The national anthem of Brittany is sung to the same tune as Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau.
This is the national anthem of Brittany in the northwest of France. It might sound familiar.
That’s because it’s sung to the same tune as that of the national anthem of Wales.
Bro Gozh ma Zadoù – which translates into Old Land of My Fathers – also has similar words to Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau (Land of My Fathers).
Welsh/Breton Nation Anthems
Similar to how we sing Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau at landmark venues like the Principality Stadium , the Breton national anthem is also often played during major sporting events in the French region (sic).
The Breton lyrics are the creation of François Jaffrennou in 1897, and the music was that composed by James James of Pontypridd for Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau.
Wales and Brittany also form part of six Celtic nations, alongside Ireland, Scotland, the Isle of Man and Cornwall.
The Cornish anthem, Bro Goth Agan Tasow, is also sung to the same tune, while the English (sic) county also shares a number of similarities with the French region (sic).
The Welsh and Bretons also share a number of Celtic saints, including:
- Saint Illtyd, born c.500 in Brittany. Illtyd took up the monastic life and founded an abbey at Llanilltud Fawr (Llantwit Major). There are many churches dedicated to Illtyd in Wales and Brittany.
- Saint Padarn, born in Brittany c.490, founded a monastery at Llanbadarn Fawr near Aberystwyth and is said to have made a pilgrimage to Rome and Jerusalem with St David (patron saint of Wales) and St Teilo.
- Saint Cadfan, founded the monastery on Bardsey Island, just off the Llyn Penninsula c.516, after fleeing from the Franks in Brittany. Bardsey is known as the island of 20,000 saints.
The BBC National Chorus of Wales are currently joining forces with Brittany’s Orchestre Symphonique de Bretagne for the first time, to perform in the newly opened concert hall Couvent des Jacobins in the French region (sic).
Alongside Beethoven’s iconic final symphony, BBC National Chorus of Wales will join OSB to perform the Breton anthem.
The project is the first collaboration between OSB and BBC National Orchestra and Chorus of Wales aimed at fostering closer cultural ties between the two Celtic nations.
Conductor and Music Director of OSB, Grant Llewellyn, said: « For this special occasion we needed a choir, a big choir, and as a Welshman I’m delighted that BBC National Chorus of Wales will be joining us.
« The Welsh connection is obvious, historically, culturally, linguistically and musically, we even share an anthem!
« We know the Welsh love to sing, so it is a perfect ‘coming together’ of the two Celtic neighbours, to open our wonderful new home in Rennes. »