Mae hen wlad fy nhadau yn annwyl i mi
The old land of my fathers is dear unto me. What a pessimistic line in which to start any song or verse. The simple use of the word ‘old’ screams pessimism – a theme carried through the entirety of this Welsh metric poetry set to music. And do we really need to state how ‘dear’ a nation is to us? Should that not be common knowledge that the inhabitants of a land consider it special to them?
Gwlad beirdd a chantorion enwogion o fri
A land of poets and singers, those are renowned. Slightly backwards, don’t ya’ think? The middle ages saw poetry and singing as real and prestigious areas of employment. The land-owner’s singers and bards were held on pedestals. They were the journalists and entertainers we see today – except poets didn’t lie and singers didn’t fall over clutching their faces after tripping over a daisy. But today the world has changed – and even I cast shadows over even the most traditional of pastimes such as religion etc – something that was, and still is, strong amongst our hills.
Ein gwrol ryfelwyr gwladgarwyr tra mad
Our brave warriors patriots to the core. Again with the backwards-ness. Fine, our soldiers were brave but that’s about it. The Welsh lost many an important battle on the grounds that they were traitors to one another and lacked the cutting edge prowess of being actually skilled in combat. Wales, in her youth, never needed to know what fighting was until our fields were plundered by Italian and Danish pillagers. This would later continue from the English. But at least we love our land, huh?
Tros ryddid gollasant eu gwaed
For freedom they lost their blood. What bloody freedom? Our judicial system has been in unison with that of the foreigners from next door since the mid-sixteenth century and as much as we are led to believe that our lands are becoming more free by the day (due to increased use of (aka sympathy towards) the Welsh language and increased law-making powers down in the Senedd), Wales will for a long time be coupled with England. Even the bloody cricket is corrupt! So, yes, maybe these ‘brave’ warriors did lose their blood…. But for what? Ask me later.
Gwlad, gwlad, pleidiol wyf i’m gwlad
Nation, nation, devoted I am to my nation. I suppose I’d best begin with an explanation of my Welsh translation here. Gwlad does not equate to the English term ‘nation’ as wholly as a lazy translator would like. It means that piece of field or hillock below the skies of the past, present and future. The grass where events unfolded that shaped our present. The rivers that will run into our futures. The animals and plants, flora et fauna, held in esteem by Hywel Dda.
But we are not devoted. We do not vote for our nation. We do not follow our football team. We do not speak our language nor defend our homes. Devotion? Bol***ks!
Tra môr yn fur i’r bur hoff bau
While the sea is a barrier to this favourable patch. Ok number one, to whom is this land favourable? Its mountainous (and largely monotonous) nature makes it inadequately inaccessible to farmers and because of whom, for some reason, Wales is renowned and stereotypically mocked. The beauty, where it can be found, are simply breeding grounds for alien settlers who care not about our culture. Number two, fat lot of good the barrier of the sea is doing – we’ve all heard the story of Cantre’r Gwaelod.
O bydded i’r heniaith barhau
Oh let the old language continue. Now one could take this with their glasses half full and say that this line gives hope to the ancient speech of our forefathers. The pessimist may argue that the choice of wording [parhau] to mean ‘endure’ as well as to ‘continue’ suggests that our native tongue is destined to endure hardship and ill-treatment for it’s entirety, which according to studies, should terminate within the century.
Conservative John Penrose recently came out with this:
“Officially, God Save The Queen is the royal and national anthem of the United Kingdom and the royal anthem of all four of the constituent countries…. In addition, each country within the United Kingdom may quite properly have national songs, but none is an official national anthem….”
How about you p**s off, you royalist, bigoted, philistine, English oaf. You epitomise the conservative drivel where it is correct to lie about standing for a liberal and united kingdom, yet will not accept anyone else unless they are apologetic towards the English, plundering, corrupt monarchy and/or they have more than £400,000 in their Manx back accounts.
My anthem may be lyrically and post-‘modernly’ flawed, but it is food for my soul. Fire for my heart. Pride in my veins and power to my being. And my word, it doesn’t half bring a tear to my eye.
O bydded i’r anthem a’r wyneb gwenu barhau…. 🙂