Wednesday, December 28, 2011

“Auld Lang Syne” Revisited

A night when old and new become indiscernible is a cause for celebration. 

The modern young in sequined gown or cummerbund and tails know this and faithfully obey.  They spare no expense for guests as well as for themselves.  Occasionally they may survey the large ballroom or intimate living room with its streamers and balloons and noise makers and favors, and smile.  They then merge into the flowing moment and cheer with the feeling of accomplishment and success from all that has been done over the course of an hour, a day, a season, a passing year, a passing lifetime and the hope or what still lies ahead.

At some point in that evening when the fabric of time cuts through us like the glint and glitter of that sequined gown, someone will inevitably break into song:  “Should auld acquaintance be forgot,/ And never brought to min’?/ Should auld acquaintance be forgot,/ And days o’ lang syne?”  The song was written by the Scottish poet Robert Burns over 200 years ago.  Burns was known to be quite addicted to excesses at social events, which offers us a better understanding to the glass clinking tune.

A pleasant ditty to be sure and barely tolerable for the umpteen renderings within the twenty-four hour period known as New Year and I hesitate to entertain one more.  However, very few people have ever heard the song in its entirety and, for that matter, know what in the world it means. 

Here to follow then is a modern translation from the Scottish and a somewhat liberal interpretation of the New Year’s Eve perennial, “Auld Lang Syne.”  Please note:  the lines in quotations ought to be read aloud in the deepest Scottish accent you can muster.  The other lines should to be read aloud like Regis Filbin or Rosie O’Donnell.

“Should auld acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to min’?”
Hey!  Great to see you.  It’s been way too long, you know.  What was it again we had that fight about?  Shouldn’t we all just forget about those things that have happened between us in the past?  Wasn’t it something about a G.I. Joe?
“Should auld acquaintance be forgot, and days o’ lang syne?”
Shouldn’t we all just forget about things we said long ago?  To forgive is to forget, right?

(chorus) “For auld lang syne, my dear, For auld lang syne,”
Come on, let’s let bygones be bygones for old time sake, I mean, let’s be reasonable.  Your eyebrows grew back, didn’t they?
“We’ll take a cup o’ kindness yet, For auld lang syne!”
Look, let me make you a drink.  Really.  This time I promise, no flaming Grand Marnier.

“We twa hae run about the braes, And pu’d the gowans fine,”
Hey, remember when we were kids and got into your mom’s room wearing her gowns around our necks jumping up and down screaming “I’m Batman,” and using her bras as parachutes for our collection of G.I. Joes as we flung them all out of the second floor window and watched them soar. 
“But we’ve wander’d mony a weary foot, Sin’ auld lang syne.”
But we’ve grown and matured and have come a long way since those days of long ago.  But I’ve still got my G.I. Joe in near mint condition except for that foot that busted when you threw him off the porch screaming, “High Dive!”

“We twa hae paid’t i’ the burn, Frae morning sun till dine:”
Do you know how much money I could have been paid for a G.I. Joe in mint condition?
 “But seas between us braid hae roar’d, Sin’ auld lang syne.”
A lot of water under the bridge since those days when you did the following to me listed here in no particular order:  sat on my lunch box, connected my chicken pox, squashed my ham and cheese, pelted my head with peas, pushed me in the girls room, sprayed me with cheap perfume, referred to me as a so-and-so, ate my last pistachio.

“And here’s a hand my trusty fiere, And gies a hand o’ thine,”
So, put ‘er there, pal.  All’s forgotten.  Now how about a nice flaming Grand Marnier?
“And we’ll tak a right guid willie waught, For auld lang syne!”
Whoa!  Hold it a minute.  Who you calling a willie waught, you rotten son of a…

“And surely ye’ll be your pint stoup, And surely I’ll be mine;”
Fine!  Ya ingrate.  Take your stupid pint and go your way no more will I impose.
“And we’ll take a cup o’ kindness yet, For auld lang syne.”
I’ll take this cup o’ kindness yet and stick it up your nose.

(chorus) “For auld lang syne, my dear, For auld lang syne,”
For old time sake, Bud, I think we’ll come to blows.
‘We’ll take a cup o’ kindness yet, For auld lang syne!”
I’ll take this cup o’ kindness yet and stick it up your nose.

Remember, a new year is a fresh start, an opportunity to start anew all the excuses we’ll be using when the holiday season finds us once again scrambling for rationalizations and running for cover. 

Happy New Year.

1 comment:

  1. Well done. Very funny. I'll never be able to hear that song again without thinking of your "translation."
    And by the way, how many times do I have to apologize for the G.I. Joe :)