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DateOriginal Topic
13th June 2004men of harlech
By Michael
the film zulu featured the defenders singing at the zulu to build moral. This was brave in it's own but it did not happen. do you think this could confuse some millitary history fans although the film zulu stanley baker michael caine was brilliant. also i want to know if anyone knows wot happen to surgeon Reynoulds dog pippin. i also want to talk about how they fought between the walls
27th December 2004Paul Cubbin

A small, irrelevant but vaguely interesting point. Ivor Emmanuel, a Welsh actor and singer (he's one of the Jones' - the one that starts the singing - "They've got a lovely bass section, sir, but no top tenors."), was asked to scribble down a few words after filming had started for 'Zulu'. If I have my facts right (it could happen one day), someone thought it would be a good idea to have the defenders singing in defiance. He was asked what was a good, martial tune and he came up with 'Men of Harlech', wrote a few new words and there we are! If I remember rightly the original English language version was published in about 1860, using the same tune as the Welsh language version ('Rhyfelgyrch Gwyr Harlech'?), although there are lots of lyric variations. It was written to commemorate the defence of Harlech castle by the Welsh against the English in the fifteenth century - quite a fitting song for the situation. It may have been around a long time before anything was published, mind.
It'll probably be sung again at the Milennium Stadium in 2005 just before Wales beat England in the Six Nations. " CYMRU FO AM BYTH ! "
PS. Please don't send me any messages in 'Cymraeg' - its my New year's resolution to learn!
31st December 2004Sheldon Hall
Screenwriter John Prebble had written in the script that the surviving defenders should sing an "old Welsh hymn" to raise morale. Ivor Emmanuel (who played Private Owen, a fictional character, not one of the Joneses), with the film's director, Cy Endfield, rewrote the lyrics of "Men of Harlech" to fit the situation. I am told by other members of the film company that this was partly because they had not cleared the copyright for use of the existing English lyrics, but have not been able to confirm this with Mr Emmanuel - who did, however, sing his version over the phone to me from his current home in Spain!