Today’s Welsh word, for readers of ‘Not Thomas’ who aren’t familiar with the language, isn’t a word at all, but a title. It’s Calon Lân and it’s the name of a well-loved Welsh hymn that’s often sung at funerals.

Calon lân translates as ‘a pure heart’:

calon = heart

glân (which loses its ‘g’ when it mutates after calon) = clean.


On page 123 Miss mentions to Mrs Jones, the school cleaner, that Nanno had planned her own funeral. Calon Lân was Nanno’s favourite hymn and she wanted Tomos to sing it back at home after the chapel service. Of course, Ree had other ideas…

And since I never miss a chance to play my favourite version of the hymn, here’s Cerys Matthews once again.

Sara’s debut novel ‘Not Thomas’ – a story of child neglect, love and hope, shown through the eyes of five-year-old Tomos – is published by Honno Press in paperback and as an e-book, and is available to buy direct from the publisher, from Amazon and from bookshops.



One thought on “#WelshWordWednesday

  1. I think I need to get ahold of Cerys Matthews and let her know how much you admire (and promote) her music! Then, she needs to order you the finest possible Welsh cake in the land, deliver it to you, and serenade you in person with a lovely rendition of Calon Lân (even though it’s usually sung at more sobering events!) 😉

    (Yes, I’m super-silly, but you knew that already!!!)

    Liked by 1 person

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