Whatever happened to Welsh rugby? 3

With the Rugby World Cup upon us, I asked my son what he thought of rugby, which he is currently having to play at school. ‘It’s like one long organised fight’ he replied. That pretty much chimes with my own recollection of this game for thugs played by thugs, which I was also forced to play at school.

In my day, international rugby was all Gareth Edwards and Barry John performing what can only be described as physical opera, as Wales demonstrated that even this extraordinarily brutish game can be a truly beautiful spectacle.

Pity about the modern Welsh team, of course, though they gave the Dublin School for the Blind a good thrashing the other day, so maybe things are looking up. However, I had not realised what the ultimate cause of the tragic decline of Welsh rugby really was until I googled ‘Sospan fach’ (which is pretty much Welsh rugby’s national anthem). This is what the first verse translates to in English:

My sweet Mary Ann’s hurt her finger,
And David the servant’s feeling weak;
And the baby’s crying now in its cradle,
The cat’s scratching Johnny on
the cheek
Sospan fach is boiling on the fire,
Sospan fawr boils over on
the floor,
The cat’s scratching Johnny on the cheek.
David’s a soldier,
David’s a soldier.
His shirttail’s hanging out.

Suddenly the union of subtle dialectic and English perfidy was revealed. All that proud Welsh nationalism, fired by so many wonderful humblings of English rugby teams, and which the wicked London Parliament gratified by encouraging the teaching of Welsh in Welsh schools a couple of decades back, has led only to the sudden realisation in the Valleys that this wonderful anthem – blasted out with such passion, drama and sheer musicality, is in fact a lot of tosh. Slightly below the calibre of a bad nursery rhyme. And once they had all learned Welsh at last, they could suddenly see what twaddle they had been singing so proudly for all those years. It is as though the Red Army had adopted Mary Mary Quite Contrary as their battle song.

And ‘Sospan Fach’ itself? It means โ€˜Little Saucepan’.

Oh dear. How are the mighty fallen.

More of RJ Robinson at http://richardjrobinson.blogspot.com/

3 thoughts on “Whatever happened to Welsh rugby?

  1. Reply jimbo1961 Oct 18,2007 11:58 pm

    Dude, Sospan fach is NOT ANYTHING LIKE the Welsh national anthem, it is a stupid song sung by retards who live in a dumbass corner of Wales where a son, his father and brother can go out for a drink and there will only be TWO of them drinking!

    Sorry I am just winding up them, not you ๐Ÿ˜‰

    ScumV Rules (I should know LOL)

  2. Reply RJ Robinson Oct 23,2007 4:55 pm

    I think what I actually said was ‘Welsh rugby’s national anthem’ – not the Welsh national anthem, which even an Englishman like me knows is ‘Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau’ (or, as it is usually translated, Land Of Our Fathers’). Great bit of music too.

  3. Reply Anonymous Feb 14,2008 12:32 pm

    All to be said is … Wales 26, England 19. Even if our songs don’t make a lot of sense (although if you did your research, you would know that Welsh is EXTREMELY hard to translate straight over from your anglo-saxon language) our rugby does ๐Ÿ™‚

    A bitter man’s scorn at his teams loss!

    Cau dy geg, os gwlewch yn dda ๐Ÿ™‚

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