Wales

Gwlad Gwlad app to help Welsh anthem learners

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Media captionThe anthem is used as a curtain raiser for rugby and football internationals

If you feel more embarrassment than pride when trying to pronounce and sing the Welsh national anthem then help could be at hand.

A napp developed by the National Library of Wales teaches the words and melody of Hen Wlad fy Nhadau.

The Gwlad Gwlad [Country Country] app includes the history of the hymn, also known as Land Of My Fathers.

The anthem was written in the 1850s by father and son Evan and James James from Pontypridd.

We asked people in Evan James's home town of Pontypridd how well they knew the song.

Rhiannon Sraburski, 33, from Pontypridd, said the app would be good for her two-year-old son, Harry, when he gets older.

"It's quite embarrassing when you're Welsh and you only know a few words to your national anthem," she said.

"My husband is really good because he watches loads of rugby."

Henry Jones, 77, learned the anthem at infants school in Treherbert, although he can't speak Welsh.

"We sang it every morning - I know all of it and my whole class learnt it," he said.

Image caption The statue in Pontypridd's Ynysangharad Park to Evan and James James, who wrote the anthem
Image caption Rhiannon Sraburski 'knows some of the words'
Image caption 'I could get through all of it' says Henry Jones
Image caption Aeron Leonard, with partner Lauren, knows all the anthem and says it is 'part of being Welsh'
Image caption Never forget - Penny Green and Amber Sheppard both know the anthem after learning it in school
Image caption Emrys Bowler, 83, from Taffs Well, first came to Wales as an evacuee - he knows the song but not what it means

Aeron Leonard, 22, learnt it watching the Six Nations and says knowing the anthem is "part of his Welsh pride".

Amber Sheppard, 20, remembers being taught the anthem "every Friday in assembly" 10 years ago.

Friend Penny Green, 27, said: "It's surprising that more people don't know it. My seven-year-old daughter, Chloe, is always on the tablet so an app's a good idea."

Emrys Bowler, 83, first came to Wales as an evacuee and picked up the anthem, mostly from watching rugby.

"It's a beautiful piece of music, but I can't understand it," he said.

"You want to have a good tenor voice to sing that though. I know every word but what does it mean? I haven't got a clue!"

The app, produced by Eto Music Practice Apps, is available for Apple devices from iTunes and Google Play for Android devices.

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