Ushering in the New Year- 2013

Ushering in the New Year – 2013

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At the conclusions of the old year after the seconds are counted down and the stroke of midnight resounds there is always one song:  Auld Lang Syne that is loudly sung by people of all ages, races and creeds to usher in the New Year.

Usually everyone joins hands with the person next to them to form a great big circle. At the beginning of the last verse, everyone crosses their arms across their breast, so that the right hand reaches out to the neighbour on the left and vice versa. When the song ends, everyone rushes to the centre while still holding hands, shrinking the circle, and then everyone turns under their arms to end up facing outwards with their hands still joined. Sounds like loads of fun, right?

Join me by clicking on the Link to sing along the Auld Lang Syne, as you view seasonal pictures of the last year:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=suDXIzc52Og&feature=share&list=UUmI3ZvZVSfN28HOBM9pOnDQ

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More info about Auld Lang Syne:

Did you know that Auld Lang Syne is actually a Scots poem written by Robert Burns in 1788? The poem later on was set to the tune of traditional folk song. From its humble beginnings it was always deemed an appropriate song for New Year, for it symbolizes “endings and new beginnings”. It is therefore also sung at graduations, funerals and as a farewell to persons leaving on a journey. The literal English interpretation of the title “Auld Lang Syne” can be any one of these: “Old long since” or, more idiomatically, “Long long ago”, “Days gone by” or “Old times.”  The song begins with a rhetorical question as to whether it is right that the old times be forgotten, and encourages one to be mindful of long-standing friendships. In the publication of “Select Songs of Scotland”, by Thomson in 1799, the second verse of “Old Lang Syne” about greeting and toasting, was moved to its present position at the end.

Robert Burns had sent the copy of the original song to the Scots Musical Museum with the remark, “The following song, an old song, of the olden times, and which has never been in print, nor even in manuscript until I took it down from an old man”. Suffice to say some of the lyrics were indeed “collected” rather than composed by the poet. The ballad “Old Long Syne” printed in 1711 by James Watson shows incredible similarity in the first verse and the chorus to Burn’s later poem, and is almost certainly copied from the same “old song”. The rest of the poem can be attributed to Burns himself; however, there is some speculation as to whether the melody widely used in Scotland and the rest of the world today is the same one Burns had originally used. One thing is for certain it is a very contagious song. The song sang on Hogmanay or New Year’s Eve quickly became a Scots custom that soon spread like wildfire to other parts of the British Isles. As Scots, including English, Irish and Welsh immigrants, settled around the world they took with them this old tradition. In America, the Canadian band leader Guy Lombardo in 1929 used it in his New Year’s Eve celebrations through his annual broadcasts on radio and television. The song soon became his trademark and the rest, as they say, is history.

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Lyrics: Auld Lang Syne

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,

And never brought to mind?

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,

And days of auld lang syne?

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And days of auld lang syne, my dear,

And days of auld lang syne.

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,

And days of auld lang syne?

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We twa hae run aboot the braes

And pu’d the gowans fine.

We’ve wandered mony a weary foot,

Sin’ days of auld lang syne.

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Sin’ days of auld lang syne, my dear,

Sin’ days of auld lang syne,

We’ve wandered mony a weary foot,

Sin’ days of auld ang syne.

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We twa hae sported i’ the burn,

From morning sun till dine,

But seas between us braid hae roared

Sin’ days of auld lang syne.

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Sin’ days of auld lang syne, my dear,

Sin’ days of auld lang syne.

But seas between us braid hae roared

Sin’ days of auld lang syne.

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And ther’s a hand, my trusty friend,

And gie’s a hand o’ thine;

We’ll tak’ a cup o’ kindness yet,

For auld lang syne.

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For auld lang syne, my dear,

For auld lang syne,

We’ll tak’ a cup o’ kindness yet,

For auld lang syne.

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(c) 2000 McGuinn Music / Roger McGuinn

Folk Den Songs by Roger McGuinn is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

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Happy New Year Everyone; Wishing you all a healthy, joyous and prosperous 2013.

 

 

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