Song Lyric Sunday 3/5/17 – Auld Lang Syne

So, respect. Such a broad topic for our weekly Song Lyric Sunday prompt. Well, of course, the obvious choice would be a certain song everyone knows so that would be a total cop-out. So I decided to take this in a direction that’s a nod to my part-Scottish heritage and my background as a piper (yes, I really DO play the bagpipe; no bullshit!).

Anyway, naturally with my partial Scottish background and as a piper I’m naturally a fan of the poetry and songs of Robert Burns. This particular poem-turned-song is mostly associated with New Year’s Day but it’s much more than that; it’s a nod of respect and goodwill to our fellow human beings, friends, family and comrades. It was written by Burns in 1788 who borrowed elements from a similarly titled poem “Old Long Syne” written by James Watson in 1711 and added to them and wrote them in a more authentic Scottish dialect.

Of course, there are countless versions of the song out there but my favorite is probably Dougie MacLean’s  version as it’s about as close to the original dialect as it comes. This particular video shows both the original Gaelic-influenced lyrics as well as a modern English translation so there’s no need for me to transcribe the lyrics here.

As a side note, while “old long since” is probably the most literal translation of the title, it could be more loosely translated to “for old time’s sake” or a similar sentiment.

Anyway, I hope this was somewhat educational for everyone too. It seems a lot don’t know the historical roots of this song even though it’s a familiar New Year’s ballad and I think it fits the challenge (even if in an unconventional way).


6 thoughts on “Song Lyric Sunday 3/5/17 – Auld Lang Syne

  1. I love that you went in a slightly different direction and taught us all something in the bargain. It’s amazing to me that we can hear a song over and over again and not really know what it means. I’ve always found this song extremely beautiful but I have to admit that I fell in love with this version here. Thank you so much for sharing this song and the history of it.


    • To be totally fair I didn’t much know either until I immersed myself in bagpipe and pipe band culture and went to my first Burn’s Supper. Though I do have some Scottish blood none of my family is hardcore Scottish so it was a learn-by-immersion sort of thing.

      Alas, it was my pleasure to share this information with anyone who might be reading. I hope someone else learns something as well.

      Liked by 1 person

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