Tune of the Day: Men of Harlech
This Welsh military march is traditionally said to describe events during the seven year long siege of Harlech Castle between 1461 and 1468. Commanded by Constable Dafydd ap Jeuan, the garrison held out in what is the longest known siege in the history of the British Isles. “Men of Harlech” occupies an important place in Welsh national culture. It is the regimental march of several regiments historically associated with Wales.
The melody of this march was first published without words in 1794 as the “March of the Men of Harlech” in the second edition of The Musical and Poetical Relicks of the Welsh Bards, but it is believed to be a much earlier folk air.
The song gained international recognition when it was featured prominently in the 1964 film Zulu, although it had already appeared in John Ford's How Green Was My Valley (1941). More recently, the tune was featured in the 1995 film The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill But Came Down a Mountain, starring Hugh Grant.