Calon Lân is a Welsh hymn, the words of which were written in the 1890s by Daniel James (23 January 1848 - 11 March 1920) and sung to a tune by John Hughes (1872-1914). The song is a hymn, and it has become associated with Welsh rugby union, being sung before almost every Test match involving the Welsh national team.
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.
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), but the tune does appear, for example, in the British Methodist hymn book, Hymns and Psalms, set to the lyrics of "I will Sing the Wondrous Story" by P. P. Bliss.
|Original||English Translation||Alternative Translation in rhyme||Second Alternative Translation|
Nid wy'n gofyn bywyd moethus,
Pe dymunwn olud bydol,
Hwyr a bore fy nymuniad
I don't ask for a luxurious life,
If I wished for worldly wealth,
Evening and morning, my wish
I’d not ask a life that’s easy,
I seek not life's ease and pleasures,
If I cherish earthly treasures,
Morn and evening my petition,
- The tune of "Calon Lân" has been adapted to suit other lyrics which fit its 8787.8787 metrical pattern, notably "A Miner's Lifeguard," "Life's Railway to Heaven," "The Weaver's Song" (Almanac Singers), "What a Friend We Have in Jesus," "Here is love vast as the ocean" ("Dyma gariad fel y moroedd") by William Rees (1802-1883) with elements derived from William Williams (1717-1791).
- Faryl Smith recorded a version of the song for her debut album, Faryl.
- Katherine Jenkins recorded a version for her album "Second Nature".
- Siobhan Owen recorded a version with voice and harp, featured on her album "Storybook Journey" (2012).
- Adrian Mitchell has written a translation into English, "Shining Heart", for the show "A Child's Christmas in Wales". The lyrics appear in his collection "Love Songs of World War Three".
- Welsh choir Only Boys Aloud sang the song during the audition, and later at the final in series six of Britain's Got Talent. It is also the first track on their 2012 self-titled debut album.
- Wirral-based indie band Half Man Half Biscuit performed a medley of "Calon Lan" and the Beach Boys' "Help Me Rhonda" at a gig in Cardiff in 2011
- Cerys Matthews performs the song live and has recorded versions.
- The tune is also used, via "Life's Railway to Heaven", as the CND song "The H-Bomb's Thunder"
- "John Hughes". Retrieved 2008-02-24.
- Hymns and Psalms. Methodist Publishing House. 1983. ISBN 0-946550-01-8.
- See the articles on Philip Bliss and James McGranahan.
- Full text available on author's website
- Welsh and English Hymns and Anthems #66, The Welsh National Gymanfa Ganu Association, Inc.
- Free typeset sheet music for SATB from Cantorion.org
- Learn to sing "Calon Lân" online (S4C 'Codi Canu' Welsh programme site)
- Learn to sing "Calon Lân" online (Sing4Wales)
- English text to Calon Lân
- Calon Lan accompanied by a Welsh harp on Youtube
- Katherine Jenkins version also from Youtube
- Male voice version by Bryn Terfel with images of Wales landscape, castles and personalities
- Only Boys Aloud performing on Britain's Got Talent
- Britain's got talent 2012 result page, including Only Boys Aloud