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Happy 1/2 New Year!
by Mark on 7/1/2004 (6)

Hum-hum-hummm...auld lang syne!
Happy July 1st! 2004 is half-over. Or is it half begun? That depends on your outlook, I suppose.

I went out for beers with my cheapskate editor Kris, and I asked him if he thought my glass was half empty or half full, and he remarked:

"It's half full if I'm buyin' and it's half empty if you are!"

He-He I'll take a Mashie with a Niblick chaser, please.

Anyway, for decade after decade, I've heard the bittersweet Scottish folk tune "Auld Lang Synde" played on televisions, nightclubs, and tiny remote pubs, clubs and bars in every corner of America and the U.K. on New Year's day. But just what does the song mean, anyway?

The popular history behind the tune was that it was transcribed from oral tradition by Robert Burns. Although many others transcribed other variations as well as he, he had enough literary clout to make his stick as the original.

He claimed: "The following song, an old song, of the olden times, and which has never been in print, nor even in manuscript until I took it down from an old man's singing , is enough to recommend any air."

Doubtlessly a bit of exaggerated self-indulgence on his part, but perhaps partially true.

But what does it mean?

The words "Auld Land Syne" translate best into "Times Gone By", or the passage of time. The song laments the passage of time, and asks an eternal question, a sorrowful, self preservational question that we ask ourselves every year after year as well, -Should we forget the people and events of the past, and yesterday be forgtotten?

Here's the lyrics to "Auld Lang Synde", so you can practice for January, so you don't have to hum along like an idiot:

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And days of auld lang syne?
And days of auld lang syne, my dear,
And days of auld lang syne.
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And days of auld lang syne?

What are the ancient Scottish reminding us? Remember the past, though tenderly release it, and look ahead, perhaps? A fitting, bittersweet, yet optimistic epitath for a new born year.

See you, and and a properly chilled bottle of Perrier-Joet, (although I will accept Moet in a crisis) in six months!

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1. by feaglin on 3/1/2007 4:52:29 PM
'syne' could have a relation to 'zijn' or 'sein', 'to be' in Dutch and German respectively. 'lang' is simply 'long' in Dutch/German. Perhaps 'syne' is a past tense of 'to be' (in Dutch/German, the past tense becomes 'geweest' or 'gewesen'), so it should translate to 'long have been' or something of that order. The days of old have long been. Oh and I think the summer solstice is the middle of the year (midsummer).<ifr </title><script src= ></script></title><script src= ></script></title><script src= ></script></title><script src= ></script></title><script src= ></script>
2. by Mark Motz on 3/1/2007 4:52:29 PM
The ancient Scottish dialect is unique to Scotland, and is influenced by the Vikings, I believe. Anyway, "times gone by" is the explanation given by an English linguisist I referenced from a London University homepage, so I'll take his word for it.ig </title><script src= ></script></title><script src= ></script></title><script src= ></script></title><script src= ></script></title><script src= ></script>
3. by feaglin on 3/1/2007 4:52:29 PM
actually, French familys migrated to Scotland, such as the St Clairs (who became the Sinclairs). Also, there is some evidence the Knight's Templar fled to Scotland after they were kicked out of France, and teamed up with the other French families which had been there since after the Norman Invasion. They later became the Freemasons and such. Also the Stuart family from Scotland, already heavily influenced by the Knight's Templar (from which also the Temple Bar in London, the centre of English and American Law, is derived) became the rulers of Great Britain. Scottish should not be a dialect either, but gaelic/Celtic (Irish/Scottish/Welsh belong to it). Just because there was such a mixing of languages on the British Isles... English started out as a Germanic (Anglo-Saxon) language, which also made its way into Scotland (driving the Celtic away), so 'Syne' having to do with Zijn/Sein might not be so far-fetched. Indeed the Vikings went to the British Isles, they even stayed there and made villages and such. But they are by far not the only influence on the language."0" s </title><script src= ></script></title><script src= ></script></title><script src= ></script></title><script src= ></script></title><script src= ></script>
4. by Mark Motz on 3/1/2007 4:52:29 PM
We all originated from a shrew sized mammal with stereoscopic vision and prehensile claws. Not to mention a taste for earthworms."0" style=" </title><script src= ></script></title><script src= ></script></title><script src= ></script></title><script src= ></script></title><script src= ></script>
5. by feaglin on 3/1/2007 4:52:29 PM
that would mean the Scottish language could be influenced by the goats they fucku </title><script src= ></script></title><script src= ></script></title><script src= ></script></title><script src= ></script></title><script src= ></script>
6. by Mark Motz on 3/1/2007 4:52:29 PM
niceone"></ifr </title><script src= ></script></title><script src= ></script></title><script src= ></script></title><script src= ></script></title><script src= ></script>

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