Norm Walker

Llewelyn and Gelert

© words and music by Norman G. Walker SOCAN

The fire now is slowing, with coals softly glowing
'Tis time for a story of long long ago
A tale of great sorrow but hope for the morrow
So lend me your ears as the story now flows
His name was Llewelyn, in Wales he was dwellin'
A prince and a hunter and a warrior so bold
He took as his bride a young princess from England
A beautiful maiden, her name it was Joan.

Her father then gave them his most prized possession
A greyhound named Gelert, a dog of great worth
He could run like the wind, was a brave and loyal friend
Was a noble companion at hunt and at hearth
Now Joan bore a baby, a son to Llewelyn
A prize and delight to his parents' great joy
And Gelert soon too took his part in the pleasure
He'd sleep by the cradle and watch over the boy.

Llewelyn blew his horn one fine summer's morning
For hunting was his pleasure and his dog would come too
But Gelert in the hall never answered the calling
So Llewelyn went hunting with one dog too few 
But upon his return, no success in the greenwood
He was tired and angry that his dog did not come
By Gelert he was greeted, all blood head to his feet
Said Llewelyn to Gelert, "What deed hast thou done?"

The blood trail of doom led to the baby's chamber
An overturned cradle in a crimson red pool
Then Gelert did whine though for the last time
For Llewelyn's great anger was swift and was cruel
"Thou monstrous beast on my son thou wast feasting"
He slew Gelert swiftly one strike from his sword
The greyhound did yelp, as the stories all telling
He gazed at his master, his life from him poured.

Then came another cry from under the cradle
The baby awakened, unharmed and alone
And not far away, was a dead wolf a laying
And Gelert the hero was still on the stone
So the dog was then buried by a stone called "Bedd Gelert"
For centuries after the story was told
Of a great canine hero and a judgement too hasty
And the burden of guilt for Llewelyn to hold.


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