Friday, 1 March 2019

Dydd Gŵyl Dewi Hapus!

I think that I should start with a Hat Tip to Google for their change to their logo to celebrate Dydd Gŵyl Dewi Logo

St. David's Day 2019

There may be many log on on to Google throughout the World today who are puzzled with what appears on their screen and in many ways that reflects our challenge as a nation.

I lived in Camden  London for a number of years which had a large number of Irish Diaspora  Indeed St Patrick's Day was probably the biggest event in that part of North London all year.

It wasn't just St Patrick's Day though every weekend my local the much missed  Stags Head  would have a house band playing (Beyond the Pale) and sometimes we would be enjoying "afters" and a knock on the door would not be the police but a n Irish band having finished a gig drooping by and playing a few tunes.

St David's Day was usually a disappointment and would evolve  either going to the Welsh Centre in Grey's End or road or scour Time Out or other paper to find some gig.

Of course the success of St Patrick's Day as an international event is due to the large number of people throughout the Wales who can claim some Irish Ancestry.

However it is also due to the volume and excellence of Irish Folk music some of which has been passed down to second and third generations  in areas like Camden and Kilburn.

For Wales it could be argued that it is the Eisteddfod that is responsible for the large loss of an equivalent  folk tradition.

When it moved in the nineteenth century from the pub to the chapel, i wonder how much original Welsh fiddle music was lost to the tradition of Welsh Male Voiced Choirs.

Many Irish tunes before they were collected were not written down and lasted  because they were passed down from father to son, and I wonder it the same failed to happen in Wales as the Non-Conformist  disproved of such music and its association with Pubs and alcohol.

I am of course not an expert in this but it seems to be ironic that in many ways the chapels helped to preserve the Welsh language, but may have contributed  to the loss of much of our other folk culture.

I am being deliberately provocative here and would welcome comments , that argue from a different  perspective, after all it's only from such debates we can create a  Dydd Gŵyl Dewi which can rival that of our Irish cousins if not in the rest of the world at least in Cymru.

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