Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year!!!

Auld Lang Syne
by Robert Burns

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
     And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
     And auld lang syne!

     For auld lang syne, my dear,
     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 dear,
     For auld lang syne.
     We'll tak a cup o' kindness yet,
     For auld lang syne.

We twa hae run about the braes,
     And pou'd the gowans fine;
But we've wander'd mony a weary fit,
     Sin' auld lang syne.

     For auld lang syne, my dear,
     For auld lang syne.
     We'll tak a cup o' kindness yet,
     For auld lang syne.

We twa hae paidl'd in the burn,
     Frae morning sun till dine;
But seas between us braid hae roar'd
     Sin' auld lang syne.

     For auld lang syne, my dear,
     For auld lang syne.
     We'll tak a cup o' kindness yet,
     For auld lang syne.

And there's a hand, my trusty fere!
     And gie's a hand o' thine!
And we'll tak a right gude-willie waught,
     For auld lang syne.

     For auld lang syne, my dear,
     For auld lang syne.
     We'll tak a cup o' kindness yet,
     For auld lang syne.

Eighteenth-century Scottish poet Robert Burns may well be most famous not for a poem he wrote, exactly, but for a poem he wrote down. According to Burns Country, a comprehensive website devoted to the poet, Burns, in a letter to an acquaintance, wrote, "There is an old song and tune which has often thrilled through my soul. You know I am an enthusiast in old Scotch songs. I shall give you the verses on the other sheet... Light be the turf on the breast of the heaven-inspired poet who composed this glorious fragment! There is more of the fire of native genius in it than in half a dozen of modern English Bacchanalians."

That song was a version that Burns fashioned of "Auld Lang Syne," which annually rings in the New Year at parties across the world, though most often sung out of tune and with improvised lyrics, as it has been described as "the song that nobody knows." Though the history of the authorship of the poem is labyrinthine and disputed, Burns is generally credited with penning at least two original stanzas to the version that is most familiar to revelers of the New Year. Here are the first two stanzas as Burns recorded them:
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And auld lang syne!
Chorus.-For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne.
We'll tak a cup o' kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.
Undoubtedly, some rousing version of the Scottish song echoed through the New Year’s night near whereThomas Hardy wrote his haunting goodbye to the ninteenth century, "The Darkling Thrush." Dated December 30, 1900, which signaled the end of the century in Hardy’s view, the poem intones a much more somber sense of the end of one time and beginning of another. Consider the last lines of the opening stanza, which set a grim scene:
The tangled bine-stems scored the sky
Like strings of broken lyres,
And all mankind that haunted nigh
Had sought their household fires.
But century’s end, for Hardy, was possibly an arbitrary marking, too, and there was hope to be found, in the form of the sudden song issued from a thrush’s voice, a "full-hearted evensong / Of joy illimited."
For centuries, it has been the charge of Britain’s Poet Laureate to write a poem to ring in the New Year. Laureate Nahum Tate established this practice, having written eight New Year odes between 1693 and 1708. And the phrase "ring out the old, ring in the new" first comes from another laureate’s pen, Lord Alfred Tennyson, from his most well-known poem, "In Memoriam":
Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.
Finally, Kobayashi Issa, a great practitioner of the haiku form, approached the new year with a sense of humility and reverence:
New Year's Day--
everything is in blossom!
I feel about average.

6 comments:

Theaterdog said...

Happy New Year Prof Blow,
I really have enjoyed discovering this place to come and see your positive, wonderful thoughts.
I shall wish you the best in the new year and hope that some very fortunate young man will come along to share a great "bubble bath" with you.
Peace,
Tim

silvereagle said...

Ah!!! from the time stamp, your's is the first post of 2012 -- 12AM to be exact!!! How appropriate to begin the year with this post, and to end the old with it as well.
Tim says above that he hopes that "some very fortunate young man will come along to share a great "buble bath" with you. I join in that as well....and have the bottle of champagne chilling to give you for that purpose.....or for completing the dissertation and defending it, Dr. JoeBlow!!

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU AND ALL THE READERS HERE!!!

Silvereagle

Jay M. said...

Nothing like starting the new year off with a cool post like this.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

Peace <3
Jay

Morris W said...

Hello. Happy new year. May we be free to discover the existence of love between human beings and that freedom is our flag homosexual.

Stephen said...

I am such a fan of your blog & I was showing a buddy some photos of hot men that you posted.

Interesting year ahead: Republican debates & primaries, leap year, Olympics, Oscars, Mad Men... Presidential Election, life without Oprah.

We do a little bit of the same thing, but very differently. Kinda cool, huh?


Stephen

audie said...

Love your blog. Happy New Year !

- Audie
Manila, Philippines