Children of second home-ravaged village rap in protest

Wednesday 3rd August 2022 7:30 am
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 Ysgol Nefyn pupils rap about the second homes crisis affecting their village
Ysgol Nefyn pupils rap about the second homes crisis affecting their village (N/a )

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Schoolchildren in a village impacted by the second home crisis have performed a rap declaring their right to live at home.

Nefyn is a small town on the northwest coast of the Llŷn Peninsula in Gwynedd. Local children are taught at the local primary school Ysgol Nefyn, and pupils at that school have recently written and performed a rap proclaiming their right to be able to live in their home town, reacting to the second homes crisis facing many Welsh communities.

Recent figures show that in Gwynedd, 27 per cent of houses were sold as second homes during the last year. In Nefyn itself, around a fifth of properties are second homes whilst in nearby Abersoch, 46 per cent are.

According to the 2011 Census, Nefyn is the community with the 28th highest percentage of Welsh speakers in Wales with 74.2 per cent of residents aged three and over able to speak Welsh. But that way of life is under threat as house prices grow increasingly out of reach for local people.

But during a recent book launch, pupils of Ysgol Nefyn primary school in Gwynedd performed their own rap expressing local frustrations regarding the housing situation.

‘Hawl i fyw Adra’ is a rap that borrows its title from a campaign set up to put pressure on the Welsh Government to take urgent action to resolve the housing crisis.

The rap was performed by pupils of Ysgol Nefyn at the launch of a new book documenting the tumultuous period of Meibion Glyndŵr, a movement set up in response to the housing crisis in the 1980’s. Ga’ i Fyw Adra? (Can I live at home?) by Haf Llewelyn is a novel set during the hard winter of 1981, a period when house prices were rising and young people in rural Wales could not buy homes in their localities. According to publishers Gwasg Carreg Gwalch, the novel “remains relevant to life in Wales today.”

The storyline follows Dafydd and Llinos as they attempt to buy their first house in their home village, and in his Gwales review Morgan Dafydd said: “I sympathized with Dafydd and Llinos, who wanted to live and raise a family in the area they grew up in, and that the opportunity was brutally close yet so far away from their reach. The young couple’s dilemma raises a big question, do we have a fundamental right to live at home?”1

The lyrics to ‘Hawl i fyw Adra’ have been loosely translated below, without rhyme.

This is Ysgol Nefyn,

sharing an important message

about your right to live at home.

So listen up.

We are the people of the future

Being able to live locally is essential.

House prices are so expensive,

Hundreds of thousands and still rising.

Local people are unable to get a home,

And are having to leave

whilst visitors come and enjoy the scenery,

on the beaches, sipping their G&T!

Pen Llŷn. Wales. Language. Culture. Passion. Community. Tradition.

Second home. Protest. Save. Fight.

The right to live at home.

You have the right to live at home.

So wait, and listen up.

We are the people of the future

Being able to live locally is essential.

Don’t steal our nation.

Wait. Stop.

Do you have to come here

to turn off the lights on every single street?

All that glitters isn’t gold.

Home means language and culture

and much more to us.

Crying, praying, protesting.

We just want the right to live at home.

We are on a journey to save the language,

Let’s roll up our sleeves to get the job done.

You have the right to live at home.

So stop, listen!

We are the people of the future

Being able to live locally is essential.

Ga i fyw adra? is available on the publisher’s website and on Gwales.com.

1 A review from www.gwales.com, with the permission of the Books Council of Wales.

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