This New Year’s Eve, it is almost inevitable that you will hear (and possibly try to sing) “Auld Lang Syne,” a song whose melody is synonymous with the new year (and the theme of change more broadly) in the English-speaking world, despite nearly incomprehensible syntax and vocabulary. The problem is that the text on which the song is based isn’t in English at all — it’s 18th-century Scots, a similar but distinct language responsible for lyrics in the song such as “We twa hae run about the braes / and pou’d the gowans fine” that are utterly incomprehensible to Americans.
But the story of how an 18th-century Scottish ballad became synonymous with the new year is tangled, involving both Calvinist theology’s traditional aversion to Christmas and the uniquely central role that watching television plays in American New Year’s celebrations. Bridging the gap is a once-famous, now-forgotten Canadian big band leader who for decades defined New Year’s Eve and transformed a Scottish folk custom into a global phenomenon.
As immortalized in When Harry Met Sally, a casual listener to the song is likely to be confused as to what the central opening lyric means:
The answer is that it’s a rhetorical question. The speaker is asking whether old friends should be forgotten, as a way of stating that obviously one should not forget one’s old friends. The version of the song we sing today is based on a poem published by Robert Burns, which he attributed to “an old man’s singing,” noting that it was a traditional Scottish song. Fundamentally similar songs and poems existed in other forms in 18th-century Scotland. This 1711 printing by James Watson reveals the rhetorical nature of the question very clearly:
Should Old Acquaintance be forgot,
and never thought upon;
The flames of Love extinguished,
and fully past and gone:
Is thy sweet Heart now grown so cold,
that loving Breast of thine;
That thou canst never once reflect
On old long syne?
We have here a series of rhetorical questions, all amounting to the point that unless you are completely dead inside, you should be able to appreciate the virtues of reconnecting with old friends and thinking about old times.
Americans are aware that Scottish people speak English with a distinctive accent, and may also be aware of the existence of a language called Scottish Gaelic that is related to Irish and Welsh and is rarely spoken. But there is also what is known as the Scots language, which has clear similarities to English without truly being intelligible to English speakers — in much the way that Italian and Spanish are similar, but distinct, languages.
The difference, of course, is that for hundreds of years now there has been no independent Scottish state to standardize and promote Scots as a formal language distinct from Scottish-accented English. Much of Irvine Welsh’s novel Trainspotting is written in Scots, and this lecture in Scots about Scots should give you a sense of its relationship to English:
The point is that the phrase “auld lang syne” is not recognizable to English speakers because it is not an English phrase. Translated literally it means “old long since,” but the meaning is more like “old times” or “the olden days.”
It happens to be the case that the phrase “should auld [i.e., old] acquaintance be forgot” is verysimilar in both English and Scots. And since conventionally only the first verse and the chorus are sung, the difference between the languages is not very salient except for the unfamiliar titular phrase. But if you delve into the later verses, it becomes clear that the song is not in English. Here’s the second verse, for example:
And surely ye’ll be your pint-stoup!
and surely I’ll be mine!
And we’ll tak’ a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.
Ye’ll be your pint-stoup? What?
As Meg Ryan’s character Sally says in the movie, this is a song about old friends.
The lyrics to the later verses, when translated into English, make this perfectly clear. The “pint-stoup” business is essentially saying, “Surely you’ll buy a pint and I’ll buy a pint and we’ll drink to the good old days.” In the next verse we hear about how “We two have run about the slopes / and picked the daisies fine.”
Old friends who haven’t seen each other in a while are meeting up again, having a drink, and reminiscing. If this were a song that you normally listened to in a quiet room at full length in English when sober, there would be no confusion. Since that’s basically the opposite of a New Year’s Eve party, which is when you usually hear the song, there is a lot of confusion. But the song itself is not especially complicated.
One reason a random Scottish folk song has come to be synonymous with the new year is that New Year’s celebrations (known as Hogmanay) loom unusually large in Scottish folk culture — so much so that Scotland’s official website has a whole Hogmanay section, which notes that, “Historically, Christmas was not observed as a festival and Hogmanay was the more traditional celebration in Scotland.”
That’s because the Scottish Reformation brought to power followers of a Calvinist branch of Protestant Christianity known as Presbyterians who didn’t really care for Christmas. Indeed, in 1640 the Scottish parliament went so far as to abolish Christmas vacation “and all observation thairof,” citing its roots in “superstitious observatione.” When theologically similar Puritans briefly ruled England as a result of the English Civil War, they also attempted to suppress all Christmas celebration. But Presbyterianism put down deeper roots in Scotland, leading Hogmanay to displace Christmas as the number one midwinter celebration.
Everyone likes a good party, and the end of one year and the beginning of the next seems like as good a thing to celebrate as anything else, so Scottish-inflected New Year’s celebrations — including the sentimental and appealingly nonspecific “Auld Lang Syne” — came naturally to the English-speaking world.
From 1929 until 1976, first on radio and then on television, Americans tuned in to the New Year’s Eve broadcast by Guy Lombardo and the Royal Canadians, a big band act led by Lombardo, a Canadian whose parents immigrated from Italy. By the mid-70s, Lombardo’s broadcasts began to face serious competition from Dick Clark’s “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve,” which was positioned to attract younger viewers and emphasized the rock element to contrast with the Royal Canadians’ big band tunes. But for decades, Lombardo owned December 31 — even earning the nickname “Mr. New Year’s Eve” — and every single year he played “Auld Lang Syne” to ring in the new year.
Lombardo didn’t write the song or invent the tradition of playing it to celebrate the new year, but the unusual television-centricity of North American observation of the holiday meant that his decision to play “Auld Lang Syne” turned it from a tradition into the tradition. (It could be worse — in Sweden people celebrate Christmas by watching Donald Duck cartoons.)
Then because of the influence of American movies and television shows on pop culture all around the world, conventional depictions of people ringing in the new year to “Auld Lang Syne” were beamed into living rooms globally. An 18th-century Scottish ballad thus became a midcentury American television ritual, and from there became a worldwide phenomenon — even though almost nobody understands the song.
Will 2019 bring us all peace and prosperity or doom and gloom? No one can really tell. If it is left up to the politician and the ones who rule the world then I have not much hope for any of us. The current rulers of the world, and I am not talking about the governments, have only their own selfish and evil interests at heart and will never create a world of peace and goodwill for us all. There is talk about war everywhere, even good people are not left alone to live their lives in peace and are manipulated and forced daily into a new way of thinking. Yet it seems there is nothing the ordinary man woman or child can do to change that.
I am starting to understand why God finally decided to destroy the world. For he knew there was no way the people would change, so the best was just to wipe everyone out and start again with Noah and his family. For if all that is prophesied in the Bible comes true then looking around me is it not time for the world to be destroyed again and this time by fire? I for one would never be able to make that call, can you ? I, as do many other people who live between all the heartbreak and sorrow of each new day have to find a happy place somewhere, even if it’s in our hearts. For if we are happy in our hearts no one alive can change that. We believe that our God will sort out the good from the bad, and as stated in our Our Lords Prayer, deliver us from evil.
“As we all stand on the eve of a new year are we better off in many ways than our own good people were a hundred years ago ?”
100 Years ago the world was at War War, a war started only for the sake of successfully changing the world. The first World War where thousands upon thousands of young men were to die for no other reason but to change the world from the old to the new. Britain won that war with the help of their allies which included my Grandfather who was a Corporal in that war. It is so sad, that he could have died in the great war for Britain, Europe and America yet today I who proudly carry his very same name cannot leave South Africa and go and live and work in the very countries my Grandfather fought to protect and almost gave his life for.
100 years ago the Boer Nation name was to be changed by the invaders Great Britain, to the Afrikaners, to forcefully try to divide and conquer forever the Boer Nation, who were still in mourning. It is just over 100 years ago since the British murdered over half the Boer Nations children and raped and killed almost 10000 Boer woman in Nazi like concentration camps in the Republic’s of the Transvaal and the Orange Free State, now stolen from the Boer Nation and included into the new lawless South Africa. That war was started so that the gold that was discovered in the Republic of the Transvaal could be taken by the invaders, and that at all costs. Thousands of good people from Britain and South Africa, yes both sides of the war, just like you and me, died for that plan to have worked, and as always, it did.
So today are we really a little better off than we were 100 years ago? After all we are not being invaded by marching armies any more, we are just being killed in the safety of our own beds in our own home towns and cities. We should be thankful that at least we don’t all have to go to a foreign country to be killed anymore.
With all that said, today there are Billions of people living on this planet, and the ones like you and me, hopefully, will all take a positive attitude and be thankful that our ticket has not yet been called. For now we are all hopefully safe and happy in our own little space, perhaps like me, not my happy space, but nevertheless safe for now, living and breathing on this wonderful planet we all call home.
In closing I want to stress that I am not negative or depressed about the future, I am just someone who thinks he knows what is real, what is not real, what is a fact and what is not a fact. People who live in a dream world always wake up shocked and traumatized by reality.
I wish every single living person on this entire planet a wonderful and happy New Year and if you are intending to do something bad to someone take the time to consider this, that today it is them you do it to, tomorrow it will be you they do it too.
God dealt with Moses because of some of the mistakes he made. In fact, one of them kept him from entering the Promised Land. Nevertheless, God wouldn’t permit anybody else to criticize Moses – not even his sister Miriam. So what can you learn from this? 1) We’re all capable of harboring a critical attitude. Miriam had great qualities. She saved Moses’ life as a child, and she wrote a song of praise Israel used to celebrate the crossing of the Red Sea. But she paid a high price for her critical attitude – leprosy. 2) When you’re resentful you become critical.‘Miriam…began to talk against Moses because of his Cushite wife’ (Numbers 12:1). But was that the real issue? No. ‘They said, “Has the Lord indeed spoken only through Moses? Has He not spoken through us also?”’ (v. 2).Moses’ wife was just a diversion; the real issue was Moses’ success. Their beef was: ‘How come he gets all the attention?’ 3) Anytime you succeed you’ll be criticized. The Bible says, ‘Moses was very humble’ (v. 3), yet even he couldn’t escape the pain inflicted by self-appointed critics. And you’re no different; as long as you’re alive somebody will find fault with what you’re doing. Brush it off and keep going. 4) If you’ve been critical, you need to repent. When Aaron acknowledged, ‘We have acted foolishly…we have sinned’ (v. 11), God showed mercy and healed Miriam. Most of us would rather classify criticism as a weakness, but from God’s perspective it’s a genuine, bona fide, registered sin. And there’s only one way to deal with sin – repent and stop committing it.
Prayer Heavenly Father,
forgive me for the times I have been critical of others and give me
patience and love towards those who are critical of me.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen
Pistol Annies give their own sassy, fiery take on divorce in the new video for “Got My Name Changed Back.” Will their fans vote the clip into the most popular country music videos of the week?
The song is from Pistol Annies’ brand-new third album, Interstate Gospel, and it’s not hard to imagine that Miranda Lambert is singing about a certain ex-husband when she says, “I got me an ex that I adored / But he got along good with a couple road whores.” The video is just as sassy as the song itself, and it’s up for votes this week along with Dierks Bentley’s new clip for “Burning Man,” his collaboration with Brothers Osborne.
Miranda Lambert, Midland, Ashley Monroe and Jake Owen occupy the next few slots, with RaeLynn’s new “Tailgate” video debuting at No. 10 in its first week.
Taste of Country lists the top videos in country music every week based on voting from our readers, so you’ve got to make sure to vote as often as possible if you want to see your favorites win.
Christmas is a time of sad happiness.
It gets more and more commercial,
but if the stores were closed wouldn’t it take away some of the fun?
Bar rooms are lined with the lonely, clinging to each other… like family.
Bartenders are parent images.
Displaced Yankees dream of gently falling snow that never turns to slush,
and wandering romeos often come home,
at least temporarily.
Telephone wires hum with long distance calls
between people who care about each other more in December,
which is better than not caring at all.
After-shave lotion is unwrapped with oohs and ahs,
toys are getting ready to be broken,
and puppies inhabit stockings.
Trees are always the most beautiful ever
if you just turn the bare side to the wall,
and eggs flow like nog.
Roaring hearths and good fellowship are for the very lucky,
but some will settle for a bag of groceries.
For certain people, this will be the first Christmas,
for others… the last.
“Merry Christmas” will be said in shacks,
castles, prisons, airplanes, battlefronts,
No matter what we say is wrong with it,
Christmas is a time when many people are a little nicer…
and that’s something.
We are so ready to send out your Latest Hit Song and Video, to our magical list of Radio Stations, Disc Jockeys, Promoters, Producers, TV Stations and professional music people worldwide. We are also ready with follow up campaigns, once your song/video goes out with chart promotions, press releases, Hall of Fame, news articles, Gold and Platinum disc awards.
We even have an Opry house for personal performances with a huge Cyber Dome for Indoor concerts in our very own “Cyber City” All shows pre recorded here, will be available on AirplayExpress, Forever and a Day and to be listened to or downloaded at the click of a button. We are ready to make you feel what the Major Superstars experience at the Top Of Their Game. This year it could be your turn, by going on an AirplayExpress Adventure you will experience the magic and excitement of feeling like the star you already are.
The game kicks off on a Friday morning, which means it’s just the beginning of an entertaining & delicious weekend in Music City
The week between Christmas and New Year’s used to be a dead zone in Nashville. That is until 1998 when the Nashville Sports Council decided to organize the first Music City Bowl. Now sponsored by Franklin American Mortgage Company, the annual college football bowl game brings thousands of visitors to town to watch a team from the SEC face off against a rival from either the Big Ten Conference or the Atlantic Coast Conference. This year’s matchup between Auburn and Purdue will be played at Nissan Stadium on Friday, Dec. 28 at 12:30 p.m. CST. The game will be televised on ESPN and should prove to be a very competitive contest between two teams with potentially explosive offenses.
However the action on the field is just a small part of the fun that surrounds the Franklin American Mortgage Music CIty Bowl. Since the game kicks off on a Friday morning, it will really be just the beginning of an entertaining weekend in Music City, not to mention several days of bowl-related events leading up to the tilt. Here are a few things that should be on your calendar.
The two teams will officially be welcomed to town at a by-invitation party at the Wildhorse Saloon on Wednesday, Dec. 26. This party is intended for the players and traveling parties of the two universities, and will give them a taste of Nashville with dinner and music. Players from each team usually face off in a Nashville hot chicken eating contest, and it’s kind that they do this a few days before the big game to give the contestants time to recover from the effects of the fiery fowl.
The first event open to the public is the big Coaches’ Luncheon on Thursday, Dec. 27 in the Tennessee Ballroom of the Gaylord Opryland Hotel. There should be a lot of attention on these two coaches as Purdue’s Jeff Brohm recently committed to stay with the team despite an offer from his alma mater at the University of Louisville, and Auburn coach Gus Malzahn might find himself on the hot seat after a disappointing SEC season where his team underachieved on the way to a 3 to 5 conference record. In addition to speeches by both coaches, the luncheon will feature presentations by bowl organizers.
They’ll close off Lower Broad on Thursday afternoon for what is always one of the most stirring events surrounding the Music CIty Bowl, the Battle of the Bands. Musicians from both universities will march to the base of Broadway where they face off in a friendly competition, with the winner selected by the cheers of their fans. The event is free and open to all, but you can pay for special status at the Adams & Reese Battle of the Bands VIP Party. Your ticket will entitle you to the best view in town of the bands as well as the post-battle entertainment from 80’s/90’s cover band, Rubik’s Groove. VIP admission also includes a buffet dinner and two drink tickets redeemable for beer, wine or well liquor drinks.
Even with an early kick-off on Friday morning, there’s still time for a little aggressive tailgating before heading into the stadium. The Black Tie Moving Pregame Tailgate Party is an opportunity to buy a ticket for admission to a fun morning of entertainment with the Kelly Long Band at a stage set up outside the South End Zone between gates 8 and 9 at Nissan Stadium. This hospitality event features an all-you-can-eat buffet with beer, wine, and specialty cocktails. The party starts up at 9:30 a.m. on game day and will continue until after kickoff. There are still tickets available for the game itself, ranging from $35 in the upper deck to $190 on the posh Club level of Nissan Stadium.
If you want to extend your trip after the game is over, there will still be plenty to do in and around Music City. Right across the river from Nissan Stadium, you can enjoy ice skating on a rink that is actually set up on the stage at Ascend Amphitheater. If you ever wanted to know what it was like to get onstage in Nashville, here’s your chance.
ICE! At Gaylord Opryland Hotel will remain open until New Year’s, sharing the whimsical story of the Dr. Seuss classic, How the Grinch Stole Christmas through colorful statues carved out of huge blacks of ice. Dress warmly, because they keep the rooms below ten degrees to make sure the Grinch stays cool.
Visitors can enjoy even more sports if they grab a ticket to the Nashville Predatorshockey game at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 29 as they play the historic New York Rangers NHL franchise at Bridgestone Arena. For a real sports fan, it’s tough to beat a bowl game/hockey game double header.
Or heck, you could just stay all week and experience a Music City New Year’s Eve, too! We promise you won’t be bored.
Nothing is over like Christmas.
Months of anticipation, and then it’s gone.
Try to hold on to it and it slides away like this morning’s dream.
People who tell us that it’s a pagan holiday,
just because it’s near the winter solstice,
may not realize what an intrusion that is upon our enjoyment.
We can each bring our own thoughts to the season,
and make it our personal non-pagan celebration.
It’s in the spirit of the beholder.
It’s hard to work up the spirit here in Florida,
but we give it a shot every year.
Misty decorates a tree,
and puts Christmas stuff all over the place.
We listen to Christmas music with the air conditioning on
and with palm trees lurking in the yard.
Television doesn’t help, with reports of all night sales,
talking heads urging us to be good consumers,
stranded travelers sleeping in airports,
and carolers singing “Happy Honda Days”.
I toss up futile prayers for snow here in the subtropics,
but this is the time of year
when we just get a cheap imitation of early autumn.
A couple of trees around here get a touch of red,
and I go look at them.
I get sentimental about Christmas,
probably because I had real Christmasy holidays years ago,
with folks who are no longer with us,
and my childish subconscious thinks it will happen again.
I think next year I’ll write a letter to Santa,
and ask him for one more snowfall in Buffalo,
where the night is silent, the homes are warm,
and Christmas is strong in the air.
These are the songs that were downloaded the most by Radio stations and Disc Jockeys from AirplayExpress this December for Radio Airplay And for adding to radio playlists for the same period. AirplayExpress thanks all the artists on the Top 40 for their support and faith in AirplayExpress. AirplayExpress is so proud that these artists allowed us to send their songs out to radio during this Christmas Season. See below if your song was chosen for the 2018 Top 40 Christmas songs on AirplayExpress this 2018.
To see how your song fared during the 12 weeks running up to the Top 40 visit the 2018 Top 40 page on AirplayExpress at this link; https://www.airplayexpress.com/top-40-christmas2018/
By the time you read this it will not be current,
but I’m writing at the kitchen table on Christmas morning.
It’s a little chilly and the steam is swirling up from my coffee cup.
Carolers are singing softly and there are church bells.
I haven’t opened the curtains yet
but judging by the grayish light seeping through, it’s a winter day.
I haven’t heard any snow shovels, but it’s still early.
I think I’ll plug in the tree lights.
Even through the closed curtains
snow is visible in the corners of the windows.
Holly and candles add color to the room
and the silhouette of a Christmas wreath
can be seen at the front window.
As little as a couple of inches of overnight snowfall
can blow into deep white drifts,
so I feel around under the bed for my high top boots.
The ones with the knife pocket.
And I’d better get out my blue flannel shirt.
The checkered one.
That always feels good and warm on a winter’s morning
when the snow is squeaky cold.
We’d better hurry.
We’re due at Alan and Vivian’s house for Christmas dinner.
Funny, I can’t seem to find my high-tops,
or the flannel shirt,
or even my sheepskin mittens and earmuffs.
Grandma probably put them away somewhere.
I’ll ask her.
No, that’s right, I can’t ask her.
She’s not here. She’s been gone a long time.
Sometimes, especially at Christmas, I forget that.
I wonder what ever happened to those old winter clothes of mine.
Seems like I had ’em just the other day.
Or was it 20 years ago?
Got to go now, we’re late for dinner.
Don’t forget to turn off the tree lights and the air conditioner.
And, oh yes, the stereo Christmas music.
As I step out the door, Christmas presents under each arm,
the white glare makes my eyes water.
It could be snow. It really could!
But I feel the coral rock under my feet
as I step down from our motor home
and I hear the waves slapping against the shore a few feet to my left.
I wonder if they’re having snow up home.