Yr Anthem Genedlaethol Cymru...The National Anthem of Wales. Featured on a video production company's blog?! How odd you may say!
Well, we claim more than a tenuous link as we were very pleased to make two videos to celebrate Cymru (Wales) reaching the finals of Euro 2020, for our valued client Menter Iaith Fflint a Wrecsam (translation: "Flint and Wrexham's Language Initiative"), with one of the videos having the anthem at its heart. You can view the two videos at the bottom of this blog.
The other reason for this blog? Well, Cymru are in the last 16 of Euro 2020!
We know how passionate so many people in Wales are about their country, but we also know that a number of those people don't fully know the national anthem, and many of them would love to know it better. So that's what this blog is for.
Now, even amongst those that know our anthem there will be those (perhaps many) who are unaware that there are in fact three verses to the anthem, rather than just the one verse and the chorus that we're used to hearing/singing before international football (and rugby, etc) matches. All three verses are featured in the video below. But here, we'll just focus on the main verse and the chorus. We'll see the words as they're written, we'll try to express the pronunciation for those only familiar with English language phonetics, and we'll translate each line for those unable to read and understand written Cymraeg. That way, it'll be possible to learn the anthem and also know what you're singing about, even if your Welsh language skills aren't quite up to it. Here we go, first let's see the anthem as written...
Yr Anthem Cenedlaethol Cymru - The National Anthem of Wales
Mae hen wlad fy nhadau yn annwyl i mi,
Gwlad beirdd a chantorion, enwogion o fri;
Ei gwrol ryfelwyr, gwladgarwyr tra mad,
Dros ryddid collasant eu gwaed.
Gwlad! Gwlad! Pleidiol wyf i'm gwlad.
Tra môr yn fur i'r bur hoff bau,
O bydded i'r hen iaith barhau.
Now let's take a look at each line in turn...
(English language phonetics in square brackets, translation into English in italics, key words underneath)
Mae hen wlad fy nhadau yn annwyl i mi
[my hay'n oo-lad vun-had-eye unn ann-will ee mee]
"The old land of my fathers is dear to me"
> hen = old > gwlad = country/land - mutation (treiglad) causes the 'g' to be dropped > tadau = fathers - mutation causes "tadau" to change to "nhadau" > annwyl = dear > i mi = to me
Gwlad beirdd a chantorion, enwogion o fri
[goo-lad bay-rthe a chan-torr-ey-onn, enwog-ee-onn oh vree] - 'ch' is like in a Scottish "loch"
"Land of poets and singers, famous people of prestige" > bardd = poet; beirdd = poets
> a = and > cantor = singer; cantorion = singers; mutation causes the 'c' to change to 'ch' > bri = prestige; mutates to ' fri'
Ei gwrol ryfelwyr, gwladgarwyr tra mad
[eh-y goo-rol ruv-ell-wee-r, goo-lad-garr-wee-r tr-ah mad]
"Its brave warriors, splendid patriots"
> ei = his/her/its
> gwrol = brave
> rhyfelwr = warrier; rhyfelwyr = warrier (note: rhyfel = war)
> gwladgarwr = patriot; gwladgarwyr = patriots (note: gwlad = country)
Dros ryddid collasant eu gwaed
[dross ruthe-id cotl-ass-ant eh-y g-why-d]
"For freedom they lost their blood"
> dros = across/for
> rhyddid = freedom - (note: rhydd = free)
> colli = lose
> eu = their
> gwaed = blood
Gwlad! Gwlad! Pleidiol wyf i'm gwlad
[goo-lad! goo-lad! Play-dee-ol woo-v eem goo-lad]
"Country! Country! I'm in favour of my country"
Tra môr yn fur i'r bur hoff bau
[trah more unn veer ear beer hoff bye]
"While the sea is a wall to the pure favourite domain"
> môr = sea
> pur = pure - mutated to 'fur'
> i = to
> yr = the ('i yr' shortened to 'i'r)
> hoff = favourite
> pau = domain - mutated to 'bau'
O bydded i'r hen iaith barhau
[o buthe-ead eer hay'n ee-eye-th bar-high]
"Oh will the old language continue"
> iaith = language
> parhau = continue
For completeness, here are the other two verses...
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 tan ei droed,
Mae hen iaith y Cymry mor fyw ag erioed,
Ni luddiwyd yr awen gan erchyll law brad,
Na thelyn berseiniol fy ngwlad.
But if you know the first verse and the chorus you'll be all set for the pre-match atmosphere!
Now listen to Moli Williams' beautiful recitation of the whole anthem, with dramatic music and images!
And here's our other Euro 2020 video...
That only leaves us to say...C'MON CYMRU!!! 😀