Did there not used to be an apostrophe in Hogmanay? Or is that Ne’er’s Day? Anyhoo. Hogmanay. You either love or loathe it. And at times the burd has done both. I’ve had some great celebrations – that went on for days – and some pretty ropey ones too. These days I’m largely agnostic…. but I still like a lot of the traditions.
So there’s only one song that could be posted today. Do you think that when Burns sat down to write Auld Lang Syne he could ever have imagined how popular it would become?
There are so many good, bad and ugly versions of this song that I thought it only fair to allow you to pick from the full range!
a surreal Japanese karaoke version set to clips from Waterloo Bridge;
a wonderful orchestral number from Germany complete with pipes and drums and audience participation (that all somehow manages to bring tears to the burdz eyes);
Barbra Streisand murdering it with some assistance from her audience;
an orchestral version in slow time – on the organ “for the traditionalists”;
and the burdz favourite – featuring two of my favourite Scottish folk singers and wonderful Burns interpreters.
The burd likes to ensure the flutter delivers something for everyone. So here are two newer, very different versions. An exquisitely delicate one from El Perro del Mar. And courtesy of Mad Mackerel, an outrageously irreverent, punk version from the Wooden Shjips.
The Scots Language Centre has a great section on Hogmanay, complete with a wonderful rendition of a very old Hogmanay poem, clips and info about traditional Scottish celebrations.
And even though we all sing the chorus and stumble through the verses, how many of us have ever actually read Auld Lang Syne and understand what it is about? As with so many other of his poems and lyrics, Burns captures a mood and a sentiment in a few short lines. It’s all there – the melancholy, the loss and regret, the hope and warmth, the remembrance. No wonder it’s the world’s favourite song. But the burdz favourite verses are the two that are rarely sung:
We twa hae run aboot the braes
And pu’d the gowans fine,
But we’ve wandered monie a wearie fit’
Since auld lang syne.
We twa hae paidled in the burn
Frae morning sun till dine
But seas a’tween us braid hae roared
Since 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.
No blues today, not allowed, not with a New Year to look forward to. The burd doesn’t do resolutions but a new year is a good time to put things in order – home, finance, work, life in general – and to set goals for the year ahead. One will be to keep on blogging.
For the end of 2010 also marks A Burdz Eye View’s six month anniversary.
I didn’t know what to expect when I started the blog and have been genuinely, pleasantly surprised at the positive reactions. Lots of folk – from all manner of weird and wonderful places – have stopped by for a look. Some of you could even be termed regular readers – and some have even subscribed!
So thank you all. I look forward to blogging, sharing and spatting with you all in the next twelve months.
A Guid New Year to you and yours, when it comes. Wishing you all health, wealth and happiness in 2011.