您现在的位置: 纽约时报中英文网 >> 纽约时报中英文版 >> 文化 >> 正文

威尔士何以成为“歌唱之乡”

更新时间:2018-10-14 10:33:55 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

Why Wales is known as the 'Land of Song'
威尔士何以成为“歌唱之乡”

Picture this: you’re in a filled-to-capacity stadium with around 75,000 other people, and pretty much everyone is singing. It’s not a pop song, but a hymn; and you’re not at a concert, but a rugby match. But then this is not hypothetical; it’s reality, just a regular match day at the Principality Stadium in the Welsh capital of Cardiff.

想象一下:你和7.5万人在爆满的体育场里,几乎人人同声齐唱。唱的不是流行歌曲,而是圣诗;看的也不是演唱会,而是橄榄球赛。可这不是臆想假设,这就是事实。在威尔士首府加的夫,这不过是国家体育场一个常规比赛日。

You see, Welsh people are known to have two great passions – rugby and singing – and when they congregate for a rugby match, you won’t be able to stop them breaking into song. If anything, it’s encouraged, helped by the fact that a choir will be on the pitch pre-match, at half-time and post-match to guide the crowd through the customary Welsh rugby repertoire – a series of traditional hymns (Calon Lân, Cwm Rhonnda, Gwahoddiad) that you may also hear at a standard Welsh wedding or funeral around the country.

威尔士人有两大爱好——橄榄球和歌唱——人们一起看球时,会突然放声歌唱,拦都拦不住。其实正相反,赛前、中场和赛后,助兴的合唱团会在球场上鼓励人们参与,带领大家演唱威尔士橄榄球比赛的固定曲目——一组传统的宗教圣诗(《纯洁的心》(Calon Lân)、《朗达小溪谷》(Cwm Rhonnda)和《宝血宏恩歌》(Gwahoddiad)),在威尔士标准的红白喜事上,你也可能听到。

I’ve lived outside of my homeland of Wales for nearly a third of my life now, but it wasn’t until last year that I’ve ever felt homesick – not for my actual home, rather that sense of shared history, identity and nostalgia. The Welsh, coincidentally, have a word for it: hiraeth. It doesn’t have a direct translation into English, but means a soulful yearning for your homeland (of Wales). The truth is, I don’t meet many Welsh people in London, where I now live. Without actually moving back home, I did the only thing I knew that would put me in touch with fellow Welshies: I looked for a Welsh choir.

如今,我已经在家乡威尔士以外度过了三分之一的人生,但直到去年才有了思乡之情——不是想念具体的家,而是追忆那份威尔士人共有的历史发展、民族特征和峥嵘岁月。威尔士语中也刚好专门有一个词来形容:hiraeth,指对于故土(威尔士)的深情向往,英语里没有对应的词。我现在住在伦敦,身边的威尔士人不多。身在异乡,我只知道能这样和同乡联络感情:加入威尔士合唱团。

Choirs and choral singing are in our history, and you can find Welsh choirs across the globe, from Sydney to Boston, so it seemed inevitable that I would come across one in London. A quick Google search revealed at least five. Turning up to the Borough Welsh Chapel near London Bridge on a glum-looking Tuesday evening in September, I was transported home. Greeted by around 40 people of different ages singing with gusto some rather familiar songs (Hello Cwm Rhondda and Calon Lân again), and continuing the songs in the local pub afterwards, I felt as if I were back at one of my family’s parties.

合唱团及合唱是我们的传统。从悉尼到波士顿,世界各地都有威尔士合唱团,那在伦敦找到一家该是必然之事。谷歌一搜,显示至少有五家。九月一个阴沉的周二晚上,我来到伦敦塔桥附近的威尔士公共教堂,感觉像是回到了家。约有40个不同年纪的人声情并茂地唱着我耳熟能详的歌曲(又听到了《朗达小溪谷》和《纯洁的心》),之后又到小酒馆里接着唱,我仿佛置身于一次家庭聚会。

A line from the 1941 Oscar-winning adaptation of Richard Llewellyn’s novel How Green Was My Valley, a story about a Welsh mining community at the turn of the 20th century, reads: “Singing is in my people as sight is in the eye”. And this is true; we as a nation grow up singing in school, at parties, in church. We even compete in the National Eisteddfod, the largest festival of competitive poetry and music in Europe. Singing is part of Welsh identity and tradition – but why?

1941年上映的奥斯卡获奖影片《青山翠谷》(How Green Was My Valley)改编自英国小说家勒埃林(Richard Llewellyn)的同名小说,讲述了19世纪末威尔士矿区的生活,影片中有一句话:"威尔士人要唱歌就像看东西要用眼睛一样自然。"此话不假,我们威尔士人从小就在学校里、在聚会上、在教堂里处处唱着歌。我们甚至还有国家诗歌音乐艺术节(National Eisteddfod),这是欧洲规模最大的诗歌音乐竞赛大会。歌唱是威尔士的特征和传统,可是原因何在?

The bardic tradition of the eisteddfod (the name given to a festival of poetry and music) can be traced back to the 12th Century. At this time, music and poetry had great cultural significance, with folk traditions enabling stories to be told and recanted down the generations. Singing and reciting poetry (sometimes to music, when it is known as cerdd dant in Welsh) was often part of this and still plays a prominent role in the modern eisteddfod.

艺术节(Eisteddfod,指诗歌和音乐的大会)的传统可以追溯到12世纪。今天,音乐和诗歌具有重要的文化意义,民谣能将故事代代相传。歌唱和诗朗诵(有时为配乐诗朗诵,威尔士语称Cerdd Dant,指以竖琴伴奏演唱)往往是其中一部分,在现代的艺术节中仍发挥着重要作用。

It is likely these traditions were also influenced by the lyrical nature of the Welsh language. Prof Gareth Williams, emeritus history professor at the University of South Wales acknowledges that “the consonantal nature of the [Welsh] language, like Italian and German, lends itself to clearly articulated expression.” In fact, Welsh was apparently used as the basis for the Elvish language in JRR Tolkien’s The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings partly due to its melodic, ethereal nature.

威尔士语直抒浪漫,富有诗意,可能也影响了这些传统。南威尔士大学荣休历史学教授加雷斯·威廉姆斯(Gareth Williams)认为"威尔士语有辅音性质,像意大利语和德语那样,适合鲜明的表达" 。英国作家托尔金(JRR Tolkien)在《霍比特人》(The Hobbit)和《指环王》(Lord of the Rings)中创造的精灵语系音律优美,显然是以威尔士语为基础。

Fast-forward to the 18th Century and we see Wales really lay the foundation for its label as the ‘Land of Song’. The influx of migrants to Wales from the British countryside and abroad, seeking work in the ever-expanding coal and iron industries, saw huge population increases to the country. New non-conformist chapels were also being built at an astonishing rate due to the revival of the Methodist movement of the Anglican Church that was popularised by leading Welsh preachers of the time. This creation of new communities caused singing to become even more prominent, for with the new communities of miners – especially in the South Wales valleys, which were densely populated with collieries – came congregational singing.

直接来到18世纪,威尔士确实为其"歌唱之乡"的美名奠定了基础。煤炭和铁矿行业不断壮大,大不列颠乡村人口和外来移民涌入威尔士寻求工作机会,令人口大幅增长。当时,英国国教循道主义复兴运动在威尔士各主要传教士的推动下方兴未艾,新派教堂也迅速拔地而起。新社区使得歌唱变得愈加重要,在矿区还出现了集体咏唱,特别是在煤矿资源丰富的南威尔士河谷地区。

“In unfamiliar new surroundings they found solace and sociability in song, for in a materially poor society the voice was the most democratic of instruments; it cost nothing, for most of us have a voice. Men and women found comfort from the daily industrial grind in their chapels, which were springing up like dragon’s teeth – by 1900 there were more than 5,000 of them – dominating both the skyline and the social and cultural life of the people,” Prof Williams said.

加雷斯·威廉姆斯教授说:“在陌生的新环境里,他们在歌曲中寻求慰藉和交集。在物质贫乏的社会里,声音是最民主的——无需花销,大多数人都有声音。礼拜堂里,男女工人在日常劳苦中找到了安慰,礼拜堂鳞次栉比——到1900年有5000多座——是最多的建筑,也主导了人们的社会和文化生活。”

With a society now dominated in numbers by men (around 250,000 miners were employed to extract coal and iron ore from the Welsh landscape at the industry’s height), male singing also grew in popularity, a tradition that continues to this day. I can think of few societies, countries or cultures where male singing is so lauded, commonplace or present.

当时的威尔士男性人口居多(鼎盛时期煤矿和铁矿的矿工约有25万人),男性唱歌的也越来越多,这项传统保存至今。男性唱歌如此广受赞颂寻常可见,这样的社会、国家或文化可为数不多。

Mike Williams, musical director of Côr y Boro Welsh Choir (of which I am a member) and Eschoir, a Welsh male voice choir, also in London, explained that, “Choral singing was an opportunity to escape the labour and danger of the mines. When, in 1895, Treorky Male Choir sang for Queen Victoria in St George’s Hall, Windsor, suited and booted, the Queen is said to have remarked ‘They behaved like gentlemen and sang like angels’. To this day, everyone loves a Welsh choir!”.

威尔士宝路合唱团(Côr y Boro Welsh Choir,也是我加入的合唱团)和威尔士男声合唱团时尚先声(Eschoir)的音乐总监迈克·威廉姆斯(Mike Williams)也在伦敦,他说,“合唱能让矿工逃离矿井里的辛劳与危险。1895年,老橡树男声合唱团(Treorky Male Choir)一身正装亮相温莎城堡的圣乔治厅,为维多利亚女王献唱,据说女王称'他们举止得体声如天籁'。时至今日,人人都有喜欢的威尔士合唱团!”

Public singing is not confined to the chapel, either. If travellers somehow finds themselves in the traditionally masculine setting of a Welsh rugby club, they shouldn’t be surprised to witness the patrons spontaneously burst into song. There is no stigma attached to men singing in Wales, or in fact anyone singing in public. Perhaps that is why Welsh singers have been hitting the highs of global popular music for the last 100 years. From Ivor Novello to Sir Tom Jones, Dame Shirley Bassey to Katherine Jenkins, Only Boys Aloud to Stereophonics, we are not afraid to use our voices (even though there are only three million of us).

公共场所的歌唱也不限于礼拜堂。威尔士的橄榄球俱乐部历来是个男性场所,游客如果有机会光临,看到顾客自发地放声高歌时也别见怪。在威尔士,男人唱歌不受歧视,任何人在公共场合歌唱都没问题。也许这就是为什么过去100年里,威尔士歌手一直占据了全球流行音乐的高峰。从作曲家诺韦洛(Ivor Novello)到歌手琼斯(Sir Tom Jones),从歌手贝西(Dame Shirley Bassey)到女艺人詹金斯(Katherine Jenkins),从男孩合唱团(Only Boys Aloud)到立体声音响摇滚乐队(Stereophonics),我们想唱就唱,唱得响亮(尽管我们只有300万人)。

The national calendar is filled with festivals, concerts and events encompassing all types of singing – including the National Eisteddfod, which travels to a different venue each year; the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod (where Pavarotti made his first international appearance); Festival No. 6 at the Italian-inspired Portmeirion village; and one of opera world’s most prestigious events, the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World biennial competition (where Wales’ own Bryn Terfel first found fame).

威尔士的年历上排满了各种唱歌的节日、音乐会和活动,包括每年举办地点都不一样的国家诗歌音乐艺术节,兰格伦国际音乐艺术节(Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod,帕瓦罗蒂在此首次亮相国际舞台),在意大利风情的波特梅里恩村举办的6号音乐节(Festival No.6),还有两年一次的加的夫BBC全球歌手大赛,这是歌剧界最负盛名的赛事之一(来自威尔士当地的泰威尔(Bryn Terfel)一举成名)。

But just because singing is a Welsh tradition and we have a healthy stream of Welsh singing talent in the public eye, does that mean everyone can sing? Surely, a whole nation and generations of people can’t naturally have great voices?

歌唱是一项威尔士传统,在大家看来威尔士又是新秀辈出,但这就能说明全民都是唱将吗?整个国家和几代人还出不了几个天生的好声音?

At the recent National Eisteddfod in Cardiff, while the crowd waited for the singing competition results, the entire auditorium of the Wales Millennium Centre spontaneously started singing in beautiful harmony. Any visiting tourists must have thought it strange, but to the Welsh in the hall, it was just natural.

近日在加的夫举办的国家诗歌音乐艺术节上,观众等待比赛结果时,威尔士千禧中心全场又自发地响起了优美的歌声。游客一定会感到诧异,但对于场内的威尔士人却再自然不过。

“Anyone can be taught to sing to a basic standard,” Williams said. “Being able to pitch the correct note can be a challenge for those who have not been brought up singing in schools like most of us are in Wales.”

迈克·威廉姆斯说,“任何人经过指导都可以达到唱歌的基本标准。不过如果不像我们大部分威尔士人这样从小就在学校唱歌的话,音准是个难题。”

So perhaps we don’t all have amazing natural singing voices, but it seems that it doesn’t stop us from trying – because when I say that singing is in my blood, it is. The tradition of singing has been collectively handed down from generation to generation. Being Welsh and singing seem to go hand in hand, it is just something we all do, even if we don’t quite know why.

我们并非皆有过人的歌唱天赋,但似乎依然跃跃欲试——歌唱流淌在我的血液里,真是这样。歌唱的传统集体代代相传,威尔士人似乎和歌唱密不可分,所有人都唱,虽然不太知其原因。

According to Williams, “Having a sense of tradition and national pride gives confidence to all aspiring Tom Joneses and Shirley Basseys, as singing is very much a part of our identity. You only need to hear the crowd singing Bread of Heaven at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff to witness this.”

迈克·威廉姆斯认为,“怀有传统意识和民族自豪感,让所有像琼斯和贝西的后起新秀充满自信,歌唱就是我们的一个民族特征。听听观众在加的夫国家体育场齐唱《天赐食粮》(Bread of Heaven)就能知道。”

Prof Williams perhaps sums it up best with a quote from Milton Shulman’s 1953 review of the film Valley of Song in the Evening Standard: “There are many things you can say about a Welshman, but never be rude about his larynx.”

加雷斯·威廉姆斯教授引用了1953年舒尔曼(Milton Shulman)在《旗帜晚报》上对影片《歌之谷》(Valley of Song)的评论:“你可以说威尔士人很多坏话,但可别说他的喉咙。”也许这句话最能总结威尔士的歌唱传统。

So, maybe I can’t claim that all Welsh people can sing (my great aunt is case in point; sorry Aunty Denise), but what I can say for sure is that all Welsh people are singers.

我不能说威尔士全都是唱将(我的姑婆就是一例,丹尼斯姑婆请见谅),但我确定威尔士人人歌唱。

“全文请访问纽约时报中文网,本文发表于纽约时报中文网(http://cn.nytimes.com),版权归纽约时报公司所有。任何单位及个人未经许可,不得擅自转载或翻译。订阅纽约时报中文网新闻电邮:http://nytcn.me/subscription/”

相关文章列表