ICYWW (In Case You Were Wondering): This past November, I added a co-motto to my blog. “Good music doesn’t get old” by Ferdinand Joseph “Jelly Roll Morton” LaMothe, my original motto, was joined by a quote from Bruce Springsteen: “All valuable stories need to be told over and over and over again.”Henceforth, any post with a “Take 2” in the title is a revisitation of an older post with a story that I thought was worth telling again.
From 1956 to 1976, most American New Year’s Eve celebrations – and certainly the ones that rocked the Sinclair household in Exeter, New Hampshire – included watching the CBS television broadcast of the party going on at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City.
The house band at the Waldorf Astoria was Guy Lombardo and His Royal Canadians. They made the kind of music that could only be described as “The Sweetest Music This Side of Heaven” and their rendition of “Auld Lang Syne” was the first piece that they played every one of those 21 years just after the clock struck “12.”
The words and melody of the song “Auld Lang Syne” as we know it today first came together in print in 1799 in a British publication entitled A Select Collection of Original Scotish Airs.
According to The Book of World-Famous Music, 5th Edition (2000), by James J. Fuld, the general attribution of “Auld Lang Syne” to the Welsh poet Robert Burns is a “point of controversy.”
“It is generally agreed,” Fuld writes, “that (Burns) was not the author of the words of the first verse – although it is not impossible that it underwent some revision by him – and in most cases the first is the only verse people know.”
Again according to Fuld, “The earliest version of the words with the title Old-Long-Syne and the opening line, ‘Should old Acquaintance be forgot,'” is dated 1711. The “germ of the melody” goes back to 1687 and was published under the title The Duke of Bucclugh’s Tune.
Here, for your New Year’s Eve listening pleasure, is my fingerstyle acoustic guitar rendition of “Auld Lang Syne.”
In case you’d like to sing along…
“Should old acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind,
Should old acquaintance be forgot, and days of auld lang syne?
For auld lang syne my dear, for auld lang syne,
We’ll take a cup of kindness yet, for auld lang syne.”
Happy New Year’s Eve and all the best to you and yours in 2019.