In a recent academic study which looked to measure "sing-ability" of patriotic songs, a musicologist found people more willing to join in with a chorus from ‘Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau’ than the UK's official anthem, ‘God Save the Queen’, and USA's ‘Star-Spangled Banner’. Musicologist Dr Alisun Pawley conducted the study as part of her PhD at the University of York with Dr Daniel Müllensiefen, a German music psychologist at Goldsmith's, University of London. Le Marseilles came top with our Welsh anthem in second position.
Recently, there has been a lot of discussion in the British media about the status of ‘Hen Wlad fy Nhadau’ with the Tory Minister for Tourism, John Penrose suggesting that ‘Hen Wlad fy Nhadau’ was a ‘song’ rather than an anthem as well as the recent ‘scandal’ of Welsh foot-ballers refusing to sing the so called British ‘anthem’ that of ‘God Save the Queen’ during the Olympic Games.
This is the perfect backdrop to launch an App to learn to sing the Welsh National Anthem! The App was launched in Wales at the time of the National Eisteddfod of Wales in Llandough this year by Member of the European Parliament Jill Evans (Plaid Cymru) and the App is now available in the Apple App store. The singer & political activist Dafydd Iwan will be launching the App in the Casey Ballroom, in the Hilton Hotel, Scranton, Pennsylvania, Friday the 31st of August . It will be an honour to launch the App in America in Scranton in the North American Festival of Wales.
The broadcaster and performer Gwenno Dafydd is very experienced in leading and singing the Welsh National Anthem in numerous public places. As a Welsh Masters International Athlete, she went to the Welsh Amateur Athletics Association in 2010 and suggested to the Chief Executive Matt Newman that a tradition be established to sing the Welsh Anthem during their National Championships. She had the honour of being not only the first singer to do this for the Welsh Championships and Commonwealth Games Trials in Cardiff International Stadium in Leckwith Summer 2010, but also sang it for the second time in the Welsh Championships in 2011.
Gwenno sang the anthem to celebrate local athletes who had represented Wales Internationally in athletics in a ceremony before the Olympic flame came through Fishguard, and also sang the Anthem at the end of the ‘Geovation’ weekend camp competition to create App’s to promote the Welsh Coast Path. Here she was approached by Melinda Russell and invited to sing the anthem on a new App that Melinda from www.mjrsolutions.co.uk was developing at the time.
Gwenno was very keen to share this amazing opportunity with the young and highly talented musician Harri Davies. He has already performed as a soloist on the stage of Saint David’s Hall in the Rememberance Concert in 2011 & recently performed on the Glanfa Stage in the Millenium Centre in Cardiff Bay. All of this whilst just eighteen years of age.
This is the most comprehensive App to learn the anthem available on the market and it contains the following elements:
Gwenno Dafydd singing the Anthem with Harri Davies accompanying on the piano.
Seperate piano accompaniment by Harri Davies.
Harri Davies performing a totally new and fresh version on the acoustic guitar.
A short film with Gwenno Dafydd enunciating the words clearly with sub-titles passing by at the same time.
The words in Welsh with an English translation.
A phonetic version of the words.
Gwenno has a previous family connection with America. One of her great, great, great Uncles, William Bebb, was the 19th Governor of Ohio in 1846 and a park called the ‘Governor Bebb Metro Park’ till exists in Ohio
This is the first song in the ‘Dragon Songs’ series and the second song will be the Saint David’s Day Anthem, ‘Cenwch y Clychau i Dewi’ (Ring out the bells for Saint David) Words: Gwenno Dafydd. Music: Heulwen Thomas.
Gwenno had the idea for a special song, an anthem for Saint David’s Day way back in 2005 when she was taking part in the National Saint David’s Day Parade (NSDDP) and since that time the song has been performed both Wales wide and world wide, in Toronto, Ontario, Los Angeles, Patagonia, Disneyland Paris, Once in Llandaff Cathedral, Twice in the Houses of Parliament, Three times in Saint David’s Cathedral, Once in the Brangwyn Hall, Five times in the NSDDP and this year it was performed in both English and Welsh in the All Wales Saint David’s Day Service.She will be singing the Saint David’s Day Anthem and the National Anthem during the American Launch.