Pages

Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy Hogmanay, Ye Presbyters Ye (2008)


[Editor's Note: I added a few paragraphs and a new picture to last year's New Year's Eve well-wishes. How many new ideas about New Year's were you expecting, exactly?]
{Author's Note: There is no editor.}

It's the ancient stuff that gets us going. We paste our modern concerns over contemporary fetes and whoop it up, but it all goes back to the cave.

Hallowe'en. New Year's Day. Christmas. Easter. Mardi Gras. Sometimes it appears you're peering into a closed up shop through a grimy window, and way across the room, past the dust of centuries that lays on every surface, through the dim sepia light, you see another window grimier still. Through that one, who knows what you'd see? It's lost to pen and ink, but it's written in our marrow somehow.

Here are the goddamn words, by the way:

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind ?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and auld lang syne ?

CHORUS:
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.

CHORUS

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.

CHORUS

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.

CHORUS

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.

CHORUS

It's Burns. Robert Burns. But he didn't make any bones about it. He told everybody he was just writing it down, that it was old, old, old. Auld, really. The title doesn't translate readily into modern English. The closest idiomatic doppelganger I like is "For old-time's sake." In Japan, maybe you could drink old-time sake and sing along.

You can go to Wikipedia and get a translation, if drunken roaring latin/gael mishmash isn't your thing or your Manx talkin' friends don't come over:

Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind ?
Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and auld lang syne ?

CHORUS:
For auld lang syne, my dear,
for auld lang syne,
we'll take a cup o’ 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 auld lang syne.

CHORUS

We two have run about the slopes,
and picked the daisies fine ;
But we’ve wandered many a weary foot,
since auld lang syne.

CHORUS

We two have paddled in the stream,
from morning sun till dine;
But seas between us broad have roared
since auld lang syne.

CHORUS

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 auld lang syne.

Everyone forgets the words, and belts it out any old way in a drunken, misty, stentorian bellow. That'll do. But the thing they forget, the thing that really matters, are the question marks.

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind ?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and auld lang syne ?

No.

4 comments:

Sam L. said...

Between the selection of the pictures and the selection of your words, I see you're a triple-threat blogger.

SippicanCottage said...

Happy New Year, Sam

Sissy Willis said...

Unforgettable . . . though near or far. :-)

BostonMaggie said...

Happy New Year!