This film is part of Free

The Song We Sing is About Freedom

Across the communist/capitalist divide of the Cold War, a choir from Hungary visits a choir in Blaenau Ffestiniog and both discover, despite differences, a shared humanity.

Documentary 1975 17 mins

From the collection of:

Logo for National Screen and Sound Archive of Wales


In 1975, Côr y Brythoniaid, a male voice choir from Blaenau Ffestiniog, undertook exchange visits with The Zoltan Kodaly Male Voice Choir from the United Incandescent Lamp and Electrical Co. Ltd. Factory in Tungsram, near Budapest, Hungary, in a bid to make connections and share goodwill despite the political – cold war - situation. Filmed by a Hungarian state film company, an English version was provided for Côr y Brythoniaid.

“Lightly swinging, Skywards winging, Victory bringing, The song, steady, steely, It soars up freely! And ringing tells you, Life is full of joy! …. The song we sing is about freedom, Listen to it nations, peoples, friends … We want peace and freedom!”. The Hungarian song of the title accompanies much of the film which culminates in its performance by the combined choirs. At the time, Hungarian ‘freedom’ was controlled by the Soviet Union, after a failed revolution in 1956. Under the glare of state film unit cameras, the choir are shown visiting not Buckingham Palace in London but the grave of Karl Marx, indicating to any audience their respect for the man who influenced the communist system they live under.