Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Did you mention songs in Welsh?

Yes, I did.

Like many people of my generation, I have an odd relationship with the Welsh language.

I like to say that I come from Abertillery, which was Welsh speaking when nobody lived there!

All branches of my family arrived there in the mid to late 19th century, from Bristol, Cornwall, Carmarthen and over the "mountain" from Blaenavon.

My parents speak no Welsh and neither did their parents.

Cut to the sixtties. Yes, you'd hear it on the radio every morning piped in by Rediffusion and you'd watch the odd episode of Pobl or Disc a Dawn. So you know what it sounds like and you know the odd few words.

And I've oscillated between support and disdain. Sometimes bewilderingly for family and friends. For myself, too, actually.

And now there's been this immense increase in the use of Welsh. Our French-born children have learned the language in school. Etc. Well, I expect you know how much more Welsh there is around than when I was a kid. Why, I heard it in Monmouth only the other day and not in a staged situation.

And there is a thriving and exciting Welsh music scene.

More tomorrow.

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