Saturday, December 31, 2016

In Honor of Joe Bionda, a New World Version of "Auld Lang Syne."



Jeff—Saturday

On Christmas Day my children unexpectedly lost their stepfather, Joe Bionda.  Joe had a bigger than life heart, and a spirit that bought him friends wherever he sailed, for he was a man who loved the sea, almost as much as he did my children and grandchildren.  In his honor I’m reposting a blog I put up one year ago for New Years Day.  It’s all about the words so many will sing tonight thinking of Joe.

God rest your blessed soul, Papa Joe.


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? 



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).


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?



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

8 comments:

  1. Good riddance to 2016. As for 2017, to quote another famous Scot (Kaye Serah), Kaye Serah, Serah. (Or maybe I'm wrong...)

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    1. Amen to that, dear EvKa...though I think it was Acasa Syrah that inspired you.

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  2. Sorry to hear that, Jeff. And thanks for the year-end smile!

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    1. Thanks, Michael. And you always make me smile.

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  3. Once again, Jeff, you mix tragedy and comedy with your usual wit and style. Every good wish for 2017.

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    1. Thanks, Zoë, and same to you. If I really do have that skill, I fear it will be sorely tested in 2017...commencing mid-month.

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