Saturday, December 26, 2015

A New World Version of "Auld Lang Syne"



Jeff—Saturday

This piece really should be written by a Scot since it’s derived from a poem by perhaps the most famous Scot of all—or was it reindeer of all—Robert Burns (1759-1796), but as a Mykonian friend who’d read my last week’s fracturing of  “Twas the Night Before Christmas” (aka “A Visit from St Nicolas” for you purists out there) suggested I take a crack at this New Years Eve standard, who am I to resist her request? 

Robert Burns

Burns wrote the poem (here’s the original version) in 1787, set to the tune of a traditional folk tune (Roud #6294).  Its seminal phrase, “Auld Lang Syne,” is traditionally translated as “long, long ago” though “old long ago” is more literally correct (based upon my deep understanding of the Lowland Scots language) and is a song about love and friendship in times past. For those of us who believe in time travel, astral planes, and questionable sobriety, I should point out that the phrase “auld lang syne” has been used by other poets in their work, including one Allan Ramsay (1686-1757), which I guess gives our Caro and her Alan a claim to have beaten me to the punch (bowl).

The other Ramsay...also with another career, a wigmaker

Happy New Year, everyone—and please forgive me, Scotland.


Should odd acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should odd acquaintance be for not,
And made to toe the line?


As in odd.

For all fond thine, I cheer,
For all fond mine,
We'll share a cup o' kindness yet,
For we’re all fine.


And surely you’ll pick yours to hug!
And surely I'll pick mine!
And we'll show a lot o' kindness yet,
For we’re all fine.



For all fond thine, I cheer,
For all fond mine,
We'll share a cup o' kindness yet,
For we’re all fine.


We all have run about the hills
In search of flower wine;
And wandered many a weary foot,
But we’re all fine.



For all fond thine, I cheer,
For all fond mine,
We'll share a cup o' kindness yet,
For we’re all fine.


We too have paddled up the stream,
In mourning, fun, and grind;
And seas between us broad have roar'd,
But we’re all fine.


For all fond thine, I cheer,
For all fond mine,
We'll share a cup o' kindness yet,
For we’re all fine.


And here's a hand, my trusty friend!
And give a hand o' thine!
And we'll drink to kindness and good will,
For we’re all fine.



For all fond thine, I cheer,
For all fond mine,
We'll share a cup o' kindness yet,
For we’re all fine.



To get your head back in the holiday mood--and me hopefully back in the good graces of the Scots--here's the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards playing Auld Lang Syne accompanied by a journey to the timeless Scotland of Robert Burns' inspiration.

A Happy, Healthy, and Prosperous New Year to ALL!

—Jeff

21 comments:

  1. I don't know about the Scots, Jeff, but I'm rather fond of thine take on the old line sang. Here, here, and a cheery toast to you and all the roustabouts hereabouts!

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    1. Why thank you, EvKa, and all the same back at ya!

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  2. Share a cup of kindness, indeed, Jeff
    Thank you to you and Barbara for all the kindness you've shown to me this year.
    And I hope to see you both again very soon in the New Year.

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    1. Shh, you'll wreck my image. I must say, though, that whatever kindness we showed is because you're irresistibly generous of spirit and friendship. And, yes, very soon in 2016 for sure!

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  3. And a piece of coal to you, laddy, and to the wee Barbara.

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    1. Why thank you, Stan, for reminding me of my Christmas mornings as a child. Much love and cheer to you and Mette!

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    2. Stan, what a splendid way to combat global climate change. We can turn lumps of coal into gifts instead of burning them. Packaging, of course, will be key. As will marketing. AH! I have it!! We can call them PET ROCKS!! You are a genius!

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    3. Pardon me for skirting the issue, but I am pleating with you, bro--make it your high resolution to eschew low humor, such as punning in 2016!

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  4. I was all fine, now I'm not so sure. Perhaps a wee dram first thing will fine me up a bit.

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  5. Much better now, thank you. And another creative year to you and Barbara. And thank you for the lovely journey to Scotland.

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    1. Thanks. Lil. It's our pleasure to have you onboard the wacky ship MIE.

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  6. We're all fine here, now. How are you? (Words which, in our house, are normally followed by "boring conversation anyway" - as that's the line, as Han Solo says it, in the first Star Wars film.)

    I'm so happy to be part of the "odds" here at MIE, and I'm looking forward to blogging with you in the New Year!

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    1. We odds mush stick together. :) Let the Force be with you!

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    2. Susan and Jeff, I'd say we have the Force with us already! Raising a light saber! Cara

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  7. so heed my words my trusted friend
    heed well these words of mine,
    I'll gie you a ritch guid willie waugh
    And remain partners in crime.

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    1. Among the possible translations of your offer, dear Caro, I'll go with the G-rating version involving a Willie Wonka gold card. Though PG brings a good hearted swig or two to mind. Anything above that I leave to EvKa's feral imagination.

      Partners forever.

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