Granfer Pearce talking Cornish

Sep 25, 2016, 09:49 PM

Fleghigow dor...’ (1970) Fleghigow dor, merwell an maw a witha Bethalem yma euthig teg y’n chi gan fydh dhe’n truan y’ga gwann. Now, aurevoir, est ce que vrai? ‘Little children of the land (1970) Little children of the land , the death of the lad who guarded Bethlehem. It’s terribly beautiful in the house of our faith to the wretched in their sin. Now, good bye, is that true? ‘Fleghigow dor...’ / ‘Little children of the land (1970) This curious piece of Cornish was handed to Mick Paynter as a sound file by one of his students Alban Roinard. It is a recording of the grandfather of one Gavin Cheshire from Australia. His grandfather John William Pearce made the recording on a domestic tape recorder in about 1970, when he himself was in his 70s. It was a recording of a grace in a language he did not know or understand but which he had learnt parrot fashion from his grandmother. It was used as a grace at table throughout his life. The family at first thought it was Welsh, until speakers ruled it out. The family then discovered that Grandfather Pearce’s paternal grandparents (William Drew Pearce [b.1846] and Elizabeth Collins [b.1846]) had left St Austell for Rochampton, Australia, in 1875. William Drew Pearce worked as a miner who was indentured to the Peak Downs Copper mining company in Central Queensland. The final line (in French) was what he said when saying hello or goodbye to his grandmother. John William Pearce also remembered his grandmother using the terms ‘Eswthaki’ (meaning something like good night) and ‘Bethisto’(meaning something like shut up. Recording courtesy of Gavin Cheshire.