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Watch: Welsh language version of World In Union released to support Wales

07 Sep 2023 4 minute read
Shân Cothi and Trystan Llŷr Griffiths

Two of Wales’ leading singers Shân Cothi and Trystan Llŷr Griffiths have joined forces to release an unofficial anthem to support Wales at the Rugby World Cup.

‘Byd o Heddwch’ is described as a ‘Welsh Rock Opera Anthem to inspire Wales during the 2023 Rugby World Cup’, it’s a new Welsh language version of the original Rugby World Cup anthem, World In Union.

With that song well known to everyone, the makers of ‘Byd o Heddwch’ hope that the new arrangement of Gustav Holst’s original melody by Rhys Taylor will give the Welsh team a boost, and that its powerful and inclusive message will grab the hearts and souls of the nation.

Shân Cothi, a radio presenter and renowned singer who has graced the world’s stages, said that having the opportunity to record a new anthemic Welsh track ahead of the world cup was a very special moment.

“From the heartfelt words of Penri Jones and the anthemic rock opera arrangement by Rhys Taylor, to the special instrumental work of producer Branwen Munn, the combination is a powerful and moving track that is sure to get you on your feet and even inspire you play a bit of air guitar with its Queen-style vibes,” she said. “But above all, is the message of unity – and I’m sure you’ll feel the united warmth and fun we had in the studio when we recorded, which is reflected through the song and its accompanying video. C’mon Wales!”

The idea for the song came from Trystan Llŷr Griffiths, and as well as being a successful opera singer who performs worldwide, the tenor from Crymych also plays rugby for the Crymych rugby team. The idea came to him after they won the Pembrokshire Cup back in May.

“The first version of ‘World in Union’ was recorded by Kiri Te Kanawa for the Rugby World Cup in 1991 and since then it has been recorded several times by various artists including Bryn Terfel and Shirley Bassey,” said Trystan. “As the tune is well known to everyone, I thought why not record something new and inclusive in Welsh for the World Cup? We had a lot of fun recording on the day, and I hope this song will lift your spirits! Good luck Wales!”

With the words originally written by Penri Jones for Côr Godre’r Aran, this brand-new track is a combination of Rhys Taylor’s musical arrangement and the power of Gustav Holst’s original melody which demonstrates elements of pop, rock and opera.

Rhys Taylor said: “It was a great pleasure to be able to combine the beautiful melody of Gustav Holst with the typical style of one of my favorite bands, Queen. The intention was to give a slightly different accompaniment to the operatic voices of Shân and Trystan, but keeping true to the original and respecting the legacy of the song ‘World in Union’.”

Released on the Coco & Cwtsh record label, the song was recorded at the label’s new studio in Carmarthenshire and produced by Branwen Munn of Goldhill Studios.

Coco & Cwtsh Studio’s Chief Executive Ffion Gruffudd, said: “As a new venture and business, it was a pure pleasure and honor to have the giants of the singing world recording in our studio for a song that celebrates and encourages our rugby giants during this year’s Rugby World Cup. Coco & Cwtsh studio has been established to promote talent and creativity in the area and beyond, and ‘Byd o Heddwch’ fits perfectly with our studio’s ethos of creating an inclusive and safe space for everyone.”

Producer Branwen Munn added: “Working on this musical anthem with incredible talent and in such an inclusive and welcoming space has been an absolute pleasure. I’m extremely proud of what we’ve created – an epic recording of a song with a peaceful and inclusive message at its core. I hope it reaches all corners of the world during the 2023 Rugby World Cup and beyond. Good luck Wales!”

The track is available to download on all major streaming and digital platforms including Spotify, Apple, Soundcloud and Deezer

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