Friday, December 28, 2012

'Should auld aquaintance be forgot...'


Each New Year's Eve we sing  "Auld Lang Syne" as the clock strikes midnight and fireworks fill the night sky, but what does it mean? And why do we sing it? Auld Lang Syne is an old Scottish Ballad that can be translated as ‘Old Long Since’ and which would loosely mean – “For Old Times’ Sake”. It is a song about welcoming the new times without saying ‘goodbye’ to old friends and fond memories. Scottish poet Robert Burns penned the words in 1798 and set them to a Scottish tune that was first published in 1711. Singing the song in Scotland at Hogmanay (New Year's Eve) quickly became a Scots custom that soon spread to other parts of the British Isles. As Scots (not to mention English, Welsh and the Irish) emigrated around the world, they took the song with them.

Canadian band leader Guy Lombardo is often credited with popularising the use of the song at New Year's celebrations in North America through his annual broadcasts on radio and television beginning in 1929, although it is recorded as ushering in the New Year in the States much earlier in the 19th century.

As the New Year countdown reaches zero we hear the song being sung...well..almost being sung. In truth we usually just hear the first few lines, often ad nauseam, being blasted out badly by over intoxicated revelers. Alright, so we are all to blame for not knowing the words..and perhaps for the over intoxicated part, but that is another post and court ordered AA meeting entirely.

As a traditionalist and in a hope to advance the actual singing of the song I've put together a little lesson plan. Below please find a recording of "Auld Lang Syne" beautifully sung by the Irish folk singer Mairi Campbell and Burns original words to the song. Commit to memory to amaze and impress your friends.

'Auld Lang Syne'
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind ?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
for auld lang syne ?
For auld lang syne, my jo,
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 pu’d the gowans fine ;
But we’ve wander’d mony a weary foot,
sin auld lang syne.
We twa hae paidl’d i' the burn,
frae morning sun till dine ;
And seas between us braid hae roar’d
sin auld lang syne.
And there’s a hand, my trusty fiere !
and gie's a hand o’ thine !
And we’ll tak a right gude-willy waught,
for auld lang syne.
* Practice a couple of times and have a few drinks. It is much easier to speak Scottish after a scotch or three.
As a little bonus here is a video I recently came across of the song being played on traditional Scottish bagpipes, with some spectacular images of Scotland. I hope you enjoy it.



5th and State said...

hello brion

brilliant post! actually i so loved your writing here i just wrote about you. come and visit my blog, i am directing traffic here for others to appreciate
happy new year to you!

Brion R. Judge said...

Debra my dear you are, as always, far far to kind. Thank you so very much for adding my little post into yours. Hope your New Year's celebration is a rousing success.

The enchanted home said...

How wonderful (and interesting)! Thanks for this....found you through lovely Debra from 5th and State. Happy to find your blog. Cheers to a fabulous 2013!

Anonymous said...

I also found you through Debra at 5th and State. Love this post and I am adding you to my list of favorites. My husband is a Scot, so I am a big fan. Snowing here in Charlottesville, VA as I type. May all doors be open to you in 2013.
Melinda Bennett
Manlon and Bennett Antiques

Anonymous said...

Opps shoul have been Mallon not Manlon

Brion R. Judge said...

Thank you Tina, so happy to hear that you liked the post...and my little blog. I checked out "The Enchanted Home" and it looks very nice, I plan on checking out some of your older posts and adding it to my blogroll. Hope your 2013 is faculous too.

Brion R. Judge said...

Thank you so much Melinda, you are too kind. I actually know Charlottesville, lovely area and an absolutely charming town. I can only imagine that covered in snow it is even better. My best wishes for a wonderful 2013.

Alison @ The Polohouse said...

Happy New Year!
Wonderful post.
Thanks for sharing this history.
Wishing you a happy and healthful 2013.

Alison :)

Brion R. Judge said...

Thank you Alison, glad you like it. May your new year bring health, wealth, passion and peace.

My Notting Hill said...

Found you via Debra at 5th and Garden. I had never heard Mairi's rendition before, it was truly a joy to listen to. Thank you. We head to Scotland in March for a first visit and this has me even more excited about the trip.

Brion R. Judge said...

Debra's mention has been quite a boon for me.

Mrs. Campbell's version is my favourite without question. it is just so lovely.

Scotland is an amazing country with such wonderful culture, heritage and people. I'm as jealous as I could possibly be for your upcoming trip...which I am sure you will absolutely love.

If your in need of any suggestions for places to visit please don't hesitate to contact me.

Brion R. Judge

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...