The popularity of the song increased after the Llangollen Eisteddfod of 1858. Thomas Llewelyn of Aberdare won a competition for an unpublished collection of Welsh airs with a collection that included Glan Rhondda. The adjudicator of the competition, "Owain Alaw" (John Owen, 1821-1883) asked for permission to include Glan Rhondda in his publication, Gems of Welsh melody (1860–64). This volume gave Glan Rhondda its more famous title, Hen wlad fy nhadau, and was sold in large quantities and ensured the popularity of the anthem across the whole of Wales.
At the Bangor Eisteddfod of 1874 Hen Wlad fy Nhadau gained further popularity when it was sung by Robert Rees ("Eos Morlais"), one of the leading Welsh soloists of his day. It was increasingly sung at patriotic gatherings and gradually it developed into a national anthem.
Hen wlad fy nhadau was also one of the first Welsh-language songs recorded when Madge Breese sang it on 11 March 1899, for the Gramophone Company, as part of the first recording in the Welsh language.
In 1905, Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau became the first national anthem to be sung at the start of a sporting event. Although crowds singing anthems during matches was common place, there was no precedent for the anthem to be sung before a game commenced in any sport. Wales were playing host to the first touring New Zealand team, who to that point were unbeaten. After Wales won the Triple Crown in the 1905 Home Nations Championship the match was dubbed the 'Game of the Century' by the press. The New Zealand team started every match with the Haka, and Welsh Rugby Union administrator Tom Williams, suggested that Wales player Teddy Morgan lead the crowd in the singing of the anthem as a response. After Morgan began singing, the crowd joined in, and Wales became the first nation to sing a national anthem at the start of a sporting event.
In 1978 as part of their album, also called Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau, Geraint Jarman a'r Cynganeddwyr recorded a version of the Welsh national anthem using electric guitars, inspired by Jimi Hendrix's rendition of the Star-Spangled Banner. Jarman's version, played by Welsh guitarist Tich Gwilym is one of the most famous modern versions of the song.
Read more about this topic: Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau
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Famous quotes containing the word popularity:
“A more problematic example is the parallel between the increasingly abstract and insubstantial picture of the physical universe which modern physics has given us and the popularity of abstract and non-representational forms of art and poetry. In each case the representation of reality is increasingly removed from the picture which is immediately presented to us by our senses.”
—Harvey Brooks (b. 1915)
“There are few cases in which mere popularity should be considered a proper test of merit; but the case of song-writing is, I think, one of the few.”
—Edgar Allan Poe (18091845)
“The nation looked upon him as a deserter, and he shrunk into insignificancy and an earldom.... He was fixed in the house of lords, that hospital of incurables, and his retreat to popularity was cut off; for the confidence of the public, when once great and once lost, is never to be regained.”
—Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl Chesterfield (16941773)