Calon Lân

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"Calon Lân" (Welsh for 'A Pure Heart') is a Welsh hymn, 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 YouTube.[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]


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


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    Ca -- lon lân yn llawn dai -- o -- ni,
    Te -- cach yw na'r li -- li dlos:
    Dim ond ca -- lon lân all ga -- nu
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  Gwyd i'r nef ar a -- dain cân
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  Ro -- ddi i mi ga -- lon lân.
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  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". 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 Spanish). Buenos Aires: Clarin Group. 3 May 2016. Retrieved 3 October 2021.
  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]