Cwm Rhondda (“The Rhondda River Valley” in Welsh ) is:

    • the name of a mining valley ( Rhondda Valley ), or rather two contiguous valleys, Rhondda Fach (small Rhondda) and Rhondda Fawr (great Rhondda);
    • a popular hymn .

The melody was composed by John Hughes ( 1873 – 1932 ) in 1907 on the original Welsh words of William Williams of Pantycelyn ( 1717 – 1791 ) ( Pantycelyn means valley of holly ), a very prolific author of Welsh religious songs (he composed some 800), composed in 1785 . The melody is well known in the UK , but like Auld Lang Syne , few really know the lyrics or the real title. He is best known in England as ” Guide me, O thou Great Redeemer / Jehovah “or” Bread of Heaven “. He is often sung by the spectators during rugby or football matches and his lyrics are very varied from one parish to another.

This song exists in French too, but is not very well known. It is titled “Guide Me, Faithful Shepherd” and has been translated by Flossette Du Pasquier 1 .

Like Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau , this song is sometimes perceived as an unofficial anthem of Wales .

The original words of the hymn are about the manna offered by God during the Exodus of Egypt of the Jewish people.

The lyrics are very often parodied during rugby matches , where you only use the last two lines on various words, to encourage his team or ridicule the opposing team. For example: ” Man United, Man United, we’ll support you evermore, we’ll support you evermore.  Or ” You’re supposed to, you’re supposed to, you’re supposed to be at home, you’re at home .” In honor of footballer Shaun Goater for example, we sang ” Feed The Goat And He Will Score “. Many variations exist and many are improvised.

Notes and references

  1. ↑ ” Voices United: The Hymn and Worship Book of the United Church of Canada 651. Guide me, O thou great Jehovah (Guide me, faithful Shepherd) – Hymnary.org ”  [ archive ] , on www.hymnary.org (accessed the 11 January 2016 )