Calon Lân

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"Calon Lân" (Welsh for 'A Pure Heart') is a Welsh song, the words of which were written in the 1890s by Daniel James (Gwyrosydd) and sung to a tune by John Hughes.[1] The song was originally written as a hymn,[2] but has become firmly established as a rugby anthem, associated with the Welsh rugby union, being sung before almost every Test match involving the Welsh national team – though more likely to be heard sung at matches involving the Welsh football team in recent years. In 2007 the song was one of the traditional Welsh songs to make it to the screen in an S4C television series Codi Canu, an attempt to bring traditional four-part harmony choral singing back to the Welsh rugby terraces.[citation needed]

The opening few bars of Calon Lân, sung by Stuart Burrows

In 2012, the Welsh group Only Boys Aloud sang "Calon Lân" on the British ITV show Britain's Got Talent, coming third in the final.[3] It has since become the most watched Welsh-language video on You Tube.[citation needed]

"Calon Lân" is unusual among the most popular Welsh traditional songs in that an English-language version of the words is virtually never sung (unlike, for example, Cwm Rhondda)[citation needed], but the tune does appear, for example, in the British Methodist hymn book Hymns and Psalms,[4] set to the lyrics of "I will Sing the Wondrous Story" by P. P. Bliss.[citation needed] The English singing translation by Rees Harris (1874–1954) appeared in The Abingdon Song Book in 1937.[5]

A Spanish-language version of the song exists,[6] sung mostly by Welsh Argentines in Y Wladfa, the former Welsh colony in Patagonia.[7]

On 10 September 2019, the song was sung in the UK House of Commons by Plaid Cymru and Welsh Labour members of parliament who were protesting about Brexit and the prorogation controversy.[8]

The Calon Lân Centre is based at Mynyddbach Chapel, the burial place of Daniel James. The chapel and grounds were at the point of dereliction until 2011 but have been restored.[9]

Lyrics[edit]

Nid wy'n gofyn bywyd moethus,
Aur y byd na'i berlau mân:
Gofyn wyf am galon hapus,
Calon onest, calon lân.

Calon lân yn llawn daioni,
Tecach yw na'r lili dlos:
Dim ond calon lân all ganu,
Canu'r dydd a chanu'r nos.

Pe dymunwn olud bydol,
Hedyn buan ganddo sydd;
Golud calon lân, rinweddol,
Yn dwyn bythol elw fydd.

Hwyr a bore fy nymuniad
Gwyd i'r nef ar adain cân
Ar i Dduw, er mwyn fy Ngheidwad,
Roddi i mi galon lân.

I don't ask for a luxurious life,
the world's gold or its fine pearls,
I ask for a happy heart,
an honest heart, a pure heart.

A pure heart full of goodness
Is fairer than the pretty lily,
None but a pure heart can sing,
Sing in the day and sing in the night.

If I wished for worldly wealth,
It would swiftly go to seed;
The riches of a virtuous, pure heart
Will bear eternal profit.

Evening and morning, my wish
Rising to heaven on the wing of song
For God, for the sake of my Saviour,
To give me a pure heart.

Alternative words in the Welsh version:

  • Verse 1, line 3: Gofyn wyf am fywyd hapus
  • Verse 2, line 2: Chwim adenydd iddo sydd
  • Verse 3, line 2: Esgyn ar adenydd cân
  • Chorus, line 3: Does ond calon lân all ganu

Music[edit]


{ \new PianoStaff <<
    \language "english"
  \new Staff << 
    \new Voice \relative c' { \set Score.tempoHideNote = ##t \tempo 4 = 80 \voiceOne \clef treble \key bf \major \time 3/4 
     \partial 8*2 
  f8 bf d4. bf8 c d bf4 f
  g8 a bf4. g8 ef' d d4( c) \bar "" \break
  f,8 bf d4. bf8 c d bf4 g
  bf8 a16( g) f4. bf8 bf a bf2 \bar "" \break
    d8. bf16 f'4. d8 c bf bf4 a
    c8. d16 ef4. ef8 d c d2 \bar "" \break
    f,8 f g4. g8 a a bf4 c
    bf8 c d4. bf8 c16( bf) a8 bf2 
 } 
      \addlyrics {\set stanza = #"1. "
  Nid wy'n go -- fyn by -- wyd moe -- thus,
  Aur y byd na'i ber -- lau mân:
  Go -- fyn wyf am ga -- lon ha -- pus,
  Ca -- lon on -- est, ca -- lon lân.
 }
      \addlyrics {\set stanza = #"2. "
  Pe dym -- u -- nwn o -- lud by -- dol,
  He -- dyn bu -- an gan -- ddo sydd;
  Go -- lud ca -- lon lân, rin -- we -- ddol,
  Yn dwyn by -- thol el -- w fydd.
    Ca -- lon lân yn llawn dai -- o -- ni,
    Te -- cach yw na'r li -- li dlos:
    Dim ond ca -- lon lân all ga -- nu
    Ca -- nu'r dydd a cha -- nu'r nos.
 }
      \addlyrics {\set stanza = #"3. "
  Hwyr a bor -- e fy ny -- mun -- iad
  Gwyd i'r nef ar a -- dain cân
  Ar i Dduw, er mwyn fy Nghei -- dwad,
  Ro -- ddi i mi ga -- lon lân.
 }
    \new Voice \relative c' { \voiceTwo
  d8 d f4. d8 ef f f4 d
  ef8 ef d4. ef8 g f f2
  d8 f f4. f8 f bf f4 ef
  g8 f16( ef) d4. f8 f f f2
    f8. f16 bf4. bf8 a bf f4 f
    f8. bf16 a4. a8 bf a bf2
    f8 f ef4. ef8 f f f4 f
    d8 ef f4. f8 f f f2 
 } 
  >>
  \new Staff <<
    \new Voice \relative c' { \clef bass \key bf \major \time 3/4 \voiceOne
  bf8 bf bf4. bf8 bf bf d4 bf
  bf8 c bf4. bf8 bf bf bf4( a)
  bf8 bf bf4. d8 ef f d8( bf) bf4
  bf8 bf bf4. d8 c ef d2
    bf8. d16 d4. f8 f f d( c) c4
    a8. bf16 c4 f f8 f f2
    bf,8 bf bf4. c8 c ef d4 c
    bf8 bf bf4. d8 ef16( d) c8 d2 
 }
    \new Voice \relative c { \voiceTwo  
  bf8 bf bf4. bf8 bf bf bf4 bf
  ef8 c g'4. ef8 c d16( ef) f2
  f8 d bf4. bf8 bf bf bf( d) ef4
  ef8 ef f4. f8 f f bf2
    bf8. bf16 bf4. bf,8 c d f4 f
    f8. f16 f4. f8 f f bf2
    d,8 d ef4. c8 f f bf4 a
    g8 gf f4. f8 f f bf,2 
  }
   >> >> }

Adaptations[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "John Hughes". Archived from the original on 27 January 2012. Retrieved 24 February 2008.
  2. ^ "Calon Lan the rugby anthem". Archived from the original on 1 April 2018. Retrieved 10 April 2018.
  3. ^ "Here's what Only Boys Aloud just sang on Britain's Got Talent". Wales Online. Media Wales. 12 May 2012.
  4. ^ Hymns and Psalms. Methodist Publishing House. 1983. ISBN 0-946550-01-8..
  5. ^ "I Seek Not Life's Ease and Pleasures". Hymnary.org. Retrieved 2 August 2021.
  6. ^ "Comrades in Patagonia". Narberth & Whitland Today. Tenby: Tindle Newspaper Group. 25 May 2007. Retrieved 3 October 2021.
  7. ^ "La huella de los colonos galeses en la Patagonia" [The footprint of the Welsh settlers in Patagonia]. Clarín (in es-ar). Buenos Aires: Clarin Group. 3 May 2016. Retrieved 3 October 2021.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)
  8. ^ "Brexit: MPs sing Calon Lân in Parliament shutdown protest". BBC News. BBC. 10 December 2019.
  9. ^ "About the Calon Lân project". Calon Lân Centre. Retrieved 8 January 2020.
  10. ^ Calon Lan and Help Me Rhonda - Half Man Half Biscuit. Archived from the original on 22 December 2021.

External links[edit]