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updated 2:54 PM CDT, Jul 28, 2018

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New Year is a crossroad of memories - with Auld Lange Syne as an accompaniment

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(NOTE: The crossroad of memories that New Year represents as the old year gives way to the new and the role of Auld Lange Syne, the song that in many places accompanies that passage, were the topic of The Harp a year ago. I share the substance of the column again since it seems even more appropriate as the eve of this New Year represents the passage into a new decade, carrying the weight of the memories of 10 years now passed.)

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The trail of memories that inexorably reaches its crossroads each year on the eve of the New Year and the centuries-old refrain that has become the theme of that passage causes a pause to reflect on what and who we are leaving behind and what may lie ahead.
 
And the crossroads of memories that the New Year transition brings make the need to look back on an important aspect of human interaction and reflection that I get to dwell upon anew in this Harp.
 
I am perennially intrigued that the words and music of Auld Lange Syne should be the link for all the years of memories, a song that many who listen to it and sing it on New Year's Eve aren't even sure of the words, given the words were composed by Scotsman Robert Burns 230 years ago.
 
In fact, a study conducted three years ago by a British supermarket chain turned up the fact that while a third of the people polled plan to sing the song in the last moments of the year, only 3 percent of them knew the words.
 
The translation of the phrase auld lang syne is "old long since," but the meaning is "days gone by."
 
The song is interpreted to raise the question of whether it's right to forget old times and never think of them again. It's the perfect song for New Year's Eve as we move into a new year and try to decide if we will look back at moments from the past year or forget them and move forward.
 
In Scotland, people traditionally stand in a circle holding hands just before midnight. At the start of the final verse-which says, "And there's a hand, my trusty friend!"-everyone crosses their arms across their bodies so that their left hand is holding the hand of the person on their right and vice versa.
 
The two most memorable versions of the song for me are by Rod Stewart in a 2012 performance at Stirling Castle in Scotland and by Norwegian singer Sissel Kyrkjebo, who is merely known as Sisel. Both are moving videos and there are YouTube versions of each so search Auld Lange Syne, Rod Stewart, Stirling Castle, and Auld Lange Syne, Sissel.
 
A most compelling line in the video accompanying Sissel's song goes: "The New Year lies before you like a precious tract of snow. Be careful how you tread on it for every step will show.
 
Thus I share with friends of mine facing challenges as the New Year arrives to bring the future: "Life and its beauty are too important to let the bad prevail, so remember that you ARE life and beauty, and the new year will be good."
 
So with that lead-in, here are the words:
 
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And auld lang syne.
 
For auld lang syne, my jo,
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.
 
For auld lang syne, my jo,
For auld lang syne.
We'll tak a cup o'kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.
 
We twa hae run about the braes
And pu'd the gowans fine
But we've wander'd mony a weary foot
Sin auld lang syne.
 
For auld lang syne, my jo,
For auld lang syne.
We'll tak a cup o' kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.
 
We twa hae paidl'd i' the burn
Frae mornin' sun till dine.
But seas between us braid hae roar'd
Sin auld lang syne.
 
For auld lang syne, my jo,
For auld lang syne.
We'll tak a cup o' kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.
 
And there's a hand, my trusty fiere!
And gie's a hand o'thine!
And we'll tak a right guid willy waught,
For auld lang syne.
 
For auld lang syne, my jo,
For auld lang syne.
We'll tak a cup o' kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.
 
Should old acquaintance be forgot
And never brought to mind?
Should old acquaintance be forgot,
And long, long ago.
 
For auld lang syne, my jo,
For auld lang syne.
We'll tak a cup o' kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.
 
And for long, long ago, my dear
For long, long ago.
We'll take a cup of kindness yet
For long, long ago.

(NOTE: The crossroad of memories that New Year represents as the old year gives way to the new and the role of Auld Lange Syne, the song that in many places accompanies that passage, were the topic of The Harp a year ago. I share the substance of the column again since it seems even more appropriate as the eve of this New Year represents the passage into a new decade, carrying the weight of the memories of 10 years now passed.)

-------
 
The trail of memories that inexorably reaches its crossroads each year on the eve of the New Year and the centuries-old refrain that has become the theme of that passage causes a pause to reflect on what and who we are leaving behind and what may lie ahead.
 
And the crossroads of memories that the New Year transition brings make the need to look back on an important aspect of human interaction and reflection that I get to dwell upon anew in this Harp.
 
I am perennially intrigued that the words and music of Auld Lange Syne should be the link for all the years of memories, a song that many who listen to it and sing it on New Year's Eve aren't even sure of the words, given the words were composed by Scotsman Robert Burns 230 years ago.
 
In fact, a study conducted three years ago by a British supermarket chain turned up the fact that while a third of the people polled plan to sing the song in the last moments of the year, only 3 percent of them knew the words.
 
The translation of the phrase auld lang syne is "old long since," but the meaning is "days gone by."
 
The song is interpreted to raise the question of whether it's right to forget old times and never think of them again. It's the perfect song for New Year's Eve as we move into a new year and try to decide if we will look back at moments from the past year or forget them and move forward.
 
In Scotland, people traditionally stand in a circle holding hands just before midnight. At the start of the final verse-which says, "And there's a hand, my trusty friend!"-everyone crosses their arms across their bodies so that their left hand is holding the hand of the person on their right and vice versa.
 
The two most memorable versions of the song for me are by Rod Stewart in a 2012 performance at Stirling Castle in Scotland and by Norwegian singer Sissel Kyrkjebo, who is merely known as Sisel. Both are moving videos and there are YouTube versions of each so search Auld Lange Syne, Rod Stewart, Stirling Castle, and Auld Lange Syne, Sissel.
 
A most compelling line in the video accompanying Sissel's song goes: "The New Year lies before you like a precious tract of snow. Be careful how you tread on it for every step will show.
 
Thus I share with friends of mine facing challenges as the New Year arrives to bring the future: "Life and its beauty are too important to let the bad prevail, so remember that you ARE life and beauty, and the new year will be good."
 
So with that lead-in, here are the words:
 
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And auld lang syne.
 
For auld lang syne, my jo,
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.
 
For auld lang syne, my jo,
For auld lang syne.
We'll tak a cup o'kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.
 
We twa hae run about the braes
And pu'd the gowans fine
But we've wander'd mony a weary foot
Sin auld lang syne.
 
For auld lang syne, my jo,
For auld lang syne.
We'll tak a cup o' kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.
 
We twa hae paidl'd i' the burn
Frae mornin' sun till dine.
But seas between us braid hae roar'd
Sin auld lang syne.
 
For auld lang syne, my jo,
For auld lang syne.
We'll tak a cup o' kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.
 
And there's a hand, my trusty fiere!
And gie's a hand o'thine!
And we'll tak a right guid willy waught,
For auld lang syne.
 
For auld lang syne, my jo,
For auld lang syne.
We'll tak a cup o' kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.
 
Should old acquaintance be forgot
And never brought to mind?
Should old acquaintance be forgot,
And long, long ago.
 
For auld lang syne, my jo,
For auld lang syne.
We'll tak a cup o' kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.
 
And for long, long ago, my dear
For long, long ago.
We'll take a cup of kindness yet
For long, long ago.

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