ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Music of Wales

Updated on September 5, 2011

The Dragon's Tongue

Land of Song

When most people think of Welsh music they tend to think of male voice choirs, Baritones like Bryn Terfel or, at best, Tom Jones and Charlotte Church. When people think of Celtic music they think of Irish folk bands and Scottish bagpipes. It’s not well known outside of Wales that there is a thriving Welsh language music genre. With this collection of some of my favorites perhaps a wider audience will get the message that Celtic rock is alive, well and thriving in the Land of Song.

Y Profiad

Y Profiad (The Experience) with “Canu y gan” (Sing the Song) Wales is known as “The land of Song” Seems you just can’t stop us singing. This song both celebrates that and is a rallying cry to keep singing in the land of my fathers and the country of my mother. That’s a rough translation of the chorus. Great song and a good way to start this collection.

Meic Stevens

Meic Stevens singing “Ru Sant Michel”

No this is not Rue Sainte Michelle in Paris, Meic is singing in Brittany another Brythonic speaking country in North West France. Ru Sant Michel is in Rennes.

The first time I heard Meic in person was so long ago that neither one of us would like to think about it. He was in a folk group called “Bara ‘menyn” (Bread and butter.) With Heather Jones and Geraint Jarman. I wish I could find their music I would have included it as well.

Elin Fflur

Elin Fflur singing “Harbwr diogel” (Safe haven) It’s a beautiful song where she tells her love that no matter what happens in this world he is still her safe Haven in the storm. Duffy also sings this and though I am a fan of Duffy I believe Elin’s version is better. My opinion but I’m sticking to it.

Dewi Pws

Dewi Morris is usually known as Dewi Pws. A Welsh nickname, don’t ask, I’m not telling. Many years ago I was with my ex at the National Eisteddfod, we walked into a tent and there was a small crowd and Dewi. She blurted out “Dewi piss” Everyone laughed and fair play, so did Dewi. He first became popular with a band called “Tebot Piws” (The purple teapot) He wrote a song that has since become a classic, “Lleucu Llwyd” (Lucy Grey) Here he’s singing one of his nonsense songs “Mawredd mawr” I don’t know how to translate that except maybe, Goodness gracious? So a rough translation of part of the song would be “Goodness Gracious, sit down, someone has stolen my nose” It may not sound much in English but in Welsh it’s bloody hilarious.

Bryn Fon

The guy in the white shirt singing with Dewi in Mawredd mawr is Bryn Fon. Here he is with “Coedwig ar dan” (Trees on fire) I had to include his voice here. This is a modern Welsh balladeer at his best.

The Poxy Boggards

I couldn’t possibly leave this out. My favorite group here in the states is the renaissance singing group known as “The World famous Poxy Boggards” Terrific singers and talented beyond belief. Most of what they sing was written by members of the band but I proudly take credit for introducing them to this song. They put their own enthusiastic spin on it and it has become a popular and much requested song at their gigs. “Sosban fach’ is a song that became the anthem and rugby war cry of my home town of Llanelli. If you want more information on the song look under my Hubs for “Sosban fach.” If you want more information on the Boggards, look under my Hubs for “The Poxy Boggards.”

Meinir Gwilym

Meinir Gwilym singing “’Enaid hoff gytun’ (A shared love soul) It really is a delightful song. There’s a line that I can relate to, it reminds me of when I was totally skint (That means broke without a penny to your name) She sings “There’s lice in the pantry so you know I'm skint” Lovely stuff and typically Welsh to make a happy song out of bad times.

Dafydd Iwan

Dafydd Iwan, the president of Plaid Cymru, the Welsh nationalist party, Singing “Yma o hyd” (We’re still here) Dafydd started folk singing back when he was studying architecture at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth. He was chairman of Cymdeithas Y Iaith Gymraeg, (the Welsh language society) and with many other activists, served some time in prison for civil disobedience during the campaigns to get Welsh speakers the same rights as English speakers. I remember those days fondly. Running from the cops and occasionally stopping to fight them. Oh happy memories. These days my son is a police officer in South Wales and himself a campaigner for better traetment of the old language.. How the world turns.

The Welsh National Anthem

The Welsh national Anthem, at Rugby matches and other informal events only the first verse and chorus are sung. Here is the full anthem. It’s a beautiful song and makes me proud and happy to be Welsh. I wrote an article here on Hubpages about the Anthem, with a translation of the words. I included a little about its origins also. Just look under the Hubs I’ve written for “The Welsh National Anthem

I hope you’ve enjoyed this little journey down the path of Welsh music. As you see the best of Welsh doesn’t get far from our borders because the best is still in the old tongue. There is such life and vitality in our ancient culture but to preserve would be to kill. The language and the music that it informs must continue to grow and develop. May the voices of the people sing forever.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • iantoPF profile imageAUTHOR

      Peter Freeman 

      8 years ago from Pen-Bre, Cymru/Wales

      Hi Margit; Thank you for reading and commenting. A number of my Hubs relate to Wales including Hubs on old Welsh legends, it actually helps with the homesickness I get from time to time.

      Next time you and your hubby are out this way drop me a line and we'll say Hello.

      Thanks for the link I will check it out sounds interesting.

    • M Selvey, MSc profile image

      M Selvey, MSc 

      8 years ago from United Kingdom

      ianto, thank you for posting this great introduction to Welsh music! Love it! Since marrying my British husband and moving to England, I have been introduced to beautiful Wales and it has fast become a favourite place to go on holiday. Have longtime been a fan of the north with Snowdonia and Llandudno. Last year, we went to Pembrokeshire and fell in love again! I am originally from Southern Calfornia. Wish we could be there for the Renaissance Faire, would love to say hello to you!

      Best wishes,

      Margit

      P.S. You might find my hub on regional language variations amusing:

      https://hubpages.com/education/How-to-Grow-a-Regio...

    • iantoPF profile imageAUTHOR

      Peter Freeman 

      8 years ago from Pen-Bre, Cymru/Wales

      Ha! r'wyt ti gallu weld ymhell hen ffrind :)

    • profile image

      Matthew Davies 

      8 years ago

      R'wyn cadw fy llygaid arno ti, fy machgen I :~)

    • iantoPF profile imageAUTHOR

      Peter Freeman 

      8 years ago from Pen-Bre, Cymru/Wales

      Manx is still spoken. One of the Goedelic languages it's similar to Irish with some borrowed words from old Norse. Welsh is Brythonic and belongs to a different branch of the Celtic languages.

      What a wonderful idea though. Thank you very much for the inspiration. I just might get to work on that.

    • itakins profile image

      itakins 

      8 years ago from Irl

      Is Manx similar to Irish/welsh or ?.I've never seen it written or heard it spoken-do any of them still speak it over there? To my shame ,I've never gone to the Isle of Man!

      Wouldn't a hub on these different languages be right up your street:)

    • iantoPF profile imageAUTHOR

      Peter Freeman 

      8 years ago from Pen-Bre, Cymru/Wales

      hello itakins; hat is an interetsing phenomenon of our small island. It's not well known outside of the UK, and sometimes within also, that there are 7 languages native to the British Isles. In a small group of islands that can fit into California 4 times we have; English, spoken almost everywhere, Irish in Ireland, Scots-Gaelic in Scotland, manx on the Isle of Man, Welsh in Wales, Cornish in Cornwall and French in the channel islands.

      We have been multi-cultural for 1500 years.

    • iantoPF profile imageAUTHOR

      Peter Freeman 

      8 years ago from Pen-Bre, Cymru/Wales

      Hello Billy; Thanks for reading and thank you for your comments. I've been one of those singing at a rugby game myself. Moving? yes because when I sing people move away.

    • itakins profile image

      itakins 

      8 years ago from Irl

      Fascinating trip as always-I'm still amazed by the lack of similarity in language between our two countries-despite them being so close physically.

      Really enjoyed this trip-I think it's time I popped back for a visit.I love it there.

    • billyaustindillon profile image

      billyaustindillon 

      8 years ago

      Catatonia was one of my favorites from Wales. Create tunes and voice. My parents just love the Welsh choir. I still think a Rugby game a Cardiff Arms is one of the most moving moments when Wales sings.

    • iantoPF profile imageAUTHOR

      Peter Freeman 

      8 years ago from Pen-Bre, Cymru/Wales

      Lady Guinevere; Thank you for being the first to comment on my Hub. Yes absolutely I'll visit yours and make a link. I hope you enjoyed the songs.

    • Lady Guinevere profile image

      Debra Allen 

      8 years ago from West By God

      Thank you so very much for this hub! I am exstatic and over-joyed that someone finally wrote about the other Celts--The Welsh. I have ancestry in Wales and waited for someone to come up with this for so long. I live in the States and have never been to Wales, but I have a longing to be there with all it's wonder and festivities and heritage. You may want to visit my hub and I will link this one to mine as well : http://hubpages.com/hub/My-LEWIS-Genealogy

      Now I will listen to the songs you have included here and feel me drift there as well.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)