- Posted by: Mike Hedges MS
- Category: Assembly Speeches
Mike Hedges MS – Diolch, Llywydd. I’m going to talk about John Hughes. During the past year in Swansea we have been celebrating ‘Calon Lân’ with words by Daniel James, better know by his bardic name of Gwyrosydd. While not underestimating the importance of the words of the hymn, we must not forget the importance of the tune. When listening to Radio Wales in early February, I heard someone in America trying to remember a hymn from their childhood. They could not remember the words, but they could remember the tune, and that was instantly recognisable on being hummed as ‘Calon Lân’. The tune was created by John Hughes, who was a Welsh composer who is best known for ‘Calon Lân’, but that’s not the only thing he did. He wrote a number of other hymn tunes for cymanfa ganus in the Swansea area. He wrote the tune for ‘Calon Lân’ because he was asked to by Gwyrosydd, who knew how good a composer of tunes he was. He was from Pembrokeshire originally, and the house where he was born bears a plaque. There is also a memorial plaque in Treboeth. He worked his entire career in the Dyffryn steelworks in Morriston, starting off as an office boy, and ending up as a marketing manager. He travelled internationally with the company and taught himself six languages besides his native Welsh. He is buried at Caersalem chapel in Treboeth, and he has a granddaughter who still lives in Ynystawe. Although his name is not instantly recognisable, his tune is.