Sunday, December 31, 2006

old long since

(doesn't auld lang syne have a better ring to it? I agree, Mr. Burns)

As detailed above - "auld lang syne" literally means "old long since" - but a more idiomatic English translation would be something like "long ago", "days of long ago", "in olden days", or even "once upon a time"..

The complete lyrics, as Burns wrote them, are as follows -

Burns’ verse:

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.


We twa hae run about the braes,
and pou’d the gowans fine ;
But we’ve wander’d mony a weary fit,
sin’ auld lang syne.


We twa hae paidl’d in the burn,
frae morning sun till dine ;
But seas between us braid hae roar’d
sin’ auld lang syne.


And there’s a hand, my trusty fiere !
And gies a hand o’ thine !
And we’ll tak a right gude-willie-waught,
for auld lang syne.


Burns’ verse above is taken exactly from Songs from Robert Burns, published in Great Britain
by Collins Clear-Type Press in 1947, and sold at Burns’ Cottage. Most traditional use of the song involves only the first verse and the chorus - with the last line changed to "and days of auld lang syne".

  • The last line of the chorus is frequently mis-sung by crowds and untrained groups as for the sake of Auld Lang Syne. This is partly because the words themselves are not understood, but also because it has become common practice. It is rarely (if ever) incorrectly performed by trained choirs.
  • The song is sung at the end of the Last Night of the Proms by the audience (rather than the performers). As such it is never listed on the official programme.
  • The melody of the song is used as the unofficial alma mater for the University of Virginia.
  • The melody is also featured at the beginning of the Tom Waits song 'A Sight For Sore Eyes'
  • The song is sung in a famous scene at the end of It's a Wonderful Life, a movie traditionally shown during the weeks before Christmas in America.
  • In the 1942 re-release of the Charlie Chaplin film The Gold Rush with added sound, the song is sung at a New Year's Eve party. It is not certain if the same song was sung when the original silent film was released in 1925.
* all info directly plagiarized from Wikipedia
* We'll be ringing in '07 watching horror movies and inventing new drinks. There will be a brief interlude of posing in the Member's Only jacket for the mandatory photo op. These are traditions we just can't shake.
* Happy 2007, all! Ring it in with blind abandon!

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