Home Music Scene 'World premiere' for new Cor Meibion Llaneli rugby tune
'World premiere' for new Cor Meibion Llaneli rugby tune PDF Print E-mail
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Lifestyle - Music Scene
Wednesday, 06 March 2013 12:04

Peter Williams, of Swansea Metropolitan University (who helped produce the track), rugby legend Phil Bennett, Cor Meibion Llanelli musical director Eifion Thomas and poet and writer Ollie Ward.by Robert Lloyd

Parc y Scarlets rugby stadium in Llanelli has seen the world premiere of a new battle hymn for the British and Irish Lions.

The hope is the that the track will be a core feature of the forthcoming Lions tour to Australia.

Profits from downloads of the track are going to various charities.

The song Lions To A Man, to the tune of Men of Harlech, has been written by former soldier Ollie Ward, of Swansea, and has been described as a stirring rendition of one of Wales' iconic songs.

The song, sung by Cor Meibion Llanelli (Llanelli Male Choir), was officially launched at Parc y Scarlets during the Scarlets versus Edinburgh match on St David's Day.

Pictured above are Peter Williams, of Swansea Metropolitan University (who helped produce the track), rugby legend Phil Bennett, Cor Meibion Llanelli musical director Eifion Thomas and poet and writer Ollie Ward.

Lions To A Man will be available on YouTube on the internet and for downloads on the iTunes and Android platforms on computers and mobile phones.

Men of Harlech is traditionally a popular military march often heard during military parades, especially by regiments historically associated with Wales.

It has featured in numerous Hollywood films such as How Green Was My Valley, The Corn Is Green, and the Englishman Who Went Up a Hill And Came Down a Mountain.

But Men of Harlech is best known for the stirring rendition by Ivor Emmanuel in the 1964 classic film Zulu, when his character rallies a handful of men of the South Wales Borderers in their valiant stand against the thousands of Zulu warriors at Rorke's Drift Now, Llanelli Male Choir's version of Lions To A Man is set to go global and it's hoped the Lions squad and the thousands of rugby fans who will be going Down Under with them will adopt it as their official battle hymn......"The Lions Will Not Yield".

The song has already been given backing by Scarlets, Wales, and British Lions legends Phil Bennett and Delme Thomas, who were present when the choir recorded the song.

The words of the song come from a poem written by Mr Ward, who served in the Lifeguards Household Cavalry for 12 years, and has taken part in ceremonial duties for the Queen as well soldiering with tours of duty in Northern Ireland and Cyprus.

"I set it out as a poem, basically of me giving a team talk to the Lions before a match. Then I realised the words would fit to the tune of Men of Harlech and it's just taken off from there. The choir has done a fantastic job and I think the song is a stirring battle hymn for the Lions Down Under.

I would also like to thank Mr Peter Williams and his team at the School of Digital Media at Swansea Metropolitan University for their invaluable help in recording and producing the song, " said Mr Ward.

The song was 'premiered' during half time at the Scarlets' Pro12 match with Edinburgh.

Mr Ward officially presented copies to the Scarlets legends and Cor Meibion Llanelli's director of music Eifion Thomas.

All proceeds from the sale of the downloads of the tune will be donated to charity.

YouTube - http://youtu.be/L7nR9weaSwI

Google Play download (just 99p)

https://play.google.com/store/music/album?id=B5proy2udgkakfaufuuvhw7yfgi

Lions To A Man: A modern day battle hymn for the rugby field.

Men of Britain and of Ireland

Stand together now as one land

Men of Britain and of Ireland

Lions to a man

See your foe and mark his movement

This time now it is your moment

Show your strength in raging torrent

On this battle field

CHORUS

Lions we salute you

Lions we salute you

Wondrous Lions, fearless Lions

Filled with pride and strong desire

Forged from steel and cast from iron

Men of Britain and of Ireland

Show the power of our great lands

Lions will not yield!

Hear our voices loudly blaring

Feel our pride, our hope, our caring

Give your soul, your truth, your bearing Lions of our land Feel our heartbeats, pulses racing Make your dreams, so all embracing You're the hope of all our nations Lions of our land

CHORUS

Lions we salute you

Lions we salute you

Wondrous Lions, fearless Lions

Filled with pride and strong desire

Forged from steel and cast from iron

Men of Britain and of Ireland

Show the power of our great lands

Lions will not yield!

Lyrics C Ollie (D. J. Ward)

The YouTube video shows the making of Lions To A Man, with appearances from Lions legends Phil Bennett, Delme Thomas and Gerald Davies.

Filmed on location at the Llanelli Male Voice Choir (Cor Meibion Llanelli) practice hall in Furnace, Llanelli, and at the Swansea Metropolitan School of Digital Media recording studios at Dylan Thomas house.

The lyrics were written by Swansea based poet Ollie (D.J. Ward) to an original choral arrangement by choir leader Eifion Thomas based upon the hymn Men of Harlech. Additional brass arrangement by Peter Williams.

The song was recorded mixed and mastered by the Masters' students of the Creative Sound Production course at SMU.

The track will also soon be available from the following stores:

  • iTunes
  • AmazonMP3
  • NokiaOVI
  • Deezer
  • eMusic
  • Wimp
  • Rdio
  • 7Digital
  • 24/7
  • Rhapsody
  • Simfy
  • Spotify

Recorded, mixed and mastered by:

  • Wil Atkinson
  • Emyr Davies
  • Mike Davies
  • Will Hastings
  • Alex Jones
  • Gethin Jones
  • Mike Johnson
  • Aled Mainwaring
  • Lloyd Stratford

Video editing by Tinopolis

Photo (top) - Riley Sports Photography

 

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