Music & the Spoken Phrase: Robert Burns’ ‘Auld Lang Syne’

Music & the Spoken Phrase: Robert Burns’ ‘Auld Lang Syne’

Editor’s observe: “The Spoken Phrase” is shared by Lloyd Newell every Sunday through the weekly Tabernacle Choir at Temple Sq. broadcast. This week’s broadcast contains beforehand recorded music and a message recorded in Scotland in June 2022. This will probably be given Sunday, Jan. 1, 2023.

Right here on this cottage within the Scottish lowlands through the late 1700s, the poet Robert Burns was born and lived his adolescence. The Burns household had been tenant farmers. Right here they labored the land, ate their meals collectively and gathered by the fireside at night time to learn. Of their village of Alloway, Scotland, about 60 kilometers or so south of Glasgow, younger Robert’s poetic creativeness was kindled. From this humble starting, Burns rose to fame and left a permanent legacy because the nationwide poet of Scotland.

The most effective-known poem attributed to Burns is “Auld Lang Syne.” Nonetheless, it didn’t seem in print till shortly after his dying, at age 37, in 1796. And Burns himself reported that he heard the phrases “from an outdated man’s singing” (see “Letters of Robert Burns,” chosen by J. Logie Robertson, revealed in 1887, web page 337). Whether or not Burns composed the poem, tailored it or just recorded it, “Auld Lang Syne” has been related to Burns ever since.

The poem was quickly paired with a conventional people tune, and right now it’s sung as part of New Yr’s celebrations all over the world. And but, due to its origins within the Scots language, not everyone seems to be aware of the importance of the phrase “auld lang syne.” In trendy English it actually means “outdated lengthy since” — or, in different phrases, days passed by, occasions which have lengthy since handed however we bear in mind with fondness.

Robbie Burns statue on blue sky at Dumfries, Scotland.

Robert Burns statuein Dumfries, Scotland.

nuttawutnuy –

And in order we sing, yr in and yr out, we ask ourselves:

Ought to auld acquaintance be forgot

And by no means delivered to thoughts?

Ought to auld acquaintance be forgot

And auld lang syne?

In our rush for the brand new and totally different, the newest and biggest, the tune asks, will the “outdated lengthy since” be forgotten? The outdated friendships, the relationships, the reminiscences of days passed by — can we maintain on to the outdated as we additionally embrace the brand new that lies forward? The reality is, we want remembrances of the previous. They floor us within the current and assist transfer us confidently into the long run. Simply because the individuals and the gorgeous land of Scotland formed Robert Burns, we’re formed by the individuals and locations we have now identified, our outdated lengthy since. In order we are saying goodbye to the outdated yr and welcome the brand new, let the “auld lang syne” by no means be forgotten.

Tuning in …

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