Help with Howl: Rugby, Welshisms and saucepans

Gili Bar-Hillel gbhillel at
Wed Mar 16 07:46:01 EST 2005

A barrage of question to assist me in my translation of "Howl's Moving

Thanks to this list I know a little about Calcifer's saucepan song, but I
don't know where the lyrics: "They think so much about me that they always
play without me" come into the Welsh folksong that was posted on this list a
couple of years ago. Are these alternate lyrics to the same song, sung at
Rugby matches? Or is it a different song altogether?

What does "fly up the wing" mean, in Rugby?

Are the Welsh known to be particularly musical, or just the opposite? (Howl
bemoans being born "an unmusical Welshman")

Can someone elaborate on the origin of the phrase "welcome in the valleys"?
I gather this is somehow specific to Wales, but is there something to it
other than plain geography? Do the Welsh think of themselves as being
particularly welcoming?

"Cariad" = dearest or darling in Welsh?

Is Howell a particularly Welsh name?

Many thanks for all information and insights you might provide.

I'm almost done translating and am now proofing and improving. I'm quite
pleased with the way the John Donne poem worked out, that was VERY tricky,
but I pretty much managed to keep the rhymes as well as the wordplay (in
Hebrew, Neil thinks it's about a bicycle). I've been told that the cover
will be designed by the same Israeli artist who did artwork for Philip
Pullman's trilogy which was recently published here. Here are links to his
covers for His Dark Materials , I'm quite curious to see what he does for

Golden Compass

Subtle Knife

Amber Spyglass

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