Sunday, December 27, 2009

Still Auld Lang Syne?

A friend of mine has a band that is playing on New Year's Eve. He's not excited about it. Another of my band-y friends refuses to play this date citing "Amateur Night", both by the drunks and the other bands that perform at every VFW and beer hall across America. But, friend #1 didn't really have a choice. The band manager took the gig, so here he goes.

The big dilemma is what to play at midnight? They really don't want to do the traditional hymn of Auld Lang Syne. It is not very upbeat, old, slow, and not fitting their band's style. The crowd does not know the words. So, has no one written a good new New Year's Eve song in over 100 years? Dan Fogelburg wrote a song that is played during the Christmas season by the same name. But it ends quoting the same melody, played on a saxophone. Can it be that I will need to rectify this situation in the next year?

Old Long Still, (more easily heard as "long long ago", or "Once upon a Time" is a Scottish poem written by Robert Burns in 1788. Canadian band leader Guy Lombardo is often credited with popularizing the use of the song at New Year’s celebrations in America, through his annual broadcasts on radio and television, beginning in 1929. The song became his trademark. In addition to his live broadcasts, Lombardo recorded the song more than once.

The new tune will have a hint of melancholy, perhaps, with a general upbeat, "let's start over, let's try that again" lyric. For me, it should be about new beginnings. I don't want to write a rap, kthxbai. It will need to be repetitive and on the simple side for the limited talent groups out there. Should it have a moment for the sounding of the paper horns? What about a moment for the tinging of glasses, or a kiss? Should it rock, or be sentimental? Should it tip its hat to the former lyrics with a reference like "take a cup of kindness", which I really like? Your input into the next millennium's hit would be greatly appreciated.

Here's a translation from Wikipedia for your reading pleasure. Reading these words makes me realize how sad and back-looking the song is. We are ready for a new one, I think. What elements of a New Year's song would you like to hear?

Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind?
Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and old lang syne?

For auld lang syne, my dear,
for auld lang syne,
we'll take a cup of kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

And surely you’ll buy your pint cup !
and surely I’ll buy mine !
And we'll take a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.


We two have run about the slopes,
and picked the daisies fine;
But we’ve wandered many a weary foot,
since auld lang syne.


We two have paddled in the stream,
from morning sun till dine;
But seas between us broad have roared
since auld lang syne.


And there’s a hand my trusty friend!
And give us a hand o’ thine!
And we’ll take a right good-will draught,
for auld lang syne.


No comments:

Post a Comment

Who's been to Visit?