Big News! The first programme of Dechrau Canu Dechrau Canmol, the Welsh Songs of Praise, recorded at Mynyddbach Chapel in March will be broadcast on Sunday evening, 19th April at 7:30pm on S4C and will be introduced by Huw Edwards. This special Songs of Praise event was held on the same week as the …
Calon Lan Anthem
Daniel James penned the Calon Lan anthem in the 19th century. The anthem is truly loved by the Welsh and is sung widely in schools, sporting events and in Welsh gatherings. This Calon Lan Centre website category is devoted to our love of the anthem. Our heartfelt goal is to preserve and promote the anthem’s legacy.
The words “Calon Lan”, when translated into the English language, mean “pure heart”. Daniel James sought this characteristic in his life, making that search famous through his beloved, poetic verses.
Here is the anthem in English:
I seek not life’s ease and pleasures,
Earthly riches, pearls nor gold;
Give to me a heart made happy,
Clean and honest to unfold.
- A clean heart o’erflow’d with goodness,
- Fairer than the lily white;
- A clean heart forever singing,
- Singing through the day and night.
If I cherish earthly treasures,
Swift they flee and all is vain;
A clean heart enriched with virtues,
Brings to me eternal gain.
Morn and evening my petition,
Wings its flight to heaven in song;
In the name of my Redeemer,
Make my heart clean, pure and strong.
‘Calon Lân’ is a hymn which is close to the heart of any Welsh person, and is regarded even today as one of the great anthems of Wales. While it has been translated into English, it is still only ever sung in the original Welsh. Having been written in the closing decade of the nineteenth century, it came to prominence during the Welsh Revival of 1904-5 when it was one of the most frequently sung expressions of spiritual longing and desire for personal holiness by those who were caught up in that great move of the Holy Spirit. The song has remained a great favourite ever since, still often being sung at concerts and eisteddfodau, and even before international rugby matches at the Millenium Stadium in Cardiff. It has even developed the status of one of the great icons of Wales; and even t-shirts, mugs, badges, caps, cards and posters can be seen in many ‘Welsh’ shops with the words of the song on them. Its iconic status reflects the deeply-rooted and rich Christian heritage that is still a strong part of Welsh culture even today.
We are thrilled to invite you to a special joint open evening with the internationally renown Morriston Orpheus Choir at Calon Lan Centre, Mynyddbach Chapel. On this special night in the acoustically excellent Mynyddbach Chapel, there’ll be wonderful performances from the Morriston Orpheus Choir, an exquisite solo performance, and there’ll be refreshments and a chance to meet the choir and the people of the Chapel, which has a unique and significant part to play in Welsh culture.
“What had drawn me to meet this young choir was something I saw online. As well as being beautifully dressed in traditional clothes and singing hymns in Mizo they also sang ‘Calon Lân’ in Mizo but also in perfect Welsh. I’m currently working on a couple of projects still under wraps to celebrate Swansea at 50 and as soon as I saw that performance, I knew I need to meet them and to record and film them too.” (Mal Pope)
In April 2019 the Morriston Orpheus Choir held a number of its rehearsals at Mynyddbach Chapel in Swansea. The Chapel hosts the Calon Lân Centre in recognition of Daniel James, who wrote the words of Calon Lân, and who is buried in the Chapel graveyard.The Choir took the opportunity to film this short tribute (with thanks to Colin Rees and David Hammond-Williams for producing the video)
Dunvant Male Choir sing Calon Lan with Bryn Terfel at Mynyddbach Chapel The fantastic Dunvant Male Choir singing Calon Lan with Bryn Terfel at Mynyddbach Chapel – look at the beautiful chapel – home of the Calon Lan Centre. Keep in touch with us, we love to hear from you. With love, The Calon Lan …
We would like to send our congratulations to Wales on their win last night -amazing! Wales rubgy fans have a repertoire of songs sung regularly at rugby events and you can bet that Calon Lân was being sung not just in Wales but in Twickenham yesterday. What would Daniel James have made of that we wonder. …