My life has a superb cast but I can't figure out the plot.
~ Ashleigh Brilliant

Monday, December 31, 2012

Auld Lang Syne

I love that even on the last day of the old year, I learned something new. In reading through a brief and also a very detailed history of "Auld Lang Syne" ~ both the poem (attributed to Robert Burns in 1788 but inspired by an anonymous poem from the 15th century), and the popular melody we all know and love the world over ~ I learned that Burns' poem was originally set to an older Scottish folk tune, which is still sung by traditional singers. Here is a version of it, sung by Edinburgh's own Mairi Campbell, in a lovely video from 2010 (in the spirit of auld lang syne!)...

And in the spirit of not-as-auld lang syne, I shared this rendition of the better known tune sung by Dougie MacLean last year, but I love it enough to want to reprise it...

Do you prefer one over the other? I think they're both beautiful and moving, but my favorite is the modern one, as sung by Dougie. :-)

And for those who prefer your Scottish melodies played on Scottish bagpipes, enjoy...

Ach, what is it about the pipes that always brings on goosebumps (and often a tear?) They're as stirring as the magnificent Scottish Highlands scenery. (A very special Happy Hogmanay to you, dear Penny!) :-)

The Dougie MacLean video shares the lyrics in the traditional Old Scots that Rabbie Burns used to pen his poem. There are several versions translated into modern English, but this version seems to be the most widely accepted...

Should old acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should old acquaintance be forgot,
And days long gone?

For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We’ll take a cup of kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.
And surely you’ll buy your pint cup!
And surely I’ll buy mine!
And we’ll take a cup o’kindness yet,
For days long gone.
We two have run about the slopes,
And picked the daisies fine;
But we’ve wandered many a weary foot,
Since days long gone.
We two have paddled in the stream,
From morning sun till dine (dinner time)
But seas between us broad have roared
Since days long gone.
And there’s a hand my trusty friend!
And give us a hand o’thine!
And we’ll take a right good-will draught,
For days long gone.

May the New Year bring you a year rich in joy, peace, love, health, kindness, and contentment, and may you always prosper in the ways that truly matter.
Wishing a very Happy New Year to you, my friends! 


  1. Oh my, the bagpipes! I LOVE that! So, so beautiful.

    I hope that you, BW and your pack have a wonderful, happy & healthy year as well. We're definitely looking forward to what the year will bring us!

    P.S. glad to hear the girls like the new house! :)

  2. My Mum (a Glaswegian!) loathed the sound of bagpipes! LOL! I like them under the right circumstances as in the Dragoon Guards en masse. My personal loathing is reserved for the whole business of 'New Year', all that forced jollity, bleugh. I do of course wish you and yours all the best for 2013 and another 365 days of interwebz fun and friendship xx

  3. Almost forgot - yes I prefer the modern tune too.

    I had a friend who thought the words were 'for the sake of old man's eyes', and sang that every year :O))

  4. Bagpipes always, but always make me weep. The modern tune is more readily singable by those of us without musical training (or talent) but I like them both.
    Happy New Year to you and yours.

  5. I vote for Doug's as well, although I loved both. As for the bagpipes {sniff}, you know where I stand on them. CG's always wanted to go to Scotland, and this was a nice alternative for now ;-). xoxo

  6. Happy 2013, kids! How you enjoying it so far? :-)

    ~ Wasn't that a beautiful video?

    I hope the year ahead exceeds your expectations and brings you lots of fun adventures and happiness! (And very little snow - lol!) :-)

    The girls thank you for thinking of them! :-)

    Barbara ~ LOL, that must have been hard on her! Like - what, like an Italian hating mandolin or accordian music, or a New Orleans native hating jazz? :-) Your mother would have thought she'd died and gone to that 7th Circle of Hell at one of the B&Bs we stayed in in Edinburgh. Our hosts (delightful people) had a son named Roderick who played the pipes, and he did a performance for us guests (there were only 5 of us) on our first evening at dinner. The dining room was small, with hardwood floors and tall ceilings. Can you imagine the acoustics of a bagpipe in that setting?! Whoa. He was good, though, and it being our first night in Scotland it was quite fun for us. But my favorite bagpipe experiences were meeting Major Gavin Stoddard, the then Queen's Piper at Edinburgh Castle (his sister lived in Big Horn and was the stepmother of a friend of mine), and walking through the swirling fog to Urquhart Castle on Loch Ness as a lone piper, invisible in the fog, played a haunting melody. THAT was pure magic.

    I don't (and never did) do the forced jollity, but used to enjoy watching all the drunks in Times Square make asses of themselves on TV from the cozy, quiet confines of my own living room. :-) You'd have enjoyed how our Public Television ushered in the New Year last night - with a program (Charlie Rose) devoted to Shakespeare! :-)

    ROTFL about "for the sake of old man's eyes!" Did s/he think it was a song about ophthalmology? ;-)

    Ellie C ~ It's a lovely song, isn't it? I've heard more raucus versions, and grand, sweeping orchestral versions, but like with "Silent Night," always prefer the simplicity of a single instrument, played slowly and hauntingly.

    Happy, HEALTHY New Year to you, too!

    Spud ~ Yes, I do. :-) I'm glad that bagpipe vid was a good placeholder for now, but f you can possibly swing it, you and CG simply MUST make the trip! We absolutely loved Edinburgh and the Highlands, especially the on the western side. Wish we'd had time to visit some of the islands (were going to go to the Isle of Skye - the most beautifully named place on the planet, you ask me - but the weather was atrocious that day). Maybe you could even sneak a trip to Ireland, too. I know how much YOU would love that! :-)

  7. Before I forget, I do love your banner on your blog - the snowman with the fox is so sweet - it that an ornament of yours?

    I listened to all three versions of Auld Lang Syne and it was no contest. I liked Dougie MacLean's version best but it's not really a fair contest because I'll pick a man's voice over a woman's almost every time. It's always been that way for me. And I'll always pick a song with lyrics over one without. I loved the old fashioned words in Dougies's version even if I couldn't understand them!

    Having said that, the other two renditions were wonderful and I LOVE listening to the bagpipes so I was glad to have all three to compare. The scenery in the bagpipe version was awesome so that made it a VERY close second.

    So HAPPY NEW YEAR to you as well and thank you for this great New Year's wish.

  8. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, and many returns full of magic and love.

  9. Jo ~ I'm glad you liked that header, it was such fun to make and I can hardly wait to get it out of storage next December! :-) Yes, that snowman holding the fox is a Hallmark ornament my mom gave me for Christmas several years ago, but I've always displayed him with my snowmen instead of hanging him on the tree. I was thrilled with how the closeup photo of him came out - but you've got some blogging to catch up on before you see why in particular I was so thrilled! :-)

    An interesting bit of trivia I didn't know about you; your preference for music with vocals, sung in a man's voice! I'm glad you enjoyed all three versions (plus that Scottish scenery - how we loved those Scottish highlands, they are incredible!), even if Dougie had the contest won right out of the gate. :-)

    And Happy New Year to you again, too! It's bound to be a fun and exciting one, especially with your visit in October! :-)

    Ellie C ~ Thank you very much! :-)

  10. And a happy Hogmanay and, now, New Year, to you, too, dear Laurie! I like both versions and I love the pipes! John's not so keen. My first husband was a piper; don't know if that has anything to do with it!


  11. Penny ~ LOL - I think you may be onto something! :-)


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