thursday and friday feast: auld lang syne

"For last year’s words belong to last year’s language
And next year’s words await another voice.
And to make an end is to make a beginning." ~ T.S. Eliot

     "Burns and Highland Mary," oil on wood by Thomas Faed.

Well, it’s New Year’s Eve as I’m writing this, and the song of the hour is "Auld Lang Syne."

The version that’s running through my head at the moment isn’t the traditional one we commonly hear at the stroke of midnight — a kind of drunken, forcibly jubilant shout-song that usually culminates in whoops, hollers, the shrill of noisemakers, and a cloud of confetti.

What I’ve been listening to and loving is Robert Burns’s poem sung to its original, intended melody. Thanks to Mairi Campbell’s beautiful rendition, included on the "Sex and the City" film soundtrack, I’ve definitely acquired an entirely new appreciation for "Auld Lang Syne."

A song of fond memories, friendship, yearning, reflection, and celebration, it’s even more poignant and meaningful when it’s performed with a pristine, angelic vocal and the clean, crisp strains of an acoustic guitar. In an age of overproduced noise and loud-look-at-me electronic mishmash, there is much to be said for pure lyricism, quiet restraint, and the soaring radiance of a simple song.

Here’s another video of Mairi Campbell singing the song live with Emily Smith. Makes me well up every time and long for Scotland!

May 2010 bring you much happiness, success in any way you wish to define it, good health, pleasant surprises, new friends, boatloads of chocolate, cupcakes, and hearty bowls of delicious soup! Thanks so much for reading, following, and supporting this blog another year. I’m taking a short break to enjoy the rest of the holiday season, but will be back on January 6th. Cheers!

The first Poetry Friday Roundup of 2010 is being hosted by Mary Lee at A Year of Reading. Here’s to another year of fine poetry!

♥ 2009 marked the 250th birthday of Robert Burns.

♥ The painting opening this post depicts an imaginary meeting between Burns and his great love, Mary Campbell. She was to accompany him to Jamaica, but died from a fever, possibly typhus, before departure. How ironic that the person singing "Auld Lang Syne" so beautifully these days is similarly named, "Mairi Campbell."

from reinap’s photostream.

Copyright © 2009 Jama Rattigan of jama rattigan’s alphabet soup. All rights reserved.

18 thoughts on “thursday and friday feast: auld lang syne

  1. It really is a lovely melody.
    Happy New Year! Can’t wait to see what 2010 brings us here at this kickin’ blog.


  2. Thanks!
    What a beautiful version of Auld Lang Syne that is, Jama. Just want you to know how much I have enjoyed visiting and reading your blog over the course of this last year. Best wishes for 2010 –


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