What is 'Men of Harlech'?

There aren't many Welsh songs as important to the Welsh national pride and culture than 'Men of Harlech'. As well as being a regimental march used by the British Army and Commonwealth regiments associated with Wales and often played at remembrance ceremonies, it is also a Welsh patriotic song and sung loudly and proudly at many sporting events such as the rugby and football.


What is the song 'Men of Harlech' about and why is it important to Wales?

The song 'Men of Harlech' is said to tell the story of the seven-year siege of Harlech Castle during the War of The Roses. However, and perhaps more crucially for the Welsh, it has also been associated with 1408 siege of Harlech Castle when Welsh leader Owain Glyndŵr and his troops tried to hold out against the future Henry V of England. A story about the fight against the English and the need for self-determination that still evokes the same sentiment today.

When was 'Men of Harlech' first composed?

Its earliest record of the published tune is during 1794 when it was published without words in the second edition of The Musical and Poetical Relicks of the Welsh Bards, while the words were first published in 1830.

What are the lyrics to 'Men of Harlech'?

There are many different versions of Men of Harlech. Here are the English lyrics that were published in 1873

Men of Harlech, march to glory,
Victory is hov'ring o'er ye,
Bright-eyed freedom stands before ye,
Hear ye not her call?
At your sloth she seems to wonder;
Rend the sluggish bonds asunder,
Let the war-cry's deaf'ning thunder
Every foe appall.

Echoes loudly waking,
Hill and valley shaking;
'Till the sound spreads wide around,
The Saxon's courage breaking;
Your foes on every side assailing,
Forward press with heart unfailing,
'Till invaders learn with quailing,
Cambria ne'er can yield!

Thou, who noble Cambria wrongest,
Know that freedom's cause is strongest,
Freedom's courage lasts the longest,
Ending but with death!
Freedom countless hosts can scatter,
Freedom stoutest mail can shatter,
Freedom thickest walls can batter,
Fate is in her breath.

See, they now are flying!
Dead are heap'd with dying!
Over might hath triumph'd right,
Our land to foes denying;
Upon their soil we never sought them,
Love of conquest hither brought them,
But this lesson we have taught them,
"Cambria ne'er can yield!"

What are the Welsh lyrics to 'Men of Harlech'?

Wele goelcerth wen yn fflamio
A thafodau tân yn bloeddio
Ar i'r dewrion ddod i daro
Unwaith eto'n un
Gan fanllefau tywysogion
Llais gelynion, trwst arfogion
A charlamiad y marchogion
Craig ar graig a gryn.

Arfon byth ni orfydd
Cenir yn dragywydd
Cymru fydd fel Cymru fu
Yn glodfawr ym mysg gwledydd.
Yng ngwyn oleuni'r goelcerth acw
Tros wefusau Cymro'n marw
Annibyniaeth sydd yn galw
Am ei dewraf ddyn.

Ni chaiff gelyn ladd ac ymlid
Harlech! Harlech! cwyd i'w herlid
Y mae Rhoddwr mawr ein Rhyddid
Yn rhoi nerth i ni.
Wele Gymru a'i byddinoedd
Yn ymdywallt o'r mynyddoedd!
Rhuthrant fel rhaeadrau dyfroedd
Llamant fel y lli!

Llwyddiant i'n marchogion
Rwystro gledd yr estron!
Gwybod yn ei galon gaiff
Fel bratha cleddyf Brython
Y cledd yn erbyn cledd a chwery
Dur yn erbyn dur a dery
Wele faner Gwalia'i fyny
Rhyddid aiff â hi!

What are the lyrics to the regimental marches?

Here are the regimental lyrics

Tongues of fire on Idris flaring,
News of foemen near declaring,
To heroic deeds of daring,
Call you, Harlech men.

Groans of wounded peasants dying,
Wails of wives and children flying,
For the distant succour crying,
Call you, Harlech Men.

Shall the voice of wailing,
Now be unavailing,
You to rouse, who never yet
In battle's hour were failing?
This our answer, crowds down pouring,
Swift as winter torrents roaring.
Not in vain the voice imploring
Calls on Harlech men.

Loud the martial pipes are sounding,
Every manly heart is bounding,
As our trusted chief surrounding,
March we, Harlech men.

Short the sleep the foe is taking;
Ere the morrow's morn is breaking,
They shall have a rude awakening,
Roused by Harlech Men.


Mothers, cease your weeping,
Calm may be your sleeping,
You and yours in safety now,
The Harlech men are keeping.
Ere the sun is high in heaven,
They you fear, by panic riven,
Shall, like frightened sheep, be driven,
Far, by Harlech men.