Sunday, December 31, 2006

Auld Lang Syne



When bandleader Guy Lombardo and His Royal Canadians played "Auld Lang Syne" at midnight at a New Year's Eve party at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York City in 1929, little did he know its affect? Lombardo first heard the song in his hometown of London, Ontario, where it was sung by Scottish immigrants. "Auld Lang Syne" was first published by the poet Robert Burns in the 1796 edition of the book, Scots Musical Museum. Burns heard a version sung by an old man and transcribed it refining some of the lyrics. Other versions do exist and predate this time but Burns version is most often sung.



Auld Lang Syne or "old long since" means "times gone by" and was in common use in Old Scots.

"For auld lang syne, we'll tak a cup o' kindness yet."

The sentiments expressed are people of the past will be remembered with great fondness. The old Celtic belief was during Samhain, the spirits of the past and future walked the earth with the living. So it would be respectful to remember the deceased at Hogmanay. New Year is the time for old friends to get together, if not in person then in memory and "tak a right guid-willie waught" (a good-will drink).

Guy Lombardo choice of music for the occasion was perfect.

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind ?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and auld lang syne ?

Chorus:
For auld lang syne, my dear,
for auld lang syne,
we’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

And surely ye’ll be your pint-stowp!
And surely I’ll be mine !
And we’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

We twa hae run about the braes,
and pou’d the gowans fine ;
But we’ve wander’d mony a weary fit,
sin’ auld lang syne.

We twa hae paidl’d in the burn,
frae morning sun till dine ;
But seas between us braid hae roar’d
sin’ auld lang syne.

And there’s a hand, my trusty fiere !
And gies a hand o’ thine !
And we’ll tak a right gude-willie-waught,
for auld lang syne.


A Good New Year to you.





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