As the clock strikes midnight heralding in 2011 folks in Asheville will join most of the English speaking countries of the world in a poignant rendition of Auld Lang Syne. Many of those engaging in correct or mostly muddled interpretations of this song have little understanding of it's meaning, what the real lyrics are or the reasons it has been adopted as the "national anthem" of New Year's Eve.
The song is a reasonably rough adaptation of a poem written by a Scot, Robert Burns, in 1788.
The words Auld Lang Syne mean, old long since or for old time's sake. It was introduced to the fame it now enjoys in the place of your Innkeeper's birth, New York City in 1929 by Guy Lombardo at a party where he first played it.
There are as many uses for this song as you can imagine. It is used as a song of friendship, as a song of parting at the end of a gathering and even as a funeral song in South Korea. The general feeling of those hearing this ballad is one of sadness, loss and longing but it's initial intention was merely to re-connect and recall memories of times gone by and possibly reflect on their meaning in one's life. Clearly, this could, in most of us engender feelings of loss as we explore our lives, loss of people we have loved and are gone from us, roads not taken that we now deem were better choices. Sometimes, it is easier to long for choices one did not make and paths deemed, at the time of decision making, not good paths to choose..... than to actually own and choose to make the most of the path we did decide to choose. Likely, we are much less in awareness of the potential problems we did not ever encounter, allowing them to basque in a rosy and easier to manage glow, than the ones we did. This is likely only perceptual rather than reality based thinking.
Now, on a more cheery note, here is the first verse of this song so that you do not have to muddle your way through it anymore. So, take on the leadership role in your party...Belt it out in the sure and certain knowledge these are the words. You can do it! Blaze a new Trail! Sing a new song! Be your own Alpha Dog!
A word of warning: Should you find you have over indulged in drinks of the alcoholic persuasion...Perhaps, it would be best if you choose to turn over the task of leading this rousing, yet angst producing song to a less intoxicated member of your party. I know it would be in your best interest to turn over the car keys...Lest you are really in mourning about the path NOW taken having injured yourself or injured or killed another because that would be something even a "cup of kindness" cannot fix.
Auld Lang Syne
Should old acquaintance be forgot and never brought to mind?
Should old acquaintance be forgot, and old times since?
For auld lang syne, my dear, for old lang syne. We'll take a cup of kindness yet, for auld lang syne.
Happy, Healthy and Awesome New Year 2011
Patti and Gary Wiles Innkeepers At Cumberland Falls Bed and Breakfast Inn Your Asheville Bed and Breakfast