We all have complaints, some of us have pretty severe ones. But, even with our complaints, we also have things to be thankful for. “Diolch” is Welsh for “thanks,” and I have a story for you about that. I have “always” been a singer, specifically a choral singer. I now sing with a men’s ensemble called de Profundis. We recently celebrated our 20th anniversary with a tour of Wales, one of the cradles of male choral singing. One of our stops was Llanberis, a village in north Wales, where you go if you want to climb Mt. Snowdon, the highest mountain in Wales. Incidentally, while we were there for two full days, we never saw the mountain, which was covered in clouds the whole time.
One evening, as entertainment, the hotel presented a small local male chorus called Cor Meibion Dyffryn Peris (Vale of Peris Male Voice Choir), conducted by Dafydd Roberts. One of the pieces they sang was called Gweddi Plentyn (Child’s Prayer). We were told that the words and music were written by elementary school children in Llanberis, and that it had been arranged for the group by one of their members. The song is an uncomplicated but very pretty piece of music. The words are a litany of gratitude for things the children appreciate. The words (well, the English translation) are reproduced below:
Thank you for a family and a cozy hearth,
Thank you for a house and thank you for a fire.
Thank you for food to keep me healthy,
Thank you is part of a child’s life.
Thank you for flowers that enhance the world,
Thank you for the song of birds.
Thank you for wind and thank you for rain,
Thank you for snow, thank you for when it comes.
Thank you for those who keep me from harm,
Thank you for a father and thank you for a mother.
Thank you to God as I bow my head,
Thank you for everything, thank you. Amen.
de Profundis has performed this piece in what we believe to be the first and only performance outside Wales. What a wonderful and unique souvenir of our trip!
I have included an audio recording of the song made during a rehearsal. This is definitely not a studio recording or even a live performance recording, but you can hear what a beautiful song the children wrote. The performance is in Welsh, so don’t expect to hear the words above, but you will hear “Diolch” at the start of every line.
So, whatever else I might say, I’m really grateful for a beautiful and loving wife, self-reliant, intelligent, talented, productive, …(and many other things) children, and healthy, beautiful grandchildren on their way to becoming self-reliant, intelligent, talented, productive, … adults.