The Vault: Shirley Bassey’s “Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau” – The Shirley Bassey Show (1976)

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The National Flag of Wales, “Y Ddraig Goch” (The Red Dragon).

This week’s precious jewel from “The Vault” is a lovely video clip of Dame Shirley Bassey singing “Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau“, the national anthem of WalesWe chose to feature this clip because Dame Shirley recently celebrated her  birthday. This video was recorded in 1976 for “The Shirley Bassey Show“,  on location at Harlech Castle in Wales  Dame Shirley is accompanied by the Cor y Brythoniaid Male Voice Choir, whom we featured in an earlier blog post, “Living“. Her’s is an amazing rendition of this song, especially since Dame Shirley speaks little or no  Welsh.

Though she now calls Monte Carlo home, Dame Shirley was born and raised in Wales. She left home at age 16 to pursue her musical career. While her career reached its zenith, and she became a tax exile, Dame Shirley was rarely able to visit her homeland. She did, however, return when she could to see her mother, who eventually passed away in 1981.

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Dame Shirley Bassey performing during the 1999 Rugby World Cup in Wales, wearing her famous “Welsh Flag Dress”.

Dame Shirley has supported a number of Welsh charities over the years, especially those that work to benefit her hometown, Cardiff. Dame Shirley has always supported efforts to raise Wales‘ profile, whether it be a benefit concert, the opening of a new public venue, or participating in the opening ceremonies of a major international event e.g., the 1999 Rugby World Cup: Do enjoy this special treat!

Video courtesy of YouTube channel sas9023055

Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau (Welsh Lyrics)
Written in 1856 By Evan James and James James

(Pennill Cyntaf – First stanza)
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.

(Cytgan – Chorus)
Gwlad, gwlad, pleidiol wyf i’m gwlad.
Tra môr yn fur i’r bur hoff bau,
O bydded i’r hen iaith barhau.

(Ail Bennill – Second stanza)
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 mi.

(Cytgan – Chorus)

(Trydydd Pennill – Third stanza)
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.
(Cytgan – Chorus)

English Translation

The old land of my fathers is dear to me,
Land of bards and singers, famous men of renown;
Her brave warriors, very splendid patriots,
For freedom shed their blood.

Chorus:
Nation [or country], Nation, I am faithful to my Nation.
While the sea [is] a wall to the pure, most loved land,
O may the old language [sc. Cymraeg] endure.

Old mountainous Wales, paradise of the bard,
Every valley, every cliff, to my look is beautiful.
Through patriotic feeling, so charming is the murmur
Of her brooks, rivers, to me.

(Chorus)

If the enemy oppresses my land under his foot,
The old language of the Welsh is as alive as ever.
The muse is not hindered by the hideous hand of treason,
Nor [is] the melodious harp of my country.

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