Tuesday, 6 March 2007

Some people have questioned my methods


The journalist from the tabloid newspaper opened in a sombre, world-weary, slightly accusatory yet slightly sympathetic yet slightly uncomprehending tone, much as I imagine a veteran Catholic priest might adopt to encourage an habitual sinner to explain in the confessional his latest bout of mindless, damnation-inducing transgression. He was enquiring about an enigmatic story I wrote to suggest that Jimi Hendrix might have recorded Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau, the Welsh National Anthem.
“Why’d you do it, Martin?”
“What?”
“Why’d you do it?”
“To get over a complicated message that would otherwise go unheard if I’d used conventional methods of communication.”
“Yes but why’d you do it?”
“I’m not sure you’re asking the right question here. Have you looked at my website?”
“Yeah.”
“So you understand where I’m coming from?”
“Er, yeah, I suppose”
“Alright then. I wanted to be provocative, obviously. I also wanted to entertain. I wanted Welsh people to think about their origins; to kindle pride in their Welshness. But at the same time I wanted to ask questions about why we need the kind of endorsement of our national identity implied by the premise of my story to feel good about ourselves. I wanted to make a point about the myths of Welshness, most of which have been handed down to us over the centuries by English propagandists and Welsh apologists. I wanted to create a Welsh myth of my own to show how easy it is to do. Ironically, Land of My Fathers is one of the few ‘Welsh’ things that is truly, authentically ours. In my opinion it’s the most beautiful national anthem in the world, and John Ellis’ solo guitar arrangement of it illustrated that fact perfectly, even if he wasn’t actually trying to impersonate Jimi Hendrix.”
“Right.”
He quoted me thus: “I did it for a bit of fun.”

Click here to read the original 'Jimi Hendrix Welsh National Anthem' story
Click here to read the Tich Gwilym story
Click here to send a free ecard featuring John Ellis' 'Hendrix' arrangement

1 comment:

sanddef said...

Well we enjoyed it in the Welsh speaking blog world. The "Twll Din" T-shirt on Newsnight had us in stitches.