Yma o Hyd bid for #1 in the charts as Dafydd Iwan says he is ‘so glad’ non-Welsh speakers have adopted it
Yma o Hyd is making a bid for #1 in the charts, as singer Dafydd Iwan says he is “so glad” that so many non-Welsh speakers have adopted it as an anthem as well.
The song by Dafydd Iwan ac Ar Log has surged to 21st in the UK iTunes chart following Wales’ qualification for the World Cup on Sunday.
The song was sung before the match – and also after in a special moment where Wales’ players gathered around for a rousing chorus.
Dafydd Iwan said that the song had resonance to any team that had gone through hard times in the same way as Wales, which has had to wait 64 years to qualify for another World Cup.
“And I’m so glad that so many non-Welsh speakers have adopted it as well as their own, because that’s the secret of the survival of the Welsh language – it has to be owned by all the people of Wales, not just the people speaking Welsh,” he told Radio Wales.
Of the Welsh players, including Gareth Bale, gathering around to sing the song after the match, he said that it was a “tremendous experience”.
“And fairplay, you know, they knew the words very well. And they had obviously sung it before.”
I know it was done in 2020 but surely we can get Yma O Hyd back to number 1 in the charts by the weekend? We’re Wales…we can do anything ❤️🏴 I’ve purchased it again ❤️ Come on Wales, do your thing… we’re still here!! https://t.co/TyVZ4x2bA0
— Andrew Dowling (@AndrewDowling84) June 6, 2022
Speaking to Huwe Stephens, Dafydd Iwan added that the Wales football team had been on a journey of discovering Welsh identity.
“And now, I mean, what’s happened with the FAW and the national team is brilliant, you know, because it’s been a gradual process of growing the Welsh identity of the team ever since the days of Gary Speed,” he said.
“And people like Ian Gwyn Hughes have worked gradually on this so that the team I think has bought into this idea that they are playing for more than the shirt you know, they play for Wales.
“When you hear Gareth Bale saying, ‘Oh, it’s such a great feeling to do this for our nation’. And you know, which nation he’s talking about, you know, there’s never any doubt.
“And it’s great they’ve identified themselves with Wales, and the language and the culture and the history. They’ve been to places like Aberfan and grave of Hedd Wyn and the National Museum National Library.
“They’ve been shown what a lot of Wales and Welsh history means and Yma o Hyd has come into its own because of that, of that context.”
I’ve gone again 😭🏴pic.twitter.com/pkpZZadJcG
— Owen Williams 🏴🇺🇦 (@OwsWills) June 7, 2022
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I remember seeing Dafydd years ago, and thinking “this is the real deal” and he still is. Respect.
The great Dafydd Iwan’s Yma O Hyd should be played at all Wales internationals in the future alongside Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau like they do in Ireland when they sing effectively two anthems at the Aviva Stadium, one Amhrán na bhFiann (Soldier’s Song) and the other, Ireland’s Call.
Although I’m sure that all Welsh international footballers have played for the country and not just for the shirt, there’s some truth in Dafydd Iwan’s comment that the Welsh identity of the current squad has grown, whichever side of the border they were born. I began to realise this when I saw the photos of Bale showing them around Hedd Wyn’s grave a while back.