Darwin's favourite tune

Reminiscing about his father, Charles Darwin's son Francis wrote:

In the evening, that is, after he had read as much as his strength would allow, and before the reading aloud began, he would often lie on the sofa and listen to my mother playing the piano. He had not a good ear, yet in spite of this he had a true love of fine music. He used to lament that his enjoyment of music had become dulled with age, yet within my recollection his love of a good tune was strong. I never heard him hum more than one tune, the Welsh song "Ar hyd y nos," which he went through correctly;

Ar hyd y nos—better known to us heathen English as All Through the Night—is a classic Welsh folk tune. Perhaps Darwin was familiar with it having been brought up near the Welsh border.

Happy 201st birthday, Mr D.

Iechyd da!

Richard Carter, FCD

Writer and photographer Richard Carter, FCD is the founder of the Friends of Charles Darwin. He lives in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire.WebsiteFacebookTwitterNewsletterBooks

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