Sunday, April 09, 2006

Land of my Fathers

I demand that you listen as Bryn Terfel delves into the history of one of the most stirring national anthems in the world, Land of My Fathers.

The words were written by Pontypridd weaver Evan James beside the river Rhondda, and set to music by his son James on a harp in 1856. Some 50 years later, it became the secret weapon that helped to defeat the all-conquering 1905 All Blacks, and in doing so became the first national anthem to be sung at an international rugby match.

Many anthems express the desire to slaughter enemies. Land of My Fathers expresses a love of home and the hope that Wales and its language will live forever. Bryn concludes that Land of My Fathers is the greatest national anthem in the world...ever."
Listen and learn Wales' lesson to the world: limitless self assertion coupled with hugeness of heart. Hence, "our anthem is the finest in the world by a long chalk" is married with "it doesn't matter if you don't understand the words".

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