Friday, January 20, 2006

Sir Tom Jones: Welsh Icon

Patient: Doctor, I can't sleep. Everytime I lay on my left I hear 'The Green Green Grass of Home,' and when I lay on my right, I hear 'Delilah.'

Doctor: I'm afraid you have a case of Tom Jones Fever.

Patient: Tom Jones Fever? Is that common?

Doctor: It's not unusual.

I'm brooding about Welshness, because I need a bone to gnaw in the run up to Wales' away game (as reigning Grand Slam champions) against England in a couple of weeks. In this fragile state, just about the last thing that I need to read is the headline "Welsh icons? They're all foreigners" on a site describing itself as the 'The National Website of Wales".

The provisional gloss that I have decided to put on this challenge for the time being is that the modern Welsh are in essence an aspirational, non-exclusive ethnic group, membership of which is open to anyone supporting fifteen men in red when they run out at Twickenham on Feb 4, and a superset of the honoured speakers of the Brythonic branch of Celtic spoken natively in the western part of Britain known as Cymru, and in the Chubut Valley, a Welsh immigrant colony in the Patagonia region of Argentina.

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