Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau
Today marks the start of this season’s RBS Six Nations Rugby, which kicks off at 7.45pm at the Millennium Stadium here in Cardiff with Wales versus England. The town will be buzzing in the evening, overrun with rugby fans in various states of drunkenness but with that extra special atmosphere that makes this such a fantastic place to be on such occasions, even if you’re not in the ground. It promises to be a bit chaotic, but it’s always an extra special day in Cardiff when the old adversaries meet. I’m going to head off home slightly earlier than usual in order to avoid the crush and to get home in time to watch the match on TV.
The Six Nations is a difficult competition to predict, at least in terms of the results of the rugby games, but there’s one battle whose outcome you can bet your bottom dollar on, and that’s the crowd singing which is always won by the Welsh. I’ll probably be able to hear all the way from my house.
Get a load of this example, from a few years ago which at least gives some idea what I’m talking about. This is the stirring Welsh National Anthem Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau (Land of My Fathers). And if you feel like singing along, here are the lyrics (in Welsh, of course):
Mae hen wlad fy nhadau yn annwyl i mi,
Gwlad beirdd a chantorion, enwogion o fri;
Ei gwrol ryfelwyr, gwladgarwyr tra mâd,
Tros ryddid gollasant eu gwaed.
Gwlad, Gwlad, pleidiol wyf i’m gwlad,
Tra môr yn fur i’r bur hoff bau,
O bydded i’r heniaith barhau.
Hen Gymru fynyddig, paradwys y bardd;
Pob dyffryn, pob clogwyn, i’m golwg sydd hardd
Trwy deimlad gwladgarol, mor swynol yw si
Ei nentydd, afonydd, i fi.
Os treisiodd y gelyn fy ngwlad dan ei droed,
Mae hen iaith y Cymry mor fyw ag erioed,
Ni luddiwyd yr awen gan erchyll law brad,
Na thelyn berseiniol fy ngwlad.