minority language so the unsuspecting have been copying and pasting this at various places as though it were the “Correct” translation. As I hope I have been able to demonstrate, neither in the original “Lament” or in the Halo song is there anything approaching those words. Halopedia may be fine at describing Xbox games but they need to leave the languages to those who speak them.


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    • scarytaff profile image

      Derek James 7 years ago from South Wales

      Talented Welshmen rule, OK. Well done Ianto and congratulations.

    • iantoPF profile image

      Peter Freeman 7 years ago from Sunny California

      Thanks; It was an interesting experience and Hell! they paid me:)

    • profile image

      Light of Aidan 6 years ago

      Hi, IantoPF,

      Daniel from Light of Aidan here.... Thanks for the correct translation, I have been telling people for years. Although I am not welsh, my friend Mal Pope is and he translated it for us,

      well done on the Game trailer.


    • iantoPF profile image

      Peter Freeman 6 years ago from Sunny California

      Hello Daniel;

      Thank you very much. I am privileged to write and showcase a little of your work. Since the Halo project I have become a great fan of your work, you and Phil are amazingly talented people.

      Best wishes and may your successes continue to grow.

    • Shadesbreath profile image

      Shadesbreath 6 years ago from California

      This is such a deep and meaningful hub. Man, it is so delightful to see an intellectual at work, a true intellectual not some posturing moron, working in the real world with something they have mastery of. Great song. Nice truth at the end about how it's misused. Just good, good stuff. You know, frankly, you are what pisses me off about hubpages and I think I'm going to end up ranting on the forums.

    • iantoPF profile image

      Peter Freeman 6 years ago from Sunny California

      Shadesbreath, you are such a good writer yourself your support means a lot. Thank you.

    • seanorjohn profile image

      seanorjohn 6 years ago

      Whatever they paid you was not enough.directing your hub to some of my Welsh friends.Halopedia needs to get its act together.Congrats on your excellent summary.

    • iantoPF profile image

      Peter Freeman 6 years ago from Sunny California

      Sean thank you very much. I do appreciate support. I had never done anything like it before and when they said they would pay me a consultants fee and told me what that was i was "Hell yeah!" I had no idea it would take off the way it did.

    • profile image

      Josh M 6 years ago

      Hey iantoPF, I would just like to say that I'm a fan of yours for what you did with the lyrics for the ODST theme, it's a brilliant piece of work you did there :P anyway, I was wondering if since you were the one who made the lyrics, you knew where I could find an mp3 or some sort of music file for it? I've searched everywhere with no luck.

      Anyway, thanks in advance, and my compliments again.

    • iantoPF profile image

      Peter Freeman 6 years ago from Sunny California

      Thank you Josh; I appreciate your support.

      To answer your question, to the best of my knowledge there is no MP3 version of the song and, so far, there has been resistance to turning the Halo music into a complete song. In spite of the overwhelming popular demand.

      Daniel Lozinski's comment has a link to his original song, which was the inspiration for the Halo song. I also have a link here to Human.LLC where you can find the original video as well as other commercial work they have done.

      That's all there is, for now anyway.

    • profile image

      Vithren 6 years ago

      So... we'll never be able to listen to full or any version of the ODST song? As I like "Ligh of Aidan's" version it's just not the same.

      So damn shame. Even that short trailer version would be beautiful, oh my.


    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 6 years ago from Wales

      I am getting round to reading your work slowly ianto and I've got to say that the words you composed for 'Lament' are bewitching!! You really are very talented and thank you so much for sharing your work.

      I have written a few poems in welsh maybe you'd like to read one;


      Cofiwn y tymhorau

      A'u prydferthwch di baid.

      Newid mae'r olygfa

      O dan dy dyner draed.

      Mae'r Gwanwyn ar fin dihuno

      Mewn paradwys hedd.

      Mae'r wyn bach yn prancio

      Melys yw eu llef.

      Mae'r haf yn gwersogi

      Y balchder yn dy fron.

      Mae'r mor yn dy ddenu

      Dy wahodd y mae'r don.

      Yr hydref sydd yn gweled

      Gweddnewidiad am dro.

      Mae'r oll yn aeddfedu

      Prydferthwch drwy y fro.

      Yn olaf fe ddaw'r gaeaf

      A'r reddf mor glir

      Mae'r eira yn gwynu

      Bodlondeb y tir.

      Rhain yw'r tymhorau

      Sy'n ein swyno au hyd.

      Rho dy gred ynddynt

      A gwyn fydd dy fyd.

      Carry on with the good work because as I've said before your work is inspiring!

      Ardderchog unwaith eto!!


    • iantoPF profile image

      Peter Freeman 6 years ago from Sunny California

      You are very talented yourself Eiddwen,

      "O dan dy dyner draed" Cynghanedd? gwych iawn. :)

      "Rho dy gred ynddynt

      A gwyn fydd dy fyd"

      Very deep and profound, I particularly like "Fydd dy fyd" very well composed and a beautiful poem, Thank you for sharing.

    • profile image

      Azwarior 6 years ago

      So then what are the lyrics in the stuff for the odst promo and their translated form?

    • iantoPF profile image

      Peter Freeman 6 years ago from Sunny California

      Azwarior; There is a link on this page to the article I wrote giving the lyrics and translation of the Halo 3 ODST song.

    • profile image 5 years ago

      Hello, iantoPF. I am a fan of the trailer music that you put together for ODST. Is there any way you could let me know who the vocalist is? The voice sounds so familiar...

    • iantoPF profile image

      Peter Freeman 5 years ago from Sunny California

      The vocalist is Kathy Fisher. Kathy and her husband released a CD with their group "The Fisher Band."

    • profile image

      fan 5 years ago

      man i love the song,and i love anything gaelic.every few months all go back on youtube to watch the odst trailer,both with the translated and nontranslated lyrics.and this here just saddens me.i spent yesterday listening to that versenon the trailer and getting the pronounciation right so i could sing it and now i find out the words arent even bad.then what the heck am i singing?lol.well atleast the got the voice right for it.i thought it was perfect.but i also think it is a great disrepect to those few who speak any form of is truly a talent and an thanks for the article.oh and...maybe people who speak other gaelic dialects put those incorrect lyrics up.that'd make sense when it comes to getting them wrong.

    • profile image

      Frank 4 years ago

      I love this song so much! the version on the trailer is my favorite, it makes me so sad that there isn't an mp3 version out there somewhere... I would pay good money for the complete version! Don't understand why there's resistance to release the full version /:

    • iantoPF profile image

      Peter Freeman 4 years ago from Sunny California

      Hell Frank; Thank you for your comment. I agree with you about the resistance to a full length version, Seems that it's not going to happen despite all the pressure for one.

    • profile image

      Joshua 4 years ago

      The song could quite possibly be to a soldier no? 'To say you will not return' for one has fallen in battle? 'Since you flew away' Signifying death. 'I have no summer' I have no happy days 'I have only winter' its lonely 'since I lost you' I can't bare life without you.

    • profile image

      Tango 22 months ago

      Only two types of people would change the original lyrics to the "brothers over the hill into hell" macho nonsense - those with no experience in leaving or losing a love, or those with no sense of the concept of a warrior poet, who wouldn't be ashamed to sing a song like that while bearing the scars of battle - and love - hundreds of miles from his home.

    • profile image

      Robert 21 months ago

      I wish someone would kickstarter (or whatever) the ODST version so we could have a complete song. Its powerful, and it would be a real shame if it was never finished.

      Some 5 years later

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