ODE TO WELSH WALES
by Ivan Bennett There's a little angry Welshman to the East of Penmaenmawr And another at Llanfairfechan just the same. They're bitter and they're twisted cos the English have insisted That they can't be bothered with Cymraeg to save their name. The one at Llanfairfechan with his finger did me beckon And I told him that to La-Nelly I'd been to see. He said "stupid Saeson that's not how you pronounce it. - It's Llanelli." Which is when I said "Oi!! - don't you spit at me!" The Scenery is lovely in this pretty part of Wales. I have travelled ev'ry hillside and country track. But with ev'ry twist and turning for English I am yearning, For it feels I've been to double 'ell and back. In Flintshire there's a place that's called Caergwrle (with a castle) And its spelling is a lot of bloody babble. It's so easy to denounce it cos you struggle to pronounce it And it looks like an un-welcome hand at scrabble. In Flintshire too, you see, you can struggle with double 'D' And the letter 'u' sounds just like 'I' I'm told, Cos the County Town's Yr Wyddgrug a mouthful you'll agree, So I think I'll stick with English and call it Mold I actually heard Welsh spoken, the other day in Rhyl. To all the local Welshmen it must have been a thrill. When every local person descends on High Street from his house, The local dialect is a mixture of Manc and Brum and Scouse Meanwhile, back at Penmaenmawr, ap Gryffudd he does glower And he shakes his fist at the English as he sings: "There's no welcome in this hillside for your German Prince, you see, We ap Gryffudd's have the right to rule as Kings." So double 'L' and double 'D' and now it's double 'F' . It's Flintshire's fault again, If I'm not wrong. If it's one 'F' in Flintshire why the ef's it two in Fflint? It's because there aint no 'V' in the Welsh tongue. Now 'Wrexham' becomes 'Wrecsam' - cos there aint no 'X' at all. Which makes it bloody difficult if you want to spot the ball. And as for horror films, the censor to satisfy, 'Adult only' movies become bloody hard to classify. And so we come to Anglesey - they call it Ynys Mon. They have a village there to really make you groan. It's local name is Llanfairpwll - bad enough you'd think, But Victorian Welshmen decided to extend it and began to laugh and wink. "What we need is an attraction to bring the tourists in. The longest place name in Britain's not been done. We'll re-name the Railway Station to the longest in the nation." And the locals said (in Welsh, like) "That sounds fun!" "At the station we won't announce it - just watch English men pronounce it. They'll say 'can you tell me mister how to say this damn tongue twister?' And we'll laugh and reel it quickly off the tongue. Then laugh and roll upon the floor as the silly bugger tries and gets it wrong "St Mary's Church, a whirlpool and a white hazel tree, The Church of St Tysilio, a hollow and red cave. We'll lump the lot together so that, in the summer weather, The tourists can take photos - smile and wave" So they took all of these features, like a pretty little scene, And they strung 'em all together - and that's a bloody crock. So Victorians could buy postcards showing that they'd been To Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch. Now others started thinking and in Gwynedd they decided to have a try. Another Railway Station was decided as the location To make English tourists laugh or cry. At Golf Halt in the middle of Snowdonia they tried to motion this daft notion. It only had some fences and some anti-tank defences. A made up name came tripping off the tongue. They cried "Here is the one:" Gorsafawaddachaidraigodanheddogleddollonpenrhynareurdraethceridigion The Burghers of Anglesey said "You bloody upstarts you - no way! That name means Mawddach station and its dragon teeth At the Northern Penrhyn Road on the golden beach of Cardigan Bay Dragon teeth? From World War II? - Bay's in another county 'cross the way." And so the Welshmen all did wrangle for the English tongue to mangle, And the English man watches on in wry bemusement. So now he is the one who sits at Ynys Mon and laughs And rolls upon the floor with great amusement.
The end