When Team USA drew with Wales in the group stage of the World Cup in Qatar, fans the world over were charmed by the famously tuneful Welsh singing voices, however few realized that their anthem was written 40 years ago “to remind people that we still speak Welsh against all odds,” as Dafydd Iwan told the Guardian.
Yma o Hyd (We’re Still Here) has become an anthem for “Welsh nationalists, Welsh-speaking culture, and the industrial working class of Wales,” says Martin Johnes, professor of history at Swansea University. Iwan, a Welsh-language folk singer and nationalist who was imprisoned by the UK in the 1970s for defacing English road signs and later went on to become leader of Plaid Cymru, the Welsh nationalist party, said that, “It felt like the message finally came through and crossed the language barrier.”
Wales qualified for the World Cup for the first time since 1958, but were unable to proceed beyond the group stage after being beaten by England 3-0.
Watch and listen to Iwan perform Yma o Hyd on below