Deliow Sevi


Deliow Sevi



The lyrics were written down by the Cornish language scholar Thomas Tonkin as sung to him in 1698 by a friend and relative, Edward Chirgwin. Tonkin’s original manuscripts are now kept at the Royal Institution of Cornwall Museum in Truro. The similarity between Welsh and Cornish resulted in the song being published in collection called “Musical and Poetical Relicks of the Welsh Bards” edited by Edward Jones in 1794. It also appeared in a collection published by Harold Boulton in 1893 called “Songs of the Four Nations”. In both books the song was published incomplete with verses 3 – 6 being omitted presumably because of the delightful innuendo.

Cornish singer Brenda had no such inhibitions. She recorded versions of Delyow Sevy on two albums and was always careful to give a detailed explanation of the meaning of the Cornish words during stage performances. Brenda was a great friend of the Cornish opera singer Ben Luxon and whenever the opportunity arose, they would sing Delyow Sevi as a dialogue. By the time Brenda added some mime, the song no longer needed interpretation for non-Cornish speaking audiences! See Video





Deliow Sevi

Cite As

“Deliow Sevi,” An Daras, accessed July 5, 2022,

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