Cerys Matthews on Woodie Guthrie and Hay 25

Cerys Matthews on Woodie Guthrie and Hay 25

“Kerosene fires, bunk bed fights, smelly wellies, periwinkles cold and shivering on a pin, mackerel in bucket turning water marble with blood red and pink, Robinson’s Jam Gollywog on bad fire mantelpiece, bitten rubber foam chairs, four children always screaming hair pulling teasing and fighting over never enough freshly fried- in- a- saucepan chips, hail drum loud on roof, sand everywhere but on beach, slurry, silage and long car journeys singing Speedy Gonzalez; caravan holidays, every time we could, did have time off, over to west wales for rest and recuperation. In the rainy nation.

I vowed never to holiday in a caravan again.

Then came Hay 2011.

And there we were again, clocks forward just a little, and it was my children in the bunk beds, along with husband and parents. And fire with dodgy mantelpiece and mug tree with horrible patterned mugs…

But it was worth it. A full ten years after my first time when I sang for Bill Clinton, and Hay was as sweet a mistress as ever.

Took my children’s book, ‘Tales from the Deep’ to an auditorium of families, and a bag full of songs from the last 20 years of my singing experience to the night-time crowd.

We return again this year, 2012, this time to celebrate Woody Guthrie’s centenary.

I’m bang in the middle of rehearsing his songs right now as I write this, so if you don’t mind, I’ll go back to it, as I want to be ready.

Woody is outrageously good at writing simple, effective, touching and memorable songs.. I can’t wait to perform them – maybe you can join me singing?

Go practice too. Now. BRRumm bruum, I’LL TAKE YOU RIDING IN my car, car. In Hay. This year. June 7th.”