9 responses to “Midweek Music Break: Pendyrus Male Choir, “Cwm Rhonnda“”

  1. Oh lovely. I’m such a sucker for anything Welsh, and especially the choirs. I love Bread of Heaven as well.
    Embarrassed to say I hadn’t known about h2g2 but as a very recent Gaiman-convert, I’m terribly excited.

  2. There was a wonderful oddball little sitcom on BBC2 round about the late ’70s, called Roger Doesn’t Live Here Any More, about a man in early middle age coming to grips with divorce. It was the sole television appearance I can recall of the great comic actor Jonathan Pryce. There was only ever one six-part series, and I don’t think it was ever repeated.

    It came to mind now because Pryce’s poor protagonist, after losing his family home, had to move into a small London lodging house run by a Welsh landlady. I think it was must have been one of his fellow tenants who warned him that the landlady flaunted her Welshness so oppressively that his predecessor in the room had been driven to madness, and perhaps suicide: “She valleyed him to death.”.

    Growing up on the Welsh border, close to ‘the valleys’, I was all too familiar with what this meant.

    I have to admit, though, that Bread of Heaven – the most common Cwm Rhondda hymn – is a terrific singalong… one of my few positive memories of twice-weekly compulsory chapel sessions during my schooldays.

  3. What I like best about the choir, or choral music, is the conductor. I still remember my old voice coach/conductor waving his arms in glee, wide smile, as if saying Yes, yes, you hit the notes! (with a nod to the heavens above). In the nave, it was especially endearing.

    These guys are good! Doesn’t the valley of the Rhondda look lovely?

  4. Seems To Fit is going to be one hell of a well-researched novel and this reader’s anticipation couldn’t get much higher.

    The Presbyterian hymn to this tune is dancing just out of reach in memory, a fragment of the title comes up…must have sung it hundreds of times….ah, here it is. Number 376, “Love Divine, All Loves Excelling.” This site names the tune HYFRYDOL.

    “One of the most loved Welsh tunes, HYFRYDOL was composed by Rowland Hugh Prichard (b. Graienyn, near Bala, Merionetshire, Wales, 1811; d. Holywell, Flintshire, Wales, 1887) in 1830 when he was only nineteen. It was published with about forty of his other tunes in his children’s hymnal Cyfaill y Cantorion (The Singers’ Friend) in 1844.”

  5. “she valleyed him to death” – I hope I can use this phrase somewhere, someday.

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