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Watch: Max Boyce thrills crowd with new version of Hymns and Arias

10 Mar 2024 3 minute read
Max Boyce performs Hymns and Arias ahead of Wales v France (Credit: BBC)

Wales wheeled out a secret weapon ahead of their crunch Six Nations match with France.

When Welsh singing legend Max Boyce walked out ahead of the game with the French there was rapturous applause and huge cheers.

The performer, who last year celebrated his 80th birthday, led the stadium in a passionate rendition of the song he his most famous for – Hymns and Arias.

And what a stirring and hilarious version of the song it was. The anthem taken from Boyce’s iconic Live at Treorchy album which celebrated its 50th anniversary last year, was brimming with Welsh hwyl and humour.

It included a verse written exclusively for the fixture – the song having been rewritten to mark the 25th anniversary of the Principality Stadium. It also contained a cheeky nod to the row over the singing of Tom Jones’ Delilah, which the WRU controversially removed from choirs’ setlists at the stadium.

There was also a mention of Shaun Edwards and a nod to Mother’s Day in the version performed today.

New Hymns and Arias lyrics

“We said farewell to Wembley, when England’s hope was slain.

But now we are back in Cardiff, where Derek has forecast rain.

And the French will hear us singing and their heads will fill with doubt

For it is Mother’s day in Cardiff, and the daffodils are out.

And we were singing…

The French are looking worried, they are not so self assured.

They drove down here this morning, on the wrong side of the road.

And they heard the choirs singing, and they listened to the band

We would have sung Delilah (pause), but the Union had it banned.

And we were singing…

France should have lost to Scotland, you should have heard the crowd.

They were screaming at the linesman, but the try was disallowed.

He was sitting with his guide dog, so I think it might be wise

Next time he goes to Scotland, he goes there in disguise.

And we were singing…

The French have disappointed, they have lost their savoir faire.

When they lost against the Irish, Shaun Edwards lost his hair.

So if we lose again today, and Shaun he gets the sack

I’ll sell my mother’s council house, to try and get him back.

And we were singing…

That side we played in Dublin, best Irish side I’ve seen.

I’m just glad I’m colour blind, and I can’t tell red from green.

So when the game had ended and the singing had begun

I joined the celebrations because I thought that Wales had won.

And we were singing…

“I read the Sunday papers that Wales could win today.

So I wish the roof was open so God could watch us play.

And I hope you show forgiveness to all of those who doubt.

For this Mother’s Day in Cardiff, and the daffodils are out.

And we were singing…”

50 years on: The story of Live at Treorchy

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Y Cymro
Y Cymro
30 days ago

Although it was nice to hear Max Boyce’s new rendition of his classic Hymns and Arias , wish we’d break from the past and look to the future. And yes Wales today started well today but sadly the same old errors and mistakes that lost us previous matches reared its ugly head again. Lack of focus, line breakers and importantly power was our downfall. Sadly the final score made France look as if they’d steamrollered Wales when that was not the case. Unfortunately next week Wales will head once more to Cardiff to play Italy and the WRU expect fans… Read more »

29 days ago

Welsh rugby has been ruined not by the coaches but by the WRU.

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