Edited by Frank R. Shaw, FSA Scot, Greater Atlanta, GA, USA
As a young boy, I used to hang around the
public library in my hometown of Mullins, South Carolina and, as an
adult I have enjoyed building a personal library over these many years,
including approximately 8,000 Scottish books. I gave my religious books
to an African- American minister, longtime friend and sheriff of Fulton
County, Georgia, as they represented another part of my life that had
ended years before. Books have always played an important role in my
life and still do as I approach my 80th birthday. My collection will
probably keep growing until I die. Some books will more than likely
trickle in to my home probably from book dealers here in the States and
the United Kingdom even after I’m gone. Perhaps a few don’t understand
my passion for books, but I do not expect them to. If I had not picked
up this habit of buying books many years ago, I would have much more
money in my bank account today, but one thing is for sure, I would not
be richer! I learned this from author and newspaper man Pete Hamill who
is right on target.
Beanie Crosby, my friend from high school days in the 1950s, wrote me
some time back saying “when I saw you at our class reunion it brought
back so many good memories. Memories I will cherish the rest of my life.
Let’s get together and reminisce about the good old days.” Since we
played basketball on our high school team, there would be many such
memories to recall. Beanie ran my campaign for student body president;
we won! More memories! Sixty years of memories. Talking about all these
experiences is what Old Lang Syne means.
Some say Robert Burns is more praised than read. It is also said he “is
the most recited Poet by drunken men”. Burns Clubs worldwide have become
a favorite whipping post by his critics. So as we approach our annual
Burns Night Suppers, let us look briefly at the one song that defines
Burns. Whatever Burns Night is to you this year, make it your best one
and be able to remember it the next day! Many thanks to the good people
at Sainsbury’s grocery chain in the United Kingdom for recently posting
the article below on their website and to Alastair for sending it to me.
Auld Lang What?!
Research from Sainsbury's has revealed that
the tradition of singing Auld Lang Syne on New Year's Eve is in danger
of dying out.
Research from Sainsbury’s has revealed that
the tradition of singing Auld Lang Syne on New Year’s Eve is in danger
of dying out, with only 3% of people in the UK knowing the words despite
a third of revellers planning a rendition as the bells chime 2018 in.
The majority can bravely belt out the chorus
and first few lines at best whilst raising a glass of fizz. But
Sainsbury’s found that it’s the younger generations that will need the
most help as 42% of millennials admit that they don’t know a single
word. And more than half (56%) of 18-24 year olds don’t know who penned
the classic and a further 3% think Mariah Carey is its lyricist.
When presented with lyrics from the song the
majority of the younger generation had a hard time recognising them,
with more than half (54%) failing to identify the chorus, despite it
featuring the words ‘Auld Lang Syne’.
Further errors include mistakenly
identifying lyrics from The Beatles (40%), ABBA (60%), Taylor Swift
(34%), Little Mix (30%) and even Snoop Dogg (45%) as lines from the
Robert Burns’ classic.
Native Scots didn’t fare much better: just
7% said they know all the lyrics, while over half (54%) admitted they
know hardly any. However, eight out of ten Scots correctly identified
Robert Burns as the man who wrote the song.
To help keep the tradition alive and enable
everyone to have a tuneful New Year, Sainsbury’s has created a handy
song sheet available to
download here so everyone can be primed for a solo at the stroke of
midnight this year – even those who thought the song traditionally sung
at midnight is “YMCA”.
A Sainsbury’s spokesperson said: “We want
everyone to have a great New Year’s Eve and singing Auld Lang Syne – or
‘Old Land Sign’ as some people thought – is as much a part of our
celebrations as a glass of fizz at midnight. We’ve revealed that many
are missing out on this tradition because they don’t feel confident of
the lyrics, so Sainsbury’s has created some handy song sheets so no-one
has to hum along at the stroke of midnight this year. We hope all our
customers ‘take a cup of kindness yet’ and have a very happy New Year.”
Whether you’re one of the third of Brits
toasting with a glass of fizz at midnight (30%), or of the 4% who’ll be
raising a tea or coffee, Sainsbury’s can help you with everything you
need to have a fun filled New Year’s Eve. Top offerings from the
supermarket to make every New Year’s Eve celebration special include:
• Taste the Difference Champagne Brut NV
£18, currently down to £16.50 until 1st January
• Taste the Difference Prosecco Conegliano 2016 £10, currently down to
£7.50 until 1st January
• by Sainsbury’s 12 Mushroom Arancini, £2.50
• Taste the Difference 12 Mini Steak, Port & Stilton Pies, £4.50
• Taste the Difference 8 Dinky Crab and Asparagus Cocktails, £7
Top Five lyrics Brits confused for Auld Lang
1. “And every time I see you shine. It's
like the lights of midnight On New Year's Eve” – Snoop Dogg
2. “May we all have a vision now and then. Of a world where every
neighbour is a friend” - ABBA
3. “We would be warm below the storm, in our little hideaway beneath the
waves” – The Beatles
4. “You made my heart break and that made me who I am” – Little Mix
5. “It's like a kaleidoscope of memories, it just all comes back” –