Vintage Vignette - January 2017
Auld Lang Syne - What Does It Even Mean???
One columnist's quest to see why we all sing a ballad at New Year's that no one understands.
- by Martha Whitney Butler
The words in the title roughly translate to “old times’ sake” with a message at the heart of the song telling us to cherish our old friendships and the events of the past year.
The song is brimming with nostalgia, and even though I didn't know the words, the tune and the fellowship that it evoked around me was moving. Some years you can see it have a jubilant effect on a crowd and others you see it wash over everyone like that scene in Forest Gump where Lieutenant Dan is just sitting there staring off into space with confetti streaming all over him.
Every year, this song gets a little quieter because it hasn't thoroughly been instilled in our new generations. I'd put it right up there with cheetahs at these point. It's almost on the endangered species list of songs.
I'm hopeful that Beyoncé will cover it and we'll see its revival, but until now, all we have is you, Shoofly readers. Check over the lyrics and see how you feel.
Don't worry, the words didn't make a lot of sense to me either, but I'm really digging the "cup o' kindess" part. I'll have three of those, please!
I would think most of you don't recognize the full version because the first part is what we traditionally hear when the ball drops in Times Square (thanks, Dick Clark). So let's learn it for this year, sing it at the top of our lungs, and then put on David Bowie's “Changes” as we turn and face the strangeness of 2017.
Comments are closed.