Diolch

Llanberis, North Wales

Llanberis, North Wales

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:

               Gweddi Plentyn

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.

Advertisements

3 thoughts on “Diolch

  1. Dave – The mention of Wales peaked my interest … do you live there? I couldn’t find any reference on your blgo…. my granddad was born in Llandudno … my great-granddad owned a newspaper (though no one can tell me what it was called) and I’ve been told he is buried on or near the Great Orme (can’t remember which). I was born in Manchester … and wondered if you were British as the phrase that you were thought of as maybe being “a bit slow” is something my mom and nana would have said! I grew up in Canada, but still have the English in me. Never been to Wales, it is on my to do list. One day.

    Like

    • I don’t live in Wales, but I have been there several times and would go back in a minute. We did a sightseeing and singing tour. We flew in to Manchester and covered much of the country, mostly along the coast. Went by Llandudno when we visited Conwy, then south to Betws-y-Coed and west to Llanberis.

      My great aunts were good Victorian ladies, daughters of a newspaper editor, so their sentences were more English English than midwestern American English.

      I would urge you to visit Wales. It’s a wonderful place. If you mention your Welsh background, you’ll get a warm welcome. But, don’t go there and say that you are English.

      Liked by 1 person

Your thoughts?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s