Who wrote composed the Welsh National anthem ‘Land of My Fathers’?
The creation of the Welsh national anthem, ‘Land of My Fathers’ (‘Hen Wlad Fy Nhadaum’), was a true family affair. The words were written by Evan James while the music was composed by his son James James, in 1856.
The song became the unofficial Welsh anthem in 1905, when fans sung it at rugby matches, alongside’God Bless the Prince of Wales’ and ‘God Save the Queen‘. However in 1975 sports officials decided that ‘Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau’ should be sung alone.
Although it has never been officially established as a national anthem by law, Land of My Fathers’ is sung at official ceremonies, including the opening of the Welsh Assembly, and at international sporting events, like the Commonwealth Games, where Wales field their own team.
What are the Welsh lyrics to ‘Hen Wlad Fy Nhadaum’?
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.
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.
What are the English lyrics to ‘Land of My Fathers’?
O Land of my fathers, O land of my love,
Dear mother of minstrels who kindle and move,
And hero on hero, who at honour’s proud call,
For freedom their lifeblood let fall.
Country! COUNTRY! O but my heart is with you!
As long as the sea your bulwark shall be,
To Cymru my heart shall be true.
O land of the mountains, the bard’s paradise,
Whose precipice, valleys are fair to my eyes,
Green murmuring forest, far echoing flood
Fire the fancy and quicken the blood
For tho’ the fierce foeman has ravaged your realm,
The old speech of Wales he cannot o’erwhelm,
Our passionate poets to silence command,
Or banish the harp from your strand.
Find more lyrics to the different national anthems here