Thursday, December 31

Our Old Acquaintance, Bob

By Grant Davies

On this night in 1787, people in Scotland got together, lifted a glass, and sang a song. "Big deal" you say! They do that in Ireland every darn night. Come to think of it, if the joint is open long enough, they do that everywhere a glass of intoxicating beverage is to be lifted. So what makes this night special enough to make note of it?

Well, that was the year the above referenced song was first published. The guy who is credited with writing it, Rab Mossgiel, was rather famous among his fellow Scotsmen for writing other poetry. Rab was just his pseudonym. I guess he liked it better than his real name, Bob. More on that in a moment.

Anyway, the guy actually admitted that he didn't compose it himself, but merely wrote it down after hearing it from "an old man." It's pretty certain that the old man didn't write it either.

The poet's actual name was Robert Burns. And it seems the song was initially sung on January 25th - also known as "Burns Night"-  to celebrate his life and works. But it's normally sung to wave goodbye to the old year and welcome in the new, hopefully better, year.

The song has a rather weird title that is translated from old Scottish English into modern English as "Old Long Since." I guess it made more sense back then. The rest of the words are almost as difficult to piece together too. But most people over a certain age (my age) recognize them well enough.

The song asks the question, should we just forget about our old friends? Well, I guess not. So then, shall we raise a glass and toast them and all the good times we have had with them? Hell, yes!

By now you have probably guessed that the song is the well known New Year's Eve standard, Auld Lang Syne. And the "cup of kindness" is some sort of booze that is being used to toast good fellowship and not forgetting our friends no matter what happens in the new year.

To celebrate the song, go down to the "Auld Neighborhood Inn" with some friends and order "a cup of kindness" from the bartender. Just make sure "it comes to mind" to tip him well. After all, a bartender is a man's best friend and definitely should not be forgot.


  Auld Lang Syne

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And 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.

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.

For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
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 wandered mony a weary fit
Sin' 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.

We twa hae paidled i' the burn,
Frae morning sun till dine;
But seas between us braid hae roared
Sin' 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.

And there's a hand, my trusty fiere,
And gie's a hand o' thine!
And we'll tak a right guid-willie waught

For 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.



Most of the information for this post was gleaned from Carols.org.

3 comments:

  1. Love your writing, always learn something new...so here's to what's next, and Happy New Year to you! (and auld lang syne too!!!) :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Kathy! I'm happy that you enjoy the posts. Happy New Year!

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  2. Back at it Grant, Happy New Year

    ReplyDelete

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