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For The Benefit Of Us Welsh-types
Posted 01 March 2004 - 04:18 AM
(Not being a real welsh speaker - this is supposed to say Happy St David's Day!)
Posted 01 March 2004 - 07:10 AM
Happy St Davids Day to you and any other Welsh SEOs.
Posted 01 March 2004 - 08:30 AM
So from Canada, happy St. David's Day to all Welsh men and women.
Posted 01 March 2004 - 09:05 AM
It will give you the jist
Wales, although part of the UK, is a country in its own right, as is Scotland, England & Ireland.
We have our own national anthem, translated from Welsh it means something like:-
The old land of my fathers is dear to me,
Land of poets and singers, famous men of renown;
Her brave warriors, very good patriots,
For freedom shed their blood.
Land, land, I'm for my land.
While the sea is a wall to the pure, dear country,
O let the old language [sc. Welsh] continue.
Old mountainous Wales, paradise of the poets,
Every valley, every cliff is beautiful to my sight.
Through patriotic feeling, so charming is the murmur
Of her brooks, rivers, to me.
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.
<edit note> the part that says 'lnd land' is a translation of Gwlad, Gwlad, which really means something along the lines of ' my land or my home, or the place where i belong and love the most'
Posted 01 March 2004 - 12:08 PM
I don't know any modern Welsh except for a silly song that my Middle Welsh professor (who did the translation below) made us sing-- there were only three of us in the class and I was the only one who wasn't tone-deaf, and it was something about a cuckoo (spelled, of course, cwcw, pronounced "cuckoo") and how beautiful the land was... I still get it stuck in my head sometimes. Aw, dangit, there it is. Cwcw! Cwcw! Cwcw!
But anyway. Suffice to say, the language is fascinating and perhaps someday I'll manage to visit. I know next to nothing about the country's language or history after about 1500, but I have to say that the medieval Marwnad Llywelyn, The Lament For Llywelyn, is probably the most beautiful thing I've ever read. It was composed after the death of the last prince of Aberffraw at the hands of the Saxons, and is just the most moving tribute to a vanishing way of life I've ever read. I've no doubt the history of the country is a troubled and long one. The poetry is fabulous. And in the original Welsh, this all alliterates and rhymes. (Pony welwch chwi hynt y gwynt ar glaw? / Pony welwch chi'r derw yn ymdaraw?)
Do you not see the course of the wind and the rain?
Do you not see the oaktrees lashing each other?
Do you not see the sea injuring the land?
Do you not see the Truth arming itself?
Do you not see the sun sailing the air?
Do you not see the stars having fallen?
Do you not believe in God, you mad men?
Do you not see the world having fallen into peril?
Ah, God! towards You: that the sea would drench the land!
What is left us that we should linger?
There is no place to hide from the prison of fear.
There is no place to stay-- alas the staying!
There is neither counsel nor lock nor opening
Nor one way to be rid of fear's sad counsel.
All households were faithful to him.
All warriors defended him.
All the brave swore by his hand.
All lords, all lands were his.
All counties, all towns are violated.
All families, all clans are collapsing.
All the weak, all the strong were kept safe in his hand.
All children howl in their cradles.
(Stanzas 7 and 8 of a ten-stanza poem. Orig. text composed by Gruffydd ab yr Ynad Coch, preserved in the Red Book of Hergest ca. 1425. Translation by Sarah Lynn Higley, published 1988 in volume 19 of Viator, a journal of medieval and renaissance studies under the auspices of the University of California, Los Angeles.)
Posted 01 March 2004 - 01:20 PM
OWG - ya brought a tear to my eye! Bit like the rugby did a week last saturday!
I tell you what was funny, on Radio 1 this morning (bear with me non-Radio 1 listners), Chris Moyles played a Jingle all in Welsh!
Oh, yes, and when I logged onto my bank today, it too had a little dafodil popping up and a banner that read "Happy St David's Day" - oh joy!
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