Christmas Music Conclusion: Auld Lang Syne

Sunday, December 31, 2017 by Mary O'Connor | holiday

Auld Lang Syne

"Auld Lang Syne" is a Scots poem written by Robert Burns in 1788 and set to the tune of a traditional folk song. It is well known in many countries, especially in the English-speaking world; its traditional use being to celebrate the start of the New Year at the stroke of midnight. By extension, it is also sung at funerals, graduations and as a farewell or ending to other occasions. The international Boy Scout youth movement, in many countries, uses it as a close to jamborees and other functions.

The song's Scots title may be translated into English literally as "old long since ", or more idiomatically, "long long ago", "days gone by" or "old times". Consequently "For auld lang syne", as it appears in the first line of the chorus, might be loosely translated as "for (the sake of) old times".

Auld Lang Syne is one of Scotland's gifts to the world, recalling the love and kindness of days gone by, but in the communion of taking our neighbours' hands, it also gives us a sense of belonging and fellowship to take into the future.

It is one of the many folk songs from the great Lowland Scots tradition collected and fashioned by the pen of one of the world's greatest songwriters. Burns devoted the last years of his life to the song tradition, and often a mere fragment from some old ballad was transformed by his alchemy into a memorable love song or Scots poem. With Auld Lang Syne, though, the brilliance was already there; this is the Bard's first mention of it in a letter to Mrs Dunlop in 1788:

"... Light be the turf on the breast of the heaven inspired Poet who composed this glorious fragment."

One of the most interesting facts is that the Auld Lang Syne tune which is sung from Times Square to Tokyo, and has conquered the world, is not the one Robert Burns put the original words to. The older tune though is still sung by traditional singers. It has a more douce, gentle, nostalgic feel to it than the popular tune a mood evoked by the subtle use of the traditional air sung by Mairi Campbell in the first Sex and the City movie. However, whichever tune it is sung to, and wherever in the world it is sung, Auld Lang Syne retains the great emotional resonance of the original traditional song of the Scottish people of those days in the distant past. Lets leave the last word to Burns himself:

"... is not the Scots phrase, 'Auld Lang Syne', exceedingly expressive - there is an old song and tune which has often thrilled thro' my soul".

Fancy singing along yourself? Here are the verses of the words to Auld Lang Syne:

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

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.


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.


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.


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.


Should old acquaintance be forgot ,
 And never brought to mind?
 Should old acquaintance be forgot ,
 And long, long ago.


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.


We two have run about the hills
 And pulled the daisies fine;
 But we've wandered manys the weary foot
 Since long, long ago.


We two have paddled in the stream,
 From morning sun till dine;
 But seas between us broad have roared
 Since long, long ago.


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.


Here is an old kinescope from over 50 years ago!! For 100 years, the slow drop of a lighted glass ball on New Year's Eve from atop One Times Square in New York City has become an American tradition. A huge crowd gathers every year to welcome in the New Year.

Beginning in 1956, Guy Lombardo & His Royal Canadians entertained the US on New Year's Eve with a combination of music and the live "ball drop" at Midnight. Guy continued this tradition until his death in 1977. His band still played on at CBS Television on New Years for an additional 2 years. (Dick Clark's Rockin New Years Eve began in 1972 on ABC and still broadcasts annually.) This broadcast began right after the 15-minute news and ran for an hour. Guy plays the music and newsman Robert Trout announces the beginning of the New Year.

If you look closely, you'll see acerbic television personality Henry Morgan in the crowd. TV was very primitive 50 years ago. Harsh lighting, a cheap office clock and a World War II searchlight scans the crowd below.

I hope you'll enjoy ringing in the New Year - 1958! Recorded: December 31, 1957


Auld Lang Syne played on bagpipes (as it should be)


This is from the 2015 Edinburgh Tattoo which we attended:

It's a Holiday But...

Tuesday, December 26, 2017 by Mary O'Connor | pianists



There's always time to practice :)

NO excuses at your next lesson!


Christmas Music: Hallelujah Chorus

Monday, December 25, 2017 by Mary O'Connor | holiday



Messiah (HWV 56) is an English-language oratorio composed in 1741 by George Frideric Handel, with a scriptural text compiled by Charles Jennens from the King James Bible, and from the Psalms. It was first performed in Dublin on 13 April 1742, and received its London premiere nearly a year later. After an initially modest public reception, the oratorio gained in popularity, eventually becoming one of the best-known and most frequently performed choral works in Western music.

Hallelujah Chorus

Part II of the Messiah covers the Passion, death, resurrection, ascension, and the later spreading of the Gospel, concluded by the "Hallelujah Chorus".

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir sings the classical and beloved Hallelujah Chorus from Handel's Messiah.

And also on Nov.13 2010 unsuspecting shoppers got a big surprise while enjoying their lunch. Over 100 participants in this awesome Christmas Flash Mob.