Auld Lang Syne
IT HAS been years since I heard John’s heartfelt rendition of Robert Burns’ Auld Lang Syne on New Year’s eve.
Honestly, I didn’t know about the song until I met and married John. Being a proud Scottish, John introduced me to the myriad of splendored things that was poet/author Burns. Understandably, Burns was revered by the Scots and others in the world over in so many ways.
Apart from the famous song I was also introduced the annual Burns Night or Burns Supper which is celebrated on or around January 25 in Scotland (but of course) and Scottish communities around the world including Malaysia’s Selangor St Andrew’s Society to commemorate the life of the poet.
I can almost heard his booming voice, and trust me John wasn’t gifted with a vocal talent but he would sing his heart out, with full of patriotism and pride which left me with nothing but admiration.
Auld Lang Syne is one of Scotland’s gifts to the world, recalling the love and kindness of days gone by, it also gives us a sense of belonging and fellowship to take into the future.
It is one of the many folk songs from the great Lowland Scots tradition collected and fashioned by the pen of one of the world’s greatest songwriters. Burns devoted the last years of his life to the song tradition, and often a mere fragment from some old ballad was transformed by his alchemy into a memorable love song or Scots poem.
Over the years, you might have remembered that in sentimental American movies, Auld Lang Syne is sung by crowds at the big New Year finale. Somewhere else in the world, such as Bangkok and Beijing the song is so ubiquitous as a song of togetherness and sad farewells, that some may presume it must be an old Thai or Chinese folk song; while in France the song is reverred as the one which eases the pain of parting with the hope that we will all see each other again.
And I am sure the song was reverberated again this time around across different cities in several continents around the world last night to mark the end of 2015 and to welcome 2016.
John Malcolm Brian Duncan may not be physically here with me anymore to lend me his unmistakable voice in his rendition of Auld Lang Syne, but he is always (here with me) in my heart and my mind as I am trying to gather my thoughts on what this new year of 2016 would mean to me, it’s significant in my life, apart from an obvious indicator that I will be one year older comes June.
I remember last night Daniel was asking if I was celebrating. Lives 12 hours behind in New Jersey, he was surprised when I said I don’t. Not this year. Well I did celebrate with all the debauchery associated with New Year’s eve when I was much younger with friends in the city. But it all stopped when I have Adam.
On the other hand, Jeffrey was safely celebrating new year at his brother’s place in Perth. Well he deserved to let his hair down once a year. This guy has been working so hard everyday since the day I know him almost 2 years ago. He said he had ginger beer (non-alcoholic by the way) and plenty of his brother’s fabulous cheese cakes. Glad that he had a good fun!
On my personal front, I am not one of those who would have diligently listed out new year resolution, year in year out. I am the type who would just go with the flow. I don’t remember of churning out a list of new year resolution on January 1st.
And today’s no exception.
With such a bleak and heartbreaking year of 2015 I just have had experienced, I am not really sure what I really feel about 2016.
There is one thing I know that I have to keep being positive. There’s no two ways about it apart from working hard and pray hard that 2016 will be a much better year than 2015. God willing… A