Help with Howl: Rugby, Welshisms and saucepans

Rowland, Jennifer A B jennifer.rowland at imperial.ac.uk
Wed Mar 16 09:38:25 EST 2005


Gili wrote:
> > Can someone elaborate on the origin of the phrase "welcome in the 
> > valleys"?

Charles wrote:
> It comes from a song, 'There'll be a welcome in the 
> valleys...' etc. 

We'll keep a welcome in the hillsides
We'll keep a welcome in the vales
This land you knew will still be singing
When you come home again to Wales

This land of ours will keep a welcome
And with a love that never fails
We'll kiss away each hour of Hiraeth
When you come again to Wales  

(I don't know if the tune has a name of its own.)

"Keep a welcome in the hillsides" and "keep a welcome in the valleys" both seem to be sort of semi-proverbial. Many of the refs I found when Googling for the lyrics were "Well, they certainly kept a welcome in the hillsides for us that day!", or similar.

http://www.estelnet.com/catalunyacymru/catala/cymru_cyffredinebau_1e.htm, which is a page about stereotypes of Wales, says 
" "We'll keep a welcome in the hillsides" (My God! Why do people sing this? Thought by many outside Wales to be 'typically Welsh'. At one time a favourite background tune in TV documentaries to accompany shots of Welsh landscape. The trouble with boasting about one's hospitality is that somebody is bound to abuse it - a third of the population of Wales now are people who have crossed over from England and are living in these selfsame hillsides with no desire or little compulsion to integrate!)"

Gili wrote:
> Would a Rugby club be a group of fans, or the actual players themselves?!

Not a group of fans. Depending on context, a reference to a rugby club can be to the players, the management, or the physical location ("there's a rugby club down the road from our house, it's where the local bonfire is held")- the team may change from year to year, but the Club marches on. It's the corporate entity, I suppose.

I can't remember any more erudite references in Howl, but I haven't read it for a bit- how quickly do you need to have this? 
Jennifer

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