Monday, December 31, 2007

Auld Lang Syne 2007 - Happy New Year 2008


Auld Lang Syne means "old long since" and is adapted from a traditional Scottish folk tune. The basic words date to at least 1711, though some scholars say it was mentioned as early as 1677. Scottish poet Robert Burns is credited with first publishing it, in the mid-1790s, and, researchers say, smoothing out some of the verses and changing the melody.

Chorus
Should auld acquaintance be forgot
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot
And days of auld lang syne?

For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne
We'll tak a cup o' kindness yet
For auld lang syne.
The song recalls the days gone by and says we will always remember them. "Should auld acquaintance be forgot?" it asks. No, the chorus replies: "For auld lang syne (for times gone by), we'll tak (drink) a cup o' kindness yet."

And surely ye'll be your pint stoop
And surely I'll be mine
And we'll tak a cup o' kindness yet
For auld lang syne.
As for the other lyrics, Verse 2 refers to friends at separate places (or pubs), drinking to each other.

We twa hae run about the braes
And pou'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 mornin' sun till dine
But seas between us braid hae roared
Sin' auld lang syne.
Verses 3 and 4 talk about a long journey to find that friend, running "about the braes" (hillsides), and "pou'd the gowans fine" (pulled the pretty daisies), and getting tired doing so ("wander'd mony a weary fit" or "a weary foot" depending on the version). It continues with wading streams ("paidl'd in the burn"), from dusk until dinnertime, but even then, broad ("braid") seas roar between them.

And here's a hand, my trusty fiere
And gi'e's a hand o' thine
And we'll tak a right good willy waught
For auld lang syne.
But finally, in the last verse, the friends find each other. And they "tak a right guid-willie waught" ("drink a goodwill drink") for times gone by.

It wasn't Burns, however, who turned this misty-eyed tune into a New Year's tradition. That would be Guy Lombardo, who first heard the song in his youth from Scottish immigrants in his hometown of London, Ontario.

Mr. Traher, who organizes the Royal Canadian Big Band Music Festival and tribute to Lombardo every year in London, says the song stuck in the musician's head. When Lombardo formed an orchestra with his brother in 1919, they arranged the piece and made it part of their repetoire.

"It seemed appropriate for New Year's -- a time to look back," Mr. Traher says. So when the Lombardo brothers got the chance to headline a New Year's Eve party in New York in 1929, they played Auld Lang Syne near midnight, then counted down.

For nearly 50 years after that, Guy Lombardo and his orchestra played New Year's Eve radio, and later, television specials from the Waldorf Astoria.

"Prior to Dick Clark, there was Guy Lombardo," Mr. Traher says, and though Lombardo died in 1977, Auld Lang Syne became a staple.

Now there are pop versions of the song, disco remixes -- even a controversial British single of the Lord's Prayer sung to the tune of Auld Lang Syne topping the charts in the United Kingdom this month. George Reynoso, an independent music retailer in El Paso, Texas, sells a CD through his Web site (http://www.newyearseve-song.com/) that includes country, polka and dance versions of the standard.

"The Lombardo version is sleepy, dreamy, it definitely needed an update," Mr. Reynoso says. (Taken from The Augusta Chronicle)

This rock Auld Lang Syne by Jimi Hendrix Live at the Filmore East 1969-70 here should awaken anyone from their dreamy sleep. A jazzy one (by Kenny G here), soul one (by Aretha Franklin and Billy Preston here) and a folk one by (by Gairin, Silver Strings and David Bugli here) will liven ones spirit.

It won't be the "Same Old Lang Syne" without the "Leader of the Band", Dan Folberg (1951 - 2007) ...



Here is a beautiful rendition of Auld Lang Syne by Barbra Streisand ...



As we sing the common Auld Lang Syne of today, ...



... we end annus horribilis 2007 and usher in 2008.

Happy New Year to all of you out there!

3 comments:

Kerp (Ph.D) said...

glad i came here, or i will never know what 'auld lang syne' means. i dont read much, so that explains why. but had a blast karaoke-ing to the tune...hehehe...

happy birthday, tuan!

Mat Salo said...

Bro'.. susah betul nak access Net. Weather is bad. Anyway I wishing you a Healthy and Prosperous 2008 bro'.

Yes, I felt saddened too at the passing of 'Fogie'. I can never forget that 'Twin Sons of Different Mothers' with Tim Weisberg. Classic. Longer? Same Old Lang Syne? This guy was a lyrical and songwriting genius. His tunes were amongst the first I learned on the guitar in hostel days...

Met my old lover
in the grocery store
The snow was falling Christmas eve
I stole behind her
in the frozen foods
And I touched her on the sleeve

She didnt recognize
the face at first
But then her eyes flew open wide
She went to hug me
and she spilled her purse
And we laughed until we cried.

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