Mae hen wlad fy nhadau yn annwyl i mi,
Gwlad beirdd a chantorion, enwogion o fri;
Ei gwrol ryfelwyr, gwladgarwyr tra mâd,
Tros ryddid gollasant eu gwaed.

Gwlad, Gwlad, pleidiol wyf i’m gwlad,
Tra môr yn fur i’r bur hoff bau,
O bydded i’r heniaith barhau.

Hen Gymru fynyddig, paradwys y bardd,
Pob dyffryn, pob clogwyn, i’m golwg sydd hardd;
Trwy deimlad gwladgarol, mor swynol yw si
Ei nentydd, afonydd, i mi.

Os treisiodd y gelyn fy ngwlad dan ei droed,
Mae hen iaith y Cymry mor fyw ag erioed,
Ni luddiwyd yr awen gan erchyll law brad,
Na thelyn berseiniol fy ngwlad.


(In English)

The old land of my fathers is dear to me,
A land of poets and singers, famous people of renown
Its brave warriors, great patriots,
For freedom they lost their blood

Country, country, I’m partial to my country,
While the sea is a wall for the pure, dear country,
O may the “old language” continue

Old mountainous Wales, paradise of the poet,
Every valley, every cliff is beautiful in my sight;
Through patriotic feeling, more enchanting is the murmur
Of her streams and rivers to me.

If the enemy violated my country underfoot,
The “old language” of the Welsh is alive as ever,
The spirit wasn’t hindered by the awful, treacherous hand
Nor the sweet harp of my country.

“Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau” (Welsh pronunciation: [heːn ˈulaːd vəˈn̥adaɨ]), usually translated as “Land of My Fathers”, is, by tradition, the national anthem of Wales. The words were written by Evan James and the tune composed by his son, James James, both residents of Pontypridd, Glamorgan, in January 1856. The earliest written copy survives and is part of the collections of the National Library of Wales.

Glan Rhondda (Banks of the Rhondda), as it was known when it was composed, was first performed in the vestry of the original Capel Tabor, Maesteg, (which later became a Workingmen’s Club), in either January or February 1856, by Elizabeth John from Pontypridd, and it soon became popular in the locality.

James James, the composer, was a harpist who played his instrument in the public house he ran, for the purpose of dancing. The song was originally intended to be performed in 6/8 time, but had to be slowed down to its present rhythm when it began to be sung by large crowds.

The popularity of the song increased after the Llangollen Eisteddfod of 1858. Thomas Llewelyn of Aberdare won a competition for an unpublished collection of Welsh airs with a collection that included Glan Rhondda. The adjudicator of the competition, “Owain Alaw” (John Owen, 1821-1883) asked for permission to include Glan Rhondda in his publication, Gems of Welsh melody (1860-64). This volume gave Glan Rhondda its more famous title, Hen wlad fy nhadau, and was sold in large quantities and ensured the popularity of the national anthem across the whole of Wales.

At the Bangor Eisteddfod of 1874 Hen Wlad fy Nhadau gained further popularity when it was sung by Robert Rees (“Eos Morlais”), one of the leading Welsh soloists of his day. It was increasingly sung at patriotic gatherings and gradually it developed into a national anthem.

Hen wlad fy nhadau was also one of the first Welsh-language songs recorded when Madge Breese sang it on 11 March 1899, for the Gramophone Company, as part of the first recording in the Welsh language.
[edit] National anthem

Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau has been established as the Welsh National Anthem by tradition over a hundred years; and although in common with other British anthems, it has not been established as such by law, it has been used in the context of a national anthem at official governmental ceremonies including the opening of the Welsh Assembly and at receptions of the British monarchy. It is recognised and used as an anthem at both national and local events in Wales. Usually this will be the only anthem sung, such as at national sporting events, and it will be sung only in Welsh using the first stanza and refrain. On most official occasions, especially those with royal connections, it is used in conjunction with the national anthem of the United Kingdom, God Save the Queen. Before the main terrestrial channels began 24-hour broadcasting, BBC Wales played the Chorus of Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau at the closedown, followed by the first three lines of God Save the Queen. Whereas HTV Wales played the full version of Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau and then God Save the Queen.

The existence of a separate national anthem for Wales has not always been apparent to those from outside the country. In 1993 the newly-appointed Secretary of State for Wales John Redwood was embarrassingly videotaped opening and closing his mouth during a communal singing of the national anthem, clearly ignorant of the words but unable to mime convincingly; the pictures were frequently cited as evidence of his unsuitability for the post. According to John Major’s autobiography, the first thing Redwood’s successor William Hague said, on being appointed, was that he had better find someone to teach him the words. He found Ffion Jenkins, and later married her.

Versions of Hen Wlad fy Nhadau are used as anthems in both Cornwall, as Bro Goth Agan Tasow, and in Brittany, as Bro Gozh ma Zadoù.