Hello and Happy New Year to you! I hope this first day of the bright, shiny new calendar year – holy shiitake, new decade! – finds each of you well (and without too terrible a headache). 🙂
What sorts of celebrations did you engage in last night? Mr. C and I chose to ring in the year quietly at home, just us and our three doggies. Neither of us are big on crowds (though speaking for myself, I might be willing to put that sentiment aside if I ever have the chance to take part in one of the many Hogmanay festivals across Scotland. Stonehaven Fire Festival anyone?) Anyway, just because we stayed in doesn’t mean we didn’t have a great time. Mr. C made delicious Oysters Rockefeller to accompany our other fun, festive foods, we enjoyed a nice bottle of champagne, watched a bit of the Times Square celebration on television, then capped it off at midnight with a cwtch (Welsh word for cuddle) and a whisky toast in our Scottish Quaich. A “kutch” and a “quake“. What more do you need to usher out the old and herald in the new?
So now that you have not one but two new vocabulary words to begin your year, I thought we would take a look at the latter of the two.
Wow, I simply cannot believe 2018 is almost here. In less than 48 hours, the first of you will celebrate the strike of midnight and the rest of us will follow as the waves of time roll across the dark, deep sea.
A new year. A new beginning. A fresh start. A blank page beckoning to be written upon. What will you write on your page this year?
In my great love affair with Scotland, I learned something that I would like to share with you. If I were to quiz you on the name of the song sung on New Year’s Eve the world over, you would probably tell me it’s ‘Auld Lang Syne’. And you would be correct. But does anyone (aside from our awesome friends-the Brits) know to whom the song is attributed? I never really gave it much thought, but how strange that so many of us across the globe ring in the new year singing the exact same tune and yet the majority of us likely do not know where it originated or even understand what the words are all about. It reminds me of the humorous dialogue exchange between Billy Crystal’s and Meg Ryan’s characters at the end of one of my favorite movies, ‘When Harry Met Sally’.
Harry: [about Auld Lang Syne] What does this song mean? My whole life, I don’t know what this song means. I mean, ‘Should old acquaintance be forgot’? Does that mean that we should forget old acquaintances, or does it mean if we happened to forget them, we should remember them, which is not possible because we already forgot?
Sally: Well, maybe it just means that we should remember that we forgot them or something. Anyway, it’s about old friends.
-from ‘When Harry Met Sally’, 1989
Roughly translated “for old times’ sake” or “days gone by”, ‘Auld Lang Syne’ is nothing if not all about preserving old friendships, raising a glass, and looking back with nostalgia over the events of the year. It is a song steeped in sentimentality that has the power to momentarily bind us together in remembrance, in the celebration of the moment, and in hope for the future. Joy, kinship and comaraderie…even melancholy and regret…these are just a few of the feelings I think this song has the power to invoke. Thus is the great power of music.