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S4C stops The Barry Horns from singing song lyrics ‘for political reasons’

05 Jun 2021 4 minutes Read
The Barry Horns on Y Wal Goch

A brass band were stopped from performing lyrics to their latest song on TV last night “for political reasons.”

The Barry Horns is an 11-piece brass band, made up of fans of the Welsh national football team.

Their name is a homage to former Welsh footballer Barry Horne and their mission statement includes “uniting Welsh football with the power of horns” and “to put tunes on the terraces.”

They play a variety of songs associated with Wales and football including “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” and “Zombie Nation” and have played on BBC’s Football Focus among other TV and radio stations.

Last night they were the house band on S4C’s Y Wal Goch programme building up to this year’s Euros.

And for the programme broadcast last night and pre-recorded five weeks ago, they had hoped to play their latest song “Cymru Rydd” – a modern-day look at the aspirations of Welsh people today, echoing our historic achievements as a nation.

A video accompanying the song has had rave reviews from fans and they are now planning to release a version on vinyl.

Today, however, the band tweeted: “We weren’t permitted to perform the lyrics on our televised performance last night for political reasons, but were happy to get the instrumental version out there.”

They followed up by tweeting from last night’s “now infamous lyrically censored instrumental TV performance of ‘Cymru Rydd’

Speaking to nation.cymru, band leader Fez, originally from Cardiff but now living in Pembrokeshire, said: “We would like to emphasise that we are really grateful to Y Wal Goch and S4C for having us on the show which was recorded about a week before the Senedd elections. We love the show and the presenters.

“We said we’d like to play our song ‘Cymry Rydd’ which is coming out just before the Euros. When they heard about the song and about it being called ‘Cymry Rydd’, it was like: ‘You can’t play this.”

‘Passionate’

“I told them that the song was about the history of Wales and was a Welsh nationalist song basically. I’m the author of the words. They are quite strong words, they are about the history of Wales and how things are in the present and how we face a lot of challenges for Wales to still exist. I am a trumpet player but just felt so passionately about the situation in Wales that I needed to put the trumpet down and say my words and sing my words. I’m not like a singer really but I felt so passionate really that I just had to do it.”

“We were told: ‘You can’t play this song because of political implications and because it was the time of the election. However, the programme was pre-recorded, so it would never have gone out like during the election anyway.

“So we performed an instrumental version.”

“I do really like the song without my voice on it as well. I do like it as a piece of music without hearing the words.

“The main feeling I had was not angry but just not surprised at all because I just think we are a very weak country and we are too scared to do anything.”

Fez said the words of the song has references to the treachery of the Blue Books attack on Welsh culture and the drowning of Capel Celyn – which are all true, historical facts and events.

He said: “I don’t think they’d even heard it really. It’s a song called ‘Cymry Rydd’ and it’s about the past, present and future of Wales.”

An S4C spokesperson said: “The Red Wall is a series celebrating football and it did not feel appropriate to bring politics into the programme.

“The Barry Horns were keen to perform their new song and it was agreed that they played an instrumental version of it.”

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Gareth Wyn Jones
Gareth Wyn Jones
5 months ago

This is ducking outrageous!

Suns ine De se ts
Suns ine De se ts
5 months ago

S4C would do well to remember they would not even exist if wasn’t for political pressure from people like the late Gwynfor Evans.

Stephen Owen
Stephen Owen
5 months ago

Very true.

Stephen Phillips
Stephen Phillips
5 months ago

God Save the Queen should also be banned for being politically biased. Some if us don’t want a monarchy.

hdavies15
hdavies15
5 months ago

..especially some of its later verses which are seriously racist.

Stephen Owen
Stephen Owen
5 months ago

This is really shocking that a song should be banned, unbelievable really. I am very disappointed with S4C.

Quornby
Quornby
5 months ago

If it had been a snivelling, crawling song about “our precious union” they’d have played it ad nauseum. The French once made it illegal in “Indo China” to utter just the word “Vietnam”. That worked out well for them.

Wrexhamian
Wrexhamian
5 months ago

Perhaps this song could be given the Dewi Pws ‘Yes, Yes. Yes’ treatment on social media, since S4C bottled out.

hdavies15
hdavies15
5 months ago
Reply to  Wrexhamian

S4C now run by a civil servant who will be very compliant with diktats from Whitehall. Innocuous songs which make us chuckle will have him filling his pants with worry just in case some cnut from DCMS or whatever it’s called will come down on him.

John Sowerby
John Sowerby
5 months ago

Absolutely appalling.

AnthonyA Coslett
AnthonyA Coslett
5 months ago

Clearly the bureaucrats at S4C are running very scared indeed if they are afraid that the words of a song will outrage their Welsh speaking audience. Perhaps it’s the worried apparatchiks in Westminster they fear whose current approach to the four nation system is to eradicate it by all and any means. Censorship is an extreme practice to be used in a democracy only when the subject matter is clearly detrimental to the well being of the nation as a whole or in part. This song is the expression of one mans love of and fear for his nation, it’s… Read more »

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