By Carl Llewellyn

The 21st of October 1966 is a day that is etched in the memories of survivors and residents of the Aberfan disaster that will never be forgotten.  The catastrophic collapse of a colliery spoil tip in Aberfan killed 116 children and 28 adults, caused by a build-up of water in the accumulated rock and shale, which suddenly started to slide downhill in the form of slurry.

This year marks 50 years of that tragic event, with a number of events of remembrance held at various venues in Aberfan and Merthyr Tydfil. One particular contribution to the memory of Aberfan is a touching short screen presentation (30 minutes) showing at the Old Town Hall (Red House) until 29th October 2016. It’s a video presentation of I.C. Rapoport’s photographs from the aftermath of the Aberfan Disaster with recorded commentary by Chuck of the Red House.

As a mark of respect to those involved in the Aberfan disaster and their families, the Dowlais Male Choir has dedicated an item of  music called “Anfonaf  Angel”  ( Guardian Angel) in two concerts – its Gala Performance at Merthyr Leisure Centre, and at a charity concert in Seaton, Devon.  Music by Robat Arwyn and words by Hywel Gwynfryn, the piece was commissioned by Ysgol Dyffryn Nantlle in 2008 for Bryn Terfel.

Choir KS

My synopsis of the translation – amidst life’s turmoil, an angel is sent to care and comfort us through our turbulent unrest. The angel becomes our ‘Guardian Angel’, assigned to protect and make certain we are guided always.

 Afonaf Angel

(Translated into English by Iwan Jones, chairman of Dowlais Male Choir)

 

Mae hymian hwyr y ddinas yn fy neffro The late night humming of the city wakes me

For a second I believe that you are there Am eiliad rydw i’n credu dy fod yno 

A chlywaf alaw isel dy lais yn galw’n dawel: I hear the gentle call of you voice calling:

“Anfonaf angel i dy warchod di.” I send an angel to you to protect you.

I’ll send an angel Afonaf angel i dy warchod heno, to protect you tonight,

“Anfonaf angel i’th gysuro di” I send an angel to comfort you

Mae swn dy lais yn ddigon i chwalu’r holl amheuon The sound of your voice is enough to shatter all the hopes

“Anfonaf angel atat ti.” I’ll send an angel to comfort you.

Ac ambell waith yng nghanol berw bywyd, And occasionally  in the midst of life’s turmoil’s,

Rwy’n teimlo’n unig ac yn isel hefyd, I felt lonely and depressed,

Ond pan wyf ar fy nglinia’, fe welaf drwy fy nagra’, But when I’m on my knees, I see it through my tears,

A chofio’r geiria’, ddwedaist wrtha i And remember the words you said to me

Afonaf angel i dy warchod heno, Guardian angel will protect you tonight,

“Anfonaf angel i’th gysuro di” I send an angel to comfort you “

Mae swn dy lais yn ddigon i chwalu’r holl amheuon The sound of your voice is enough to dispel all doubts

“Anfonaf angel atat ti.” I dispatch an angel to you.

Ti yw yr angel sydd yma’n wastadol, You are the angel that is here consistently,

Yn gofalu amdanaf lle bynnag y byddaf Caring for me wherever I am

Ti yw fy angel, fy angel gwarcheidol, You are my guardian angel,

‘Rwy’n cofio’r geiria’ ddwedaist wrtha i: I remember the words; you said to me:

I’ll send an angel Afonaf angel i dy warchod heno,to protect you tonight,

“Anfonaf angel i’th gysuro di” I send an angel to comfort you

Mae swn dy lais yn ddigon i chwalu’r holl amheuon The sound of your voice is enough to shatter all the hopes

“Anfonaf angel atat ti.” I’ll send you an angel

I’ll end my tribute with text taken from Matthew 19: 13-15 (New International Version)

The Little Children and Jesus

13 Then people brought little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked them.

14 Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” 15 When he had placed his hands on them, he went on from there. 

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