Monday, December 31, 2012

Times Gone By

Auld Lang Syne

Performed by the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards, on bagpipes.  Well, it is Scottish after all!  The lyrics most familiar today were penned by Robert Burns, or perhaps edited is better term, for the song predates Burns.

Should old acquaintance be forgot and never brought to mind? Should old acquaintance be forgot and auld lang syne.
For auld lang syne, my dear, for auld lang syne, we'll take a cup of kindness yet, for auld lang syne.  Robert Burns 1788

Of course while the Robert Burns version is the most familiar, and while he undoubtedly simplified the song, one is left wondering if it is indeed better compared to earlier versions.

Should old acquaintance be forgot, and never thought upon; The flames of love extinguished, and fully past and gone: Is thy sweet heart now grown so cold, that loving breast of thine; That thou canst never once reflect on Old long syne.

On old long syne my Joe, in old long syne, that thou canst never once reflect, on Old long syne.  James Watson 1711


For you Caledonians out there, perhaps a bit more modern, from one of my favorite Scottish performers, Dougie MacLean.  You may be familiar with his most famous work, The Gael was adapted as the main theme of Last of the Mohicans.  This piece is titled Caledonia:


Always On Watch said...

To all here at Western Hero:


conservativesonfire said...

Wishing all at Western Hero a great new year!

FreeThinke said...

The Dougie McClean offering, despite having that generally plaintive, melancholy aura of most folk songs, is very soothing and relaxing. The words are thoughtful and sensitive. I love the sound of plucked strings -- as long as they originate from acoustical instruments.

Interesting background in formation on Auld Lang Syne. We music and literary scholar types usually say "adapted" rather than "edited" when referring to traditional material varied by a poet or composer.

Wiki adds:

'The phrase "Auld Lang Syne" is also used in similar poems by Robert Ayton (1570–1638), Allan Ramsay (1686–1757), and James Watson (1711) as well as older folk songs predating Burns. Matthew Fitt uses the phrase "In the days of auld lang syne" as the equivalent of "Once upon a time..." in his retelling of fairy tales in the Scots language.'

Thanks for all you guys are doing, and


viburnum said...

Happy New Year to all!!!

Beautiful photography in the Auld Lang Syne video but, despite my ancestry, four minutes of bagpipes is more than anyone this side of Hades should have to endure. ;-)

The Dougie McLean tune is great though, I may have to add that to the repertoire.

Les Carpenter said...

Wishing all the good people here at Western Hero a prosperous and most joyous New Year!!

Bunkerville said...

All the best to everyone. Thanks to all who take the time to make excellent comments, and make this one terrific blog.

freesoul1957 said...

I second the motion! Happy New Year to all at Western Hero!

FreeThinke said...

Did you ever experience Anna Russell's "lecture-recital" called How to Play the Bagpipes -- Using the Blow, Suck, Push, Twiddle Method?

You might be a bit young for that, but you'd love it, I'm sure, if you could ever find it these days. Hysterically funny that woman was.

I too have a limited tolerance for bagpipe playing, but they can be very affecting when heard marching to or from a highlands village -- from a considerable distance.

viburnum said...

Would that they were as inconspicuous as tartans in the heather.

Haven't been able to find Anna Russel's bagpipe lesson yet but her send up Gilbert and Sullivan is brilliant!

A fair number of links for her. Her take on the Ring is next on my list. Thanks for the tip!

viburnum said...

"'re exactly where you came in twenty hours you know they could start this whole darn thing all over again?"


FreeThinke said...

Glad to learn you are a fellow Russell fan. Stuff the old girl did back in the fifties is classic satire. It never goes stale in my estimation. Always funny.

Blessed is the awkward female who has the wit and wisdom to laugh at herself. The world laughed with her, and loved her.

I have the her G&S routine memorized. It has entertained me on many a long bus trip and in many a waiting room. I can see it and hear every word in my head. Priceless!

The Ring takes a bit of prompting.