Sunday, 23 August 2009

FIVE ANTHEMS - all together now!

DO you do what Cerys and co suggest you do and thank the Lord (or supreme being of your choice) that you're Welsh each morning? Well, if you do, what better way than with a good hearty rendition of the world's best national anthem? Ok, so the Marseillaise has its moments and South Africa's new one including Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika packs an emotional punch too. Most people probably love their own national anthem, but it's nice to know that, empirically yours is the best, and that's a fact.

Here are five to get you started on your morning Welsh-in.

It wouldn't be right not to include a Millennium Stadium in full song would it, so here's a cracking, and momentous one. Faced with the collective might of Katherine Jenkins, Charlotte Church and Max Boyce, what choice did Ireland have but to hand over the Grand Slam and Triple Crown after this 2005 monster performance - BoD and Co probably wouldn't have even bothered to play if we'd have given em Bryn too. I'm in bits now.

Number two is here because they're one of my favourite bands, and, because it shows a great deal of respect for an English band to learn (Ok, so the lyrics aren't that clear in this home made video) and play the anthem as Half Man Half Biscuit did to lead the crowd at Cardiff's currently closed The Point in a rousing St David's Day rendition segueing into Help Me Rhondda. Four boys who shook the Wirral.

Here's a rousing (they're always rousing, and I can't be bothered with a thesaurus right now - maybe stirring next time) pub singalong led by Hope House Flowers. St David's Day again.

This rather slick version was recorded for the 150th anniversary of the tune.

This is another
rugby one, and it's a private one (and if this is you and you ask me to take it down, I certainly will, although I think you should be very proud), but it seems to say an enormous amount about the passion and pride in being Welsh and I suspect it's a scene repeated in living rooms around this and many other countries - it certainly is when my mum is around (she refuses to watch the match afterwards because she can't take the tension and is convinced she is cursing the team in some way).

What do you think? Can you do better? This part of Welsh Icons is toying with the idea of a competition to find newer and better versions of Mae Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau - wheres the bedroom electronica version, we know from Martin Davies there's a Hendrix style version out there - if you've got a new take on it let us know at


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