… I think the last two days have been two of the most interesting days I have ever spent. I have seen i Welsh Eisteddfod, a national gathering of an enormous crowd of people devoted to music and poetry. The Welsh are a nation of singers – Wherever pou gel a crowd of Welshmen, whether they’re down the mine, in the factory or watting on the platform for a train, they just can’t help bursting into song. “Anyone,” said Mr. Evans, ” who has heard a crowd of 50,000 Welshmen before a Rugby match at Cardiff singing ‘ Land of my Fathers’, will never forget it,” You could hardly find a town in. Wales, however ttnall, that hasn’t a choir. Its conductor isn’t a trained musician; he may be only a miner, an agricultural labourer or “Jones the milk”; but the university lecturer or the doctor’s daughter will be happy to under his leadership. The choir will gather in little chapel almost every night for practice-for
in the North of Wales, the next year m the South, and competitors come from all pans of Wales to compete in it. For twelve months thousands of Welsh people have been practising music; the shepherd on the hills, the teacher in the grammar school have been working at the poem that they hope will win the prize – Ahousewlfc may he a harpist, a parson a poet. During the week of the competition about a hundred thousand people will travel to the Eisteddfod to hear the competitors and listen to the judges* decisions.
The Eisteddfod is one of the oldest of all Welsh customs; the first one of which we have any record waa held in ihe 6th century, and as early as A. D, 940 the prize for the winning ” bard ” (poet) was
By a stroke of great good fortune for Frieda and me, the Eisteddfod was due to take place this year at Caernarvon at the very time that we were in North Wales. Mr. Evans has a brother who lives in Caernarvon and he invited us to stay at his house the night before ihe meeting opened.