I was stuck for a hymn–I think I’ve been repeating the same few hymns too often–but there was no way to go wrong with this one: Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah (Cwm Rhondda in Welsh), sung by a Welsh choir, the Morriston Orpheus Choir. There are some Welsh lyrics toward the end, in case you want to sing along.
I love this hymn, and though I don’t speak Welsh, Hyfrydol speaks to me.
Performed by the Hong Kong Welsh Male Voice Choir at St. John’s Cathedral, Hong Kong.
How often do you get to go to Hong Kong to hear a hymn from Wales?
How that title, Cwm Rhondda, used to mystify me! Now I know it’s Welsh for “Rhondda Valley,” where I presume the melody originally came from. The actual title is Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah. This is the Morriston Orpheus Choir; and if they break into Welsh down the stretch–well, that’s enthusiasm.
In Welsh it’s “Mae d’eisiau di bob awr,” and we know it as I Need Thee Every Hour. Don’t you find that if you know the melody, the hymn will speak to you no matter what language it’s sung in?
King Arthur and St. David would have understood these lyrics.
A Welsh men’s choir, Bryn Terfel, sings Hyfrydol–in Welsh, so don’t ask me for the lyrics. It’s one of my very favorite hymns, and it uplifts me even though I don’t understand the words. The name of the melody, “Hyfrydol,” means “Delightful.” I think there’s a set of lyrics for every denomination, but the melody remains the same: delightful.
This hymn was in my head all day yesterday, so I thought I’d better post it–Bread of Heaven, sung by the Welsh Male Voice Choir.
I wanted printed lyrics, but couldn’t resist the music, God’s own background scenery, and the beauty of those ancient churches.
Turn up the volume and sing along. Sometimes there’s nothing better for a hymn than a full orchestra playing it and a couple thousand people singing it. And I think they’re in the Royal Albert Hall, although I’m not 100% sure of that.
Anyway, this is the ancient Welsh hymn, Cwm Rhondda, in one of its English-language versions, Guide Me, O Thou Great Redeemer. I’ll be surprised if they don’t sing this one in Heaven.
This traditional Welsh melody, “Cwm Rhondda,” has found its way into many hymns world-wide. Here it powers Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah, sung to beat the band at the Tabernacle Welsh Baptist Church.
From St. David’s Hall, Cardiff (in Wales, not upstate New York), Aled Jones and choir sing All Through the Night–in English and in Welsh. Actually, the “popular demand” is mine. This hymn was in my head very early this morning. And welcome it was.
This is the hymn that surged to the front of the line this morning: in Welsh, Cwm Rhondda; in English, Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah; in any language, glorious. “Bread of Heaven, feed me now and evermore.”
No one out-sings a Welsh choir. This is the Morriston Orpheus Choir, singing both in Welsh and English. Turn it up!