Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Auld Lang Syne

and all that.  I didn't stay up to see in the New Year.  I haven't done so for many a good year, my bed seeming a far better place to be at that time of the night.  Granted, there was a time when the Old Bat and I would join our friends Chris and Mrs Chris and a few others and we would go outside on the stroke of midnight to hear the ships' hooters from the harbour.  I don't recall that we ever sang Auld Lang Syne, but it's a pretty safe bet that that song was the most sung yesterday.

And if you were asked who wrote the song, it's even money that you would plump for Robbie Burns.  But you would be wrong.  Robbie Burns did indeed write down the words, but he didn't compose them, he simply recorded the words of an old song that originated in an anonymous 15th-century poem.  (Just to be pedantic, Burns lived from 1759 to 1796 so the words predate him by 300 years!)

I would go further and lay odds that at least 90% of those who sung the song got the words wrong.  The last line of the chorus isn’t “For the sake of Auld Lang Syne”.  Since “auld lang syne” already means “old times’ sake” in old Scots, this is tautologous. The two extra notes in the line – which make people feel they need to add “the sake of” – should be dealt with by singing two extra notes for “for” and “old” and "syne". Sing “For-or oh-old la-ang syne”.

And a happy New Year to you.


Yesterday I posted a picture of one of the lodge cottages at Stanmer Park.  On the wall of its twin is this wooden plaque, sorely in need of some TLC.  Even more so now, as the picture was taken over two years ago and nothing has been done to the plaque since then.


Buck said...

Happy New Year to you and yours, Brian!

Brighton Pensioner said...

Thank you, Buck. And to use your strange attempts at the English language, straight back atcha!