Auld Lang Syne
Of days gone by
Warning . . because of many YOUTUBE links in this post, the page will load pretty slow probably. Have some patience please.
Watching whatever kind of media these days means receiving an overload of retrospections. Most of them nostalgic. It is what we do at the end of the year, looking back. Not a bad habit, even when it often does not change how things are. When someone died, it stays sad, losing a friend stays sad as well. Illness stays illness and will not magically disappear with a new year. And all good things that happened will still create a smile on your face. I think however we need these days of retrospection to feel hope, acceptance, peace of mind and happiness. Hope for things going better. Mark a bad year as being the past now. Look forward to new opportunities and improvements that feel promising. We often feel a special kind of energy at each start of a new year, hence the many resolutions people tend to dedicate themselves to like not smoking, not drinking, losing weight, live more healthy, be a better father or mother etc etc. Some of us will prepare themselves with a newborn calm energy for the reality of maybe dying when really old or ill.
In general I think it is better to look forward, instead of looking back, but I cannot deny to also have nostalgic moods about days gone by. Like we can think of our unspoilt days as a kid when nothing was harmed, disturbed or ruined yet in our lives. But when growing up sweet memories become more and more mixed with less sweet ones. I think however aging gifts us (exceptions always there) with the ability to value the good things more and more. Focussing on bad things is tiring, obstructing improvement and basically makes you a misanthrope. Maybe that’s easier, no idea, but it never has been my cup of tea and also never will be my cup of tea. Life is too precious to spend too much and too long energy on negativity. ‘Days gone by’ we cannot change , a future we can more or less, and it always will be better with a positive approach.
‘Days gone by’ is the English translation of the Scottish phrase AULD LANG SYNE, the song many people sing at midnight, when we enter the new year, at least in the English speaking countries. I wanted to know more of this song, since I have always liked it, despite also being aware of the easy sentiment it is and nothing elementary I do not already know. Let’s call this my romantic nostalgic side. To feel comfy with some kind of balancing at the end of a year and wanting to be part of the happy song singers when the clock hits 12.
So there was this Scottish poet, who liked to collect folk songs. His name is Robert Burns and he is the one who wrote Auld Lang Syne in 1788. A part of the text he took from some unknown stranger but he added his own lyrics to it to make it his. It was set to the tune of a traditional folk tune but was not meant to become a New Year’s Eve song as we know it nowadays. It more likely was a song to drink at and have some fun together. But when it became a habit to sing this song at the Scottish New Year’s Eve, called Hogmanay, with a little circle dance in which people take each other’s hands, it grew from a drinking song into a farewell / remembrance song. It gradually spread over the world due to English, Scots and Irish travelling overseas and settling abroad. The text changed as well a bit and in fact most people only know the words of the first verse of the poem, which makes the song lose its authenticity even more. But when you consider New Year’s Eve often is a reason to drink a lot as well, Robert Burns probably would enjoy it :) The song also is used at funerals, graduations, and as a farewell or ending to other occasions. The international Scouting movement in many countries uses it to close jamborees and other functions.
|Original by Burns
|—————————-|| English translation
|Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and auld lang syne*?
And surely ye’ll be your pint-stoup!
We twa hae run about the braes,
We twa hae paidl’d in the burn,
And there’s a hand, my trusty fiere!
|Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind?
Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and old lang syne?
And surely you’ll buy your pint cup!
We two have run about the slopes,
We two have paddled in the stream,
And there’s a hand my trusty friend!
I RL I had a year of goodbyes and welcome backs. Also a few farewells are there.
My husband being away for months was quite an experience. Some people dying was sad.
In SL some decided I am their enemy from now on. Fine. What’s new . . . SL drama always is hilarious and pathetic.
It never will change I think. Some just like me better than others and some just feel more happy with hate and gossip about me.
I really do not care. The handful of really good friends I have around me in SL (as well as in RL) are the ones I can rely on forever and vice versa.
What more do I need? Nothing. I was a happy person this year and still am at the end of it.
I have no regrets of just being me.
That does not mean I am perfect or handled all perfect.
It simply means I know nobody is perfect including myself.
I also know nothing happens without a reason and such reasons can legitimate imperfect acts.
I learned to take certain things lighter and especially SL.
Focus on what really matters and take care of that.
The year of 2019 will be a year of less goodbyes in RL I hope, but I never can tell in my situation.
We have plans to work in and around the house a lot.
I myself plan to read more again and make less screen hours, but not sure at all I will make that happen.
For SL I never make plans. I just am there when I like to be there and will see what happens.
A new project is to start soon, but that’s all I will tell for now, because all very premature and in brainstorm phase.
I do plan to continue this blog but less about events and art I sometimes chose to write about.
I find it less challenging the last few years to do that.
And I like other things as well than only artistic stuff.
The art scene feels a bit dead to me.
Dead as in: repetitive and boring.
Not always and everywhere, I still have my heroes in this, but . . .
It is not easy to keep your work original and really creative in SL, plus when not on a LEA sim, you are restricted by prims and money.
So it is not an accusation to anyone, more my own perception and maybe not the best one.
Also I never felt and will feel happy in the sometimes too much elitist atmosphere the art scene can generate around itself.
The competitive gangs everywhere that glue together and provide themselves with an artistic vip status, just because it is so easy here and gives instant satisfaction.
Maybe I glue to my own groups and am an elitist snob myself. If so it maybe is time I start to collect groupies, to secure my place :) Even so, I never will call myself an artist, when I participate in whatever project, to at least be free of any sophisticated title I do not want to be tagged with.
Anyway, I probably just am not social enough or suitable to fit into the more popular communities where pleasing is standard procedure. Art venues alas are like that most of the time. I know it is not nice to not compliment someone and choose to be silent or maybe only a simple ‘Congrats with the exhibition’, but I just cannot YAY around when I do not feel it. What I like is people having pleasure in their work and that being enough for them to be happy with their work, not needing the applause and attention as confirmation.
But now . . . . . the song!
First and foremost, I wish you all a very Happy New Year, even when not liking me. Maybe I am the snob, bitch, witch, hero or best friend and lover to you. It’s funny how different we can be to others. It does not stop me from wishing everyone a Happy New Year, no matter if I am in your mute list, blacklist or whitelist and wish list. Take it or leave it. Your own choice :)
Enough said , time for some music. I collected a lot of Auld Lang Syne songs and was surprised how many there are. Each song has a little description so you know what you will be listening at. Enjoy the series! This is a very incomplete, chaotic unordered list btw. I chose to share not only or all famous names but also students and home made video’s. Simply because that to me is what music should be about, a personal feeling of joy in making it and listening to it and not the big business thing of fame only. Satisfaction from within!
Mr Bean’s New Years Eve Party. A hilarious version of Auld Lang Syne.
On 30 November 30, 2009 at St. Andrew’s Day, students and staff at the University of Glasgow sang the song in 41 languages simultaneously.
South Korea used the melody for their national anthem between 1945 – 1948 and before that it it served as the national anthem of the Korean exile government from 1919-1945.
Japanese version. In Japan, although the original song is not unknown, people usually associate the melody with Hotaru no Hikari, which also sets completely unconnected lyrics to the familiar tune. Hotaru no Hikari is played at some school graduation ceremonies, and at the end of the popular New Year’s Eve show NHK Kōhaku Uta Gassen. It is played as background music in various establishments such as bars, restaurants, or department stores in Japan to let the customers know that the establishment is closing soon.
Thai version. In Thailand, the song “Samakkhi Chumnum” (“สามัคคีชุมนุม”, “Together in unity”), which is set to the familiar melody, is sung after sporting fixtures, and at the end of Boy Scout jamborees, as well as for the New Year. The Thai lyrics are about the King and national unity, and many Thais are not aware of the song’s “Western” origin.
The Netherlands probably have the most banal version (well in my view at least). The melody is abused for a patriotic football/soccer song I personally dislike very much. Many like to sing along however, especially when EU or World Cup is taking place. The song is called: Wij houden van Oranje / We love Orange. Makes me puke, sorry :) And in my country there is no real habit to sing Auld Lang Syne at the last day of the year, unless maybe at some music spectacle like the English proms.
Danish version. In Denmark, the song was translated in 1927 by the famous Danish poet Jeppe Aakjær. Much like Robert Burns’ use of dialect, Aakjær translated the song into the Danish dialect sallingbomål, a dialect from the northern part of western Jutland, south of the Limfjord, often hard for other Danes to understand. The song “Skuld gammel venskab rejn forgo“, is an integral part of the Danish Højskole tradition, and often associated with more rural areas and old traditions. Also, the former Danish rock group Gasolin modernised the melody in 1974 with their pop ballad Stakkels Jim (“Poor Jim”).
Sweden. Not sure if this was a one time occasion, because the singer is Norwegian and she sings in partly English, partly Swedish. But I decided to add it anyway. It seems to me there is no Auld Lang Syne song tradition so much in Sweden.
India and Bangladesh. In India and Bangladesh, the melody was the direct inspiration for the popular Bengali folk song “Purano shei diner kotha” (Memories of the Good Old Days) composed by Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore,] and forms one of the more recognisable tunes in Rabindra Sangeet (Rabindra’s Songs), a body of work of 2,230 songs and lyrical poems that form the backbone of Bengali music.
Auld Lang Syne in classic movies
Frank C. Stanley (1868-1910) recorded the song in 1910, which may be the earliest known recording of it.
Scottish bagpipes version
Tom Waits version
Silly version :)
Duke Ellington version
Guy Lombardo version.This version made the song popular in the USA. Lombardo’s version is played in Times Square every New Year’s immediately following the dropping of the ball.
A capella version
Guitar Ensemble version
Boogie Woogie version
Saxophone quartet version
Saxophone solo version
Regina Spektor version
Sherlock Holmes version