Cymuned and Plaid exploit Welsh rugby
Saturday, February 03, 2007
I wonder if Plaid leader Ieuan Wyn Jones will be singing 4 Wales this weekend?
Both Plaid Cymru and the Welsh pressure group Cymuned have sought to use the beginning of the six nations for their own benefit.
Ieuan Wyn Jones issued a press release urging 'the Welsh public to take pride in their national team and to get behind them in their quest for another momentous championship'. And Cymuned launched a website to teach Welsh people how to sing again.
I'm not convinced the Welsh public need 'urging' from Plaid Cymru to get behind their team. As far as I can see, Wales is about the only rugby-playing country on the planet that most definitely doesn't need this sort of encouragement.
As for Cymuned - do they really envisage pissed-up beer camels from the valleys logging on to their website and singing along with the harp videos just to get the tune right?
As Wales take on Ireland tomorrow, the nation will roar in support of the team whatever Ieuan Wyn Jones says. And the crowd will sing as badly as ever, despite Cymuned's interventions. Such is the uselessness of publicity stunts.
posted by Blamerbell @ 12:06 pm,
- At 7:14 pm, Glyn Davies AM said...
If Ieuan is so keen on Welsh rugby perhaps he'll play in my Assembly team to play the Westminster team in a friendly on the morning of the England/Wales game. Dai lloyd and Rhodri Glyn have already said they are willing to turn out for part of the game - and there is a chance that Alun Cairns and Carwyn Jones might join them. Last year, up at 'HQ', I had to rope in London Welsh veterans. The game is on the Glamorgan Wanderers ground - ko at 12.00.
Ieuan is daft to have the election decided on loyalty to Welsh Rugby - because no-one on the planet knows more about the subject than Rhodri Morgan. He is a genuine fan - which is why I forgive him for being such a b****y awful politician!!
- At 8:28 pm, Blamerbell said...
Let's hope you can get a full team out.
There must be a few flankers on the Labour benches you could call upon?
And Carl Sargeant looks like he's been involved in one or two scrums.
Who's turning out for Westminster?
- At 12:09 pm, said...
Nice to see that the Laurel and hardy of Welsh politics might turn out for Glyn's rugby team. To ensure a Welsh assembly win surely Glyn should be getting some real political heavy weights such as Edwina and Helen Mary involved.
- At 5:57 pm, seren said...
Glad nobody's mentioned hookers...
and what position would little Alun Cairns be - the ball?
- At 12:43 pm, Aran said...
I can't speak for Plaid, but suggesting that Sing4Wales.com is 'exploiting' Welsh rugby is absolute tripe.
The site was a request from one of our new members in the Valleys, and if you talk to any genuine fans you'll know that pretty much everyone laments the state of the singing. We handed out 6,500 business cards with the words to the anthem on one side and Sosban Fach on the back on Sunday, and the response was overwhelmingly positive - as many, many people said, 'this should have been done ages ago'.
You can dismiss Welsh supporters as 'pissed-up beer camels' if you like - it's colourful, but nonsense. It's not bad singing that's the issue - it's no bloody singing at all. The silence which met the few rounds of Fields of Athenry the Irish drummed up towards the end was embarrassing.
If Sing4Wales.com gets enough people just to learn the first verse of Calon Lân, we'd already be streets ahead of where we are now.
And if you think that the work that went into Sing4Wales.com puts it on the same level as a hastily dashed out press release, your powers of analysis start to look a little wobbly.
- At 2:01 pm, Blamerbell said...
"but suggesting that Sing4Wales.com is 'exploiting' Welsh rugby is absolute tripe."
So you'll make no political gain from it?
"We handed out 6,500 business cards with the words to the anthem on one side and Sosban Fach on the back on Sunday, and the response was overwhelmingly positive"
The Welsh choral tradition emerged from strong, religious communities. That's the context in which familiarity with songs was passed from generation to generation.
The idea of community in the valleys has died. And the idea of music in the community is almost extinct. This is where the choral revival should come.
Bear in mind that I'm playing devil's advocate here to a certain extent - but as a music scholar I'm always wary of any attempts to use music for political ends.
- At 1:36 pm, Aran said...
Tyrd ymlaen, Blamerbell - you could fit a savannah or two into the distance between 'exploiting' and 'no political gain'...!
I wouldn't for a moment challenge your right to be wary, or even to condemn Sing4Wales.com - but I think putting it on the same basis as a party political press release is fundamentally inaccurate.
With regards to what you say about the tradition, it seems to me that the key question is cause and effect - did the chapels create the community and the singing, or the community lead to the chapels? And the truth is bound to be a complicated mix of the two.
But we agree on one thing - singing and community are connected. As a group which advocates the importance of the community, it's not a very large step for us to want to be positive about the role of singing in the strengthening of communities, is it?!
In a society characterised by the breaking down of community structures, my money says that we need to be prepared to try out a number of different approaches to try and reverse the pattern. Here's hoping that Sing4Wales has a positive effect, even if it only turns out to be a small one.
And if some of the people who visit it turn out to be interested in the other ideas we have about strengthening communities, great - but Sing4Wales is offered as is, and no-one has to visit any other sites or subscribe to anything in order to make full use of it.
If that's exploitation, I'm a roseate spoonbill...;-)