Sacred Sunday: “Calon Lân,” lyrics by Daniel James, tune by John Hughes



So today I spent another four hours dealing with my air conditioner problem.  I’m one blog post away from making myself a stiff gin and tonic so forgive me for making this not only a delayed post but a short one.  Forgive me, too, for this sweet but dippy video.  I was absolutely set on having a recording of Bryn Terfel, the marvelous Welsh opera singer, and this was the only video that had that recording.  (Though you do get to learn little interesting factoids about Wales, such as Wales is filled with “amazing Welsh spirit.”  Better bet than Belgium for locating Welsh spirit, I suppose.  Or England, for that matter.  Though maybe England has “mediocre Welsh spirit.”  …I sense I’m going off-topic.)

I figured this delightful Welsh hymn was appropriate, given I’m not, in fact, asking for a luxurious life.  Just a habitable dwelling.  Which will give me a happy heart.  I’m guessing the G&T will deal with the honest and pure business.  Let’s find out.

I don’t ask for a luxurious life,
the world’s gold or its fine pearls,
I ask for a happy heart,
an honest heart, a pure heart.

A pure heart full of goodness
Is fairer than the pretty lily,
None but a pure heart can sing,
Sing in the day and sing in the night.

If I wished for worldly wealth,
It would swiftly go to seed;
The riches of a virtuous, pure heart
Will bear eternal profit.


Evening and morning, my wish
Rising to heaven on the wing of song
For God, for the sake of my Saviour,
To give me a pure heart.


4 thoughts on “Sacred Sunday: “Calon Lân,” lyrics by Daniel James, tune by John Hughes

  1. Jeff

    Stunning post—the hymn as well as the commentary: the exquisite melody of the hymn joining your slightly raffish tone lift both to a more nuanced level. Glad you chose the Terfel recording and thanks especially for the lyrics. Hope the G&T helps.

  2. Karl Mueller

    I’m on the edge of my seat waiting to see what the musical selection will be the day you actually have a working air conditioner after all your travails. A Grieg “bonbon filled with snow”? Something from “Frozen”? The Stones’ “She’s So Cold”?

    Quite an amusing Welsh travelogue. I almost feel like I’ve been there now (though a few of those pictures appeared to be computer generated!). Had lunch this week with our British TAPIR fellow on Friday, who pointed out that there are no Welsh castles, there are actually English castles located in Wales.

  3. OMG The Stones is inspired. INSPIRED. And I should meet this TAPIR fellow and see whether he can corroborate more of those facts. Is Wales the best place to find Welsh spirit? How does one measure that? I sense a job talk…

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