Mary Medlicott, Storyteller and Author - Storyworks

Posts Tagged ‘Welsh’

Storytelling Starters ~ Dead?

Saturday, May 16th, 2020

‘Your language is dead!’ I remember it as vividly as when it happened. The voice shouted out very loudly from somewhere above my head and went ringing out across the great spaces of the Royal Albert Hall. It was a man’s voice and the brief silence that followed felt nervous and chilly. Wisely, no response came from the stage below where Welsh musician, Cerys Matthews was performing. Cerys is a Welsh speaker. She did not respond to the man who’d shouted. Instead and very wisely, she simply went on to the song she’d just announced as a song that comes from Wales and is in Welsh. (more…)

Storytelling Starters ~ On the bus

Saturday, October 12th, 2019

Upstairs on the bus home yesterday, I noted that the two women sitting in front of me were chatting away in a language I didn’t recognise. My immediate reaction was to feel pleased that another language than English was being spoken with no inhibition on a London bus.

But even as I felt that pleasure, I remembered an incident from a few years back when I was attending a Prom concert at the Royal Albert Hall. The concert included a number of different performers, one of whom on this occasion was harpist and singer Cerys Matthews. Introducing items she was about to perform during one of her turns on stage, Cerys said one of them would be a Welsh jig with Welsh words. (more…)

Storytelling Starters ~ Dark reflections

Saturday, August 24th, 2013

For me, as surely for others, it was a shocking moment. We were at the Radio 6 Late-Night Prom in the Royal Albert Hall. What was on offer was the characteristic Radio 6 mix of classical and pop music.

One of the performers was Cerys Matthews (who, like me, happens to hail from North Pembs). She came out on stage in trouser suit and fedora and began with some Tudor songs she said she’d dug out of original Tudor music albums. The second song was a lively jig and the words she sang to it were Welsh. I don’t know where those words originated: they sounded like a traditional folk-song, or maybe Cerys had made them up. In any case, they really suited the music and, judging from the applause, the item went down well with the audience. But in the lull before Cerys’ next song, a great rendition of Blueberry Hill, a voice shouted down from the top balcony and what it said was: ‘Your language is dead.’

Why? Why would anyone want to say that? Can anyone feel so challenged by another language, another culture, another people, that he or she would want to see it dead? (more…)