Dafydd Iwan to put Yma o Hyd on the global stage at World Cup
The Football Association of Wales’ cultural ambassador, Dafydd Iwan is in Qatar to lead the singing of the official campaign song Yma o Hyd at various locations to support the national team and to raise the profile of Wales and the Welsh language.
Dafydd’s performance of Yma o Hyd at the two World Cup Qualifier games not only inspired the crowd but also reached number 1 in the iTunes Music Chart in June.
The iconic song recorded with Ar Log has been remastered from its original tapes, and remixed with the backing vocals provided by 70,000 Red Wall fans at the two of Cymru World Cup playoff games. The new edition was launched earlier this month and the video has already been viewed by 7 milllion people around the world.
Speaking about his role Dafydd Iwan said “It’s an honour to be out in Qatar as a cultural ambassador with the Cymru team. It’s an opportunity like no other for Wales to become known for our football and our culture.
“It’s a real privilege to be on this journey with the team and the Red Wall. The players and the fans have done wonders for the profile of Wales and the Welsh language. This song has brought people together around this special team and that’s what we’re here to tell and sing to the world.
“Together with the help of the red wall singing along with this song we hope to raise our game to greater things and I wish the team the best.“
“Wales can win the world cup because they play with heart and that’s what they’ve given the Welsh people, the confidence to believe in themselves.”
Noel Mooney, CEO of the Football Association of Wales said: “Dafydd Iwan has inspired the team and the nation with Yma o Hyd, and there is something very powerful and special when the fans join in the singing with Dafydd. We don’t doubt that with some help with the Red Wall, the Urdd choir and others who’ve travelled to Qatar, that Yma o hyd will be heard in the stadia and on stages. It will also be sung across Wales to inspire the team further in this competition.”
‘Yma o Hyd’ was originally recorded by Dafydd Iwan and Ar Log in 1983 as a passionate song of defiance about the survival of the Welsh language against all the odds. The song’s title translates to ‘We’re Still Here’ and celebrates Welsh as one of the oldest living languages in the world.
The song has become synonymous with the recent success of the Cymru National Teams and Dafydd Iwan has spent time with both the men’s and women’s squads to explain the cultural importance of the song.
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Given that it’s not an official national anthem, it’s hard to see how he can officially lead it as he did in Cardiff. Hope so!
The Qatari police are going to be pretty confused when fans hold impromptu concerts but if anyone explains the social and political significance of the song there could be mass arrests.