A Welsh word for which there is no English language equivalent; simply put, it is the longing one feels for Wales, and all things Welsh. It could be defined as the deep yearning for a connection with the land of Wales. It is the ‘pull’ that draws one home.
What does hiraeth mean to you? Is it possible to resist? How do you express it? We’d love to hear.
|Hiraeth (Sung here by Morriston Orpheus Choir)|
|Dwedwch fawrion o wybodaeth
O ba beth a gwnaethpwyd hiraeth
A pha ddefnydd a roedd ynddo
Na ddarfyddo wrth ei wisgo ?
Derfydd aur a derfydd arian
Hiraeth mawr a hiraeth creulon
(Hiraeth hiraeth cilia cilia
|Tell me oh wise ones
Of what stuff is hiraeth made?
And what substance is put into it
That it never fades from being worn
Gold fades and silver fades
Great Hiraeth cruel hiraeth
(Hiraeth hiraeth away away
The hymns of William Williams, Pantycelyn effectively utilize that quality known as hiraeth, a nostalgic longing for home and the people and things connected with it that seems to many to be a particularly Welsh characteristic. If you fail to get a little teary when “Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah” is sung at a rugby match, you’re either English or have no feelings!