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1762 : GUIDE ME, O THOU GREAT REDEEMER

In this year William Williams (Pantycelyn) (1717-1791) published a collection of hymns entitled The Songs of those upon the Sea of Glass. In it was a hymn entitled Arglwydd, arwain trw’r anialwch which has become one of the most popular hymns of all time. In 1771 Peter Williams (1723-1796) translated William Williams’ hymn into English and has become known as ‘Guide me, O thou great Redeemer/Jehovah’.

The tune to which this text is widely sung, CWM RHONDDA, was composed by John Hughes and first appeared at a hymn festival in Pontypridd in 1905. It is named after the Rhondda Valley – a valley in southern Wales.

The hymn’s stirring melody and bold words have made it extremely popular in both church and wider circles. It is widely known and is often sung in churches of all denominations and across the world. It was listed as the 8th most popular hymn in the United Kingdom by a BBC survey in 2013. It can often be heard before rugby matches involving Wales as it is regarded by many as the national hymn of Wales.

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