SSi Forum

Has anyone learnt Welsh due to their interest in Welsh music?


I know this definitely applies to @gisella-albertini but has anyone else found their way into learning Welsh due to an interest in Welsh-language music?

Radio Cymru is planning a Learners’ Week in October and Rhys Mwyn would like to make a programme about Welsh learners who have come to learn the language due to music or a particular song in Welsh. @beca-brown would really like to hear from you if it applies to you :slight_smile:

'I want to be a Welsh speaker because...'

Since we’re here…does this mean that @beca-brown and Rhys Mwyn are planning to mention stories like these in the programme?
Or that people who started learning Welsh because of music are expected to actually tell their own story in the programme? :grimacing: :sweat_smile:


Go for it! Your story is nuts and really interesting.
It is not in anyone’s interest to make the process difficult for you, or to make you look (sound?) silly or incompetent. That wouldn’t make good radio at all. Your contribution will more than likely be edited carefully to show you only in the very best light. :slight_smile:


I love this! . :rofl:

Oh I’m sure they don’t want to make people sound silly or incompetent. It’s just for some reason I thought programmes were pretty much live - but maybe I’m wrong!

Or we should plan one with Dave and Pat to help me and have a laugh. That would be fun! :grin:



Like Gisella, I fall into the learned-Welsh-because-of-Datblygu-(among-other-reasons) camp.

Whether I fall into want-to-tell-my-story-via-national-radio camp is another matter!

But maybe…


It wasn’t the very first reason that started me on this journey, but it immediately became one of the most influential factors in keeping me going - both because I was curious to know more about what the songs were saying, and because they move me so deeply… each of which fuels the other. Welsh music is pretty much all I listen to any more, and I am constantly finding new (and old) Welsh songs and Welsh musicians that touch my soul.


Hi me me me!!! I tell this story nearly every day to literally anyone who will listen: I visited my friend in Carmarthenshire right after Dydd Miwsig Cymru this February and she showed me “Sebona Fi” by Yws Gwynedd. It was the first song in Welsh I heard, and I swear it cast some sort of spell on me! That one song (followed right after by literally any Welsh music I could find) kick-started my whole learning journey to the point where my career aspirations now center completely around becoming involved with the Cymraeg 2050 project!

@beca-brown I would absolutely love to participate in this! I’ll be at prifysgol Bangor in October, just let me know how I can get involved :grin:


Oh superbness!!! Can you ping me your contact details in a direct message? Diolch yn fawr!


Cool idea


It was Ar Log’s version of Y Deryn Pur that really re-connected me to our language and culture, and an on-off process has eventually brought me to SSIW some 8 years later.


No idea how, but I discovered Gwenno’s first LP and then went from there. That’s what got me interested and why i started! Then I found SSIW and never looked back!


Yes! Well, perhaps better phrasing would be “I started to learn Welsh. . . . .” While listening to a Celtic radio program, I heard the wonderful harpist and singer Sian James. I had never heard Welsh before, and I was mesmerized! (I even wrote her a fan letter–something I had never done!) That led to an online search for information about the language. (Hurrah for SSIW!) I also discovered the official Welsh poetic meters and started writing in those lovely poetic forms. A journal editor encouraged me to compile a book, which led to the publication of The Language of Bones: American Journeys Through Bardic Verse ( If anyone would like to try writing in traditional Welsh meters, I have shared an article about the rhupunt here:

I write in English because my Welsh is no where near poetic levels yet, but I’ll bet some of you SSIW members can manage it! And my journey started with that one song.


Yes they are! The Rhaglen Rhys Mwyn programme is really keen on including more contributors who are learning Welsh anyway, so this is a good place to start. They recently interviewed a member of Half Man Half Biscuit who is learning, and they really want more contributors who are on the learning journey…


They are a mix of both live and pre-recorded :grinning:


Haha! As they said on Father Ted… ah go on!!!


Thank you to everyone who has responded to this thread and for sharing your inspirational stories of Welsh music influences - from Ar Log to Gwenno Saunders!
I haven’t heard from the production team for a week or so now, so they must be fairly happy with the contributors so far! Keep em coming, though!
Diolch bawb!


Ha ha! I think even Mrs Doyle might struggle with me but it is kinda tempting… Are they still looking, d’you know?

Yes, I heard that programme. I’m a big HMHB fan too. Had “Back in the DHSS” been a Welsh language album (“Nol yn yr AINC”???) that would definitely have inspired me to learn the language sooner!


C’mon Peter, let’s show Datblygu is number one band inspiring learners around the world! :grin:

P.s. i know is going to be aired in October. And that learners contributions are pre-recorded, so you can repeat things if you need and it will all be edited to keep just the good takes. :wink:


Have they been in touch, Gisella?


I’m not sure but I could always pass on your details in case. No pressure though, kidding aside.