In Scotland, where New Year’s Eve is called Hogmanay, the 12 days between December 25th and epiphany are called “Daft Days”. I get that, especially before New Years. I am full of cheese and glögg and I never know what day it is; it’s a week of Saturdays. By the time the ball drops I am ready to reform and resolve. My favorite New Year’s eve activity is the purge. Excess coffee mugs, eraserless pencil stubs, undarnable socks, threadbare bedding and frosted mystery foods from the freezer…? Out with the old!
I received beautiful new black boots from my girls this Christmas. Letting go of the old brown ones will be hard. It’s been nine years, hundreds of miles, two sets of souls and three pair of heels. They are old friends, and deserve a proper Scottish send off. I won’t light them a’fire and swing them into the river, Hogmanay style, but we will cross arms, join hands and sing Robert Burns’ Auld Lang Syne.
And so should you, for old friends and old times’ sake. The song is older that Burns himself, and is sung around the world to a pentatonic Scots folk melody. If you have a low G on your ukulele, you can start there and pick it out, while brushing up on your pentatonic scale, pull-offs and hammer-ons. If you have resolved to work on your playing, take a look at the music Daniel Ward has prepared as your holiday gift.
Here is Burns’ first verse in the original Scots, an English version, and some Hawaiian words by Lili‘u-o-ka-lani.
Aloha my jo- Daniel and I hope to take a cup ‘o kindness and walk a mile with ye in 2019.
Should auld acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot, and auld lang syne?
For auld lang syne, my jo, for auld lang syne,
we’ll tak’ a cup o’ kindness yet, for auld lang syne.
Should old acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind?
Should old acquaintance be forgot, and old lang syne?
For auld lang syne, my dear, for auld lang syne,
we’ll take a cup of kindness yet, for auld lang syne.
E poina ‘ia anei ke hoa ‘a ‘ole e ho omana ‘o?
E poina ‘ia anei ke hoa o na la i ‘aui a‘e?
E poina ‘ia anei an hoa o na la o ka makali‘i?
E mau ka ho‘omana‘o ‘ana no na la i ‘aui a‘e