As the old Christmas Song goes, “Swiftly now the old year passes…” Ain’t it the truth? You just get used to using 2016 and zip, someone sneaks up and changes the calendar on you.
Oh well, you’d think after all these years I’d get used to it. But I have gained a new appreciation for when my parents would say, just wait, the older you get the faster it goes by.
There is really one primary thing to look forward to that will Trump the nervousness of the coming 365 days, and that is Canada’s 150th birthday. So happy birthday Canada! “We’ll taste a cup of kindness yet for auld lang syne.”
In my final column of the year, I’d like to set the record straight on this poem/song that everyone sings and few understand. That’s not to say you are lacking in understanding the Scots use of English (which even Scots from one part of Scotland may have difficulty in understanding those from the other) so it’s no wonder the rest of the world doesn’t.
Now before someone takes offense and rallies the clans to have me drawn and quartered, my lineage includes one great-grandmother who was a Stewart, one a Stokes from the Welsh border regions of Oswestry and Llandudno and a grandfather, Ray Cobleigh, with a direct line back to Uncle Tom Cobleigh (and all) of Widecombe Fair repute (Southwest England).
So, back to business. Thanks to Wikipedia and Grammerly.com, here is their take on what the song lyric really means:
“For auld lang syne” as it appears in the first line of the chorus, loosely translated “for (the sake of) old times.”
The song/poem written by Robbie Burns, begins by posing the rhetorical question: Should old acquaintance be forgot, and old lang syne? Is it right that old times be forgotten? The answer is generally interpreted as a call to remember long-standing friendships.
Despite it being the unofficial anthem of New Year’s Eve, “Auld Lang Syne,” wasn’t intended to be a holiday song. Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians is credited with popularizing the song when his band used it as a segue between two radio programs during a live performance at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York in 1929. By coincidence, they played “Auld Lang Syne” just after the clock hit midnight, and a New Year’s tradition was born.
The song, has appeared in countless movies including Frank Capra’s “It’s a wonderful life” but the epitome of the confusion around the lyrics is best demonstrated by the following dialogue in “When Harry Met Sally,” Billy Crystal’s baffled Harry wonders, “What does this song mean? My whole life, I don’t know what this song means. I mean, ‘Should old acquaintance be forgot?’ Does that mean that we should forget old acquaintances? Or does it mean that if we happened to forget them, we should remember them, which is not possible because we already forgot them?”
“Well,” Meg Ryan’s Sally reasons, “maybe it just means that we should remember that we forgot them or something,”. “Anyway, it’s about old friends.”
So let’s leave it there for the sake of auld lang syne, and wrap up the year with a smile or two concerning new year’s resolutions:
- Good resolutions are simply checks that men draw on a bank where they have no account.-Oscar Wilde
- A New Year’s resolution is something that goes in one year and out the other – unknown
- Now there are more overweight people in America than average-weight people. So overweight people are now average… which means, you have met your New Year’s resolution. Jay Leno
- I think it would be much more sensible if New Year’s resolutions began on January the second. Bridgette Jones
- A new heart for a new year? Always! Charles Dickens (dedicated to Dr Arun Garg)
Purr less – hiss more: Grumpy Cat
New Year’s Day now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual. Mark Twain
Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbour, and let every new year find you a better man. Ben Franklin (or maybe that online dating service free for women.)
My best to you for this holiday season, for Auld Lang Syne. Ray