Just back from north-west Wales where we celebrated Mrs LdP’s n’ty n’th at “a restaurant with rooms” which served us roast suckling pig, Pelorus rosé (Pelorus is the branch of Cloudy Bay that makes the fizz) and a 2005 Meerlust merlot. But where’s the music in all that?
True there was a distorted, very quiet muzak-y buzz, so bass-slanted that the vocals were an undecodable whisper, one step up from white noise. Luckily, 50 metres away were the ruins of Harlech Castle and we had our tune.
A very good tune. For hundreds of years England treated Wales like dirt; latterly Wales has hit back by beating us at rugby and via songs like:
Shall the Saxon army shake you,
Smite, pursue you, overtake you?
Men of Harlech God shall make you,
Victors, blow for blow.
Yes, there are other versions. But this is ours. Over the glorious mountain road between Dolgellau and Welshpool, we sang it aloud. Mrs LdP’s favourite two verses are:
Now avenging Briton,
Smite as he has smitten
Let your rage on history's page
In Saxon blood be written.
His lance is long, but yours is longer.
Strong his sword, but yours is stronger.
One stroke more, and now your wronger
At your feet, lies low.
I get the feeling if Avus reads this post he’ll accuse me of treachery. So be it. My patriotism – a wobbly quality at best – always takes second place to a good song with good words. Starts well too:
Fierce the beacon's light is flaming
With its tongues of fire proclaiming…
I mean, what have we got? The British Grenadiers? “With a tow, row, row, row, row, row…” Feeble!