A memorial in Ynysangharad Park, Pontypridd, to Evan James and James James, composers of the Welsh national anthem
|Died||11 January 1902 (aged 69)|
|Residence||Pontypridd, Rhondda Cynon Taf, Wales|
James James (also known by the bardic name Iago ap Ieuan) (1832–1902) was a harpist and musician from Hollybush, Wales. He composed the tune of the Welsh national anthem Hen Wlad fy Nhadau (also known as Land of my Fathers). Today, the same tune is also used for the Breton anthem, Bro Gozh ma Zadoù, and the Cornish anthem, Bro Goth agan Tasow.
James was born on 4 November 1832, at the 'Ancient Druid' inn, Hollybush, in the parish of Bedwellty, Monmouthshire. He was the son of Evan James (1809–1878) and Elizabeth Stradling of Caerphilly. His father, a Welsh versifier who wrote under the pen-name of leuan ab lago, moved with his family to Pontypridd, where he carried on the business of weaver and wool merchant, in about 1844. His son James assisted him in the business.
James James composed the melody which was later to be known as Hen Wlad fy Nhadau in January 1856. Its initial title was Glan Rhondda (The banks of the Rhondda), giving rise to the tradition that the tune had come to James as he walked on the bank of the River Rhondda. His father, Evan James, wrote the lyrics that eventually became the words of the Welsh national anthem.
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Thomas, Daniel Lleufer (1912). "James, James". Dictionary of National Biography (2nd supplement). London: Smith, Elder & Co.
- Herbert, Trevor. "James, Evan (1809–1878)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/98007. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
- James Memorial at Ynysangharad Park a video clip at the Internet Archive website.
- Hen wlad fy nhadau, the national anthem on the National Library of Wales website.
- James Memorial in Ynysangharad Park, Pontypridd from the Gathering the Jewels website.
- Free scores at the Mutopia Project
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