Yma o Hyd

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
"Yma o Hyd"
Single by Dafydd Iwan ac Ar Log
from the album Yma o Hyd
Genrefolk music
Songwriter(s)Dafydd Iwan

Yma o Hyd (English: Still Here) is a patriotic song in the Welsh language released by Dafydd Iwan in 1981. The song extols the survival of the Welsh nation over the centuries since Macsen Wledig led a Romano-British army in 383 AD during the final years of the Roman Empire. The historian and Welsh nationalist politician Gwynfor Evans is said to have given him the idea for the song.[1]

The song proudly proclaims Ry'n ni yma o hyd, er gwaetha pawb a phopeth which translates as "We're still here, in spite of everyone and everything." It relates to the continuing survival of the Welsh people and their language "until Judgement Day" – a reference to a famous conversation recorded by Gerald of Wales between King Henry II of England and an elderly Welshman during one of his campaigns in the 12th century. Of the continued survival of the Welsh nation the old man tells the king;

"Never will it be destroyed by the wrath of man, unless the wrath of God be added, nor do I think that any other nation than this of Wales, or any other tongue, whatever may hereafter come to pass, shall on the day of the great reckoning before the Most High Judge, answer for this corner of the Earth."[2]

A chapter on the history of the song and its context appears in Siôn Jobbins's book, 'The Phenomenon of Welshness: How Many Aircraft Carriers would an Independent Wales Have?' (Gwasg Carreg Gwalch, 2011).

It has been argued that the song played a significant role in raising the morale of Welsh nationalists during the 1980s, thereby inspiring a resurgence in support for the Welsh language and culminating in three key Acts of Parliament: the Education Reform Act of 1988, the Welsh Language Act of 1993 and the Government of Wales Act of 1998 (the latter of which authorized the establishment of a National Assembly for Wales in 1999).[1] Today, Yma o Hyd is very popular with Welsh folk music fans and widely considered second only to Hen Wlad fy Nhadau (the official national anthem of Wales).[3] It has also become a popular song sung by Scarlets fans (firstly at Stradey Park, and at their new home Parc y Scarlets). Dafydd Iwan performed the song at pitch side at both stadiums. Wrexham FC fans also sing this at their home stadium The Racecourse.


  1. ^ a b Dr E. Wyn James (2005). "Painting the World Green: Dafydd Iwan and the Welsh Protest Ballad". Folk Music Journal. 8 (5): 594–618.
  2. ^ Wiliams, W Llywelyn. "The Itinerary of Archbishop Baldwin through Wales by Geraldus Cambrensis: Introduction". Retrieved 26 February 2013.
  3. ^ "OVGuide". Retrieved 26 February 2013.