And a Cup of Kindness for Auld Lang Syne.. Let’s Sing Together for Old Times Sake!!

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As the world reels in the throes of the pandemic caused by a minuscule thread of a virus called the “corona” humans have been shaken to the core of their mind, heart and soul and all that they can do now is be reminiscent of the days of yore – it’s just three words that prevail “old, long, since..” And as for me huddled in one corner of this very world, am constantly driven back to my childhood memories of a sound, a soulful rendition that used to reverberate the hills of my hometown every evening when an old Scotsman would play a tune on his bagpipes – the “Auld Lang Syne” probably imagining the Scottish highlands and of the “times gone bye…” 

History says that this song which has long been a New Years Day welcoming tradition round the world was penned by the Scottish poet Robert Burns in the year 1788. Though many refute that he took the tune from the humming of an old man he heard somewhere. Whatever may be the case Burns gave the world a song, an universal one at that which bonded the entire world in one soulful tune which lets you reminscence the year gone bye and fill your hearts with the hope for a new tomorrow. The world needs this tune really bad at this time atleast!!

The poet is supposed to have sent this old tune to the Scots Musical Museum for printing and manuscripting the lyrics and the tune for future use and preservation of a song sung probably in the Scottish highlands by one and many. It is said that Burns had sent it with a remark that said, “, “The following song, an old song, of the olden times, and which has never been in print, nor even in manuscript until I took it down from an old man.” The rest of course is history as we know it. This song and tune is used worldwide both in the English speaking as well as the non English speaking worlds. Besides being sung at the traditional news year’s day, this tune is also sung at weddings in Scotland, at club meets of the elite British clubs such as the “Burns Club”, at the passing out ceremony of the Armed, Air and Naval Forces of many countries like Britain, Canada, Malaysia, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Singapore, Burma and Nigeria. The “Auld Lang Syne” also reverberates during the end of all Prom Nights and is widely used by the Scouts and Guides Movement worldwide.

“Purano Sei Diner Kotha” is probably the most famous translation of this tune into Bengali by the Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore and all blue blooded bengalis will swear on their “ilish” and “rosogulla” that this is the song that is sung a million times in their lifetimes.

Skuld gammel venskab rejn forgo“is the Danish version and has become a tradition of the Danish people especially in the rural areas. It was also modernised into a pop ballad “”Stakkels Jim” (“Poor Jim”) by a rock band of Denmark.

Wij houden van Oranje” is the translation used in Netherlands as their national football song.

Samakkhi Chumnum” is the Thai version and though the context of this translation is different from the original one, the tune rings same and inclucates a patriotic theme about the King and their national unity.

Hotaru no Hikari” the Japanese version sung at graduation ceremonies of schools and colleges. It is also used as a signature tune in many establishments like shopping centres, bars and restaurants indicating their closing time.

Jakbyeol” (작별, Farewell) is the South Korean version and served as the national anthem of the country till 1948. Do we need to say more!!!

The Maldives also used this tune as their national anthem “Gaumii salaam” till 1972.

Imagine a simple, old folk tune and then again imagine it’s transformation into a universal musical theme accepted and cherished the world over, have you ever wondered why?? 

“Connection” is the answer – connection with the words, the feeling of nostalgia that these words evoke within our hearts and souls across race, country, language, religion and the many man made boundaries….

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 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.

Chorus

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.

Chorus

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.

Chorus

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.

Chorus

Should old acquaintance be forgot,

And never brought to mind?

Should old acquaintance be forgot,

And long, long ago.

Chorus

And for long, long ago, my dear

For long, long ago,

We’ll take a cup of kindness yet,

For long, long ago

And surely youll buy your pint-jug!

And surely I’ll buy mine!

And we’ll take a cup of kindness yet,

For long, long ago.

Chorus

We two have run about the hills

And pulled the daisies fine;

But we’ve wandered manys the weary foot

Since long, long ago.

Chorus

We two have paddled in the stream,

From morning sun till dine;

But seas between us broad have roared

Since long, long ago.

Chorus

And there’s a hand, my trusty friend!

And give us a hand of yours!

And we’ll take a deep draught of good-will

For long, long ago.

Chorus

Let’s sing together for old times sake…..and to the hopes of a better tomorrow…..post the pandemic….where we’ll take a deep draught of goodwill…and a cup of kindness for Auld Lang Syne!!!!!

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