AULD ACQUAINTANCE? SEE YA’!

 Time Yo’ Tired Ass Be Forgot

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by Joe Buonfiglio

So you’re all ready to roll in another new year, eh?  Well, whoop-de-freakin’-doo to the stupid hats, party blowers and rotgut champagne we’ll all swill until we puke on the police chief’s front lawn.  Let’s get this party started!  I can almost hear the ghost of Guy Lombardo warming up his musicians as we prep the finger foods and get the beer chilling.

Yeah, right.

New Year’s is the only time anyone in America gives a rat’s left butt-cheek about anything to do with Gaetano Alberto “Guy” Lombardo.  Hell, the dude died in 1977.  Nevertheless, we still seek out the tired, old classic version of “Auld Lang Syne” performed by “His Royal Canadians” for which Lombardo was bandleader and front man.

It doesn’t matter that this ditty wasn’t intended to merely ring in a new year.  It’s an old Scottish poem written by Robert Burns in 1788.  When it was then put to the music of a traditional folk song (“Roud 6294”), it got impregnated into the collective mind of Humanity and embedded into the Westernized New Year’s as if some sort of melodic parasite that refuses to die.  And while we English-speaking countries insist on using it to bid farewell to the old year at the stroke of midnight, the damnable song is actually caroled at graduation ceremonies, funerals and anywhere a farewell or ending to an occasion is bursting with weepy-eyed sentimentalists.  The tune is the perfect background noise for those losers waiting for an opportunity to “accidently” graze some side-boob of an old girlfriend under the guise of a last goodbye at the class reunion.  In many countries, even the damn Boy Scouts will use it to close their jamborees, for God’s sake.

It’s all a bunch of insincere schmaltz, if you ask me.  (Admittedly, I am a wee bit of a curmudgeon when it comes to traditions … or at any other time, really.)

Auld Lang Syne: When translated into modern English, it literally means “old long since.”  A more colloquial interpretation would be “days gone by” or “old times.” Thus, “for auld lang syne” (as it forlornly imposes itself upon us in the first line of the eponymous tune’s chorus) might loosely translate to “for (the sake of) old times.”

So, let’s take a moment to examine this anally — Yes, I meant “anally,” not “annually.” — inescapable melody to see if we can glean a modicum of truth behind its real intent.  (For the sake of argument, we’ll use the English version, not the original Scottish poem.)

Should old acquaintance be forgot,

  and never brought to mind?

Should old acquaintance be forgot,

   and old lang syne?

CHORUS:

For auld lang syne, my dear,

  for auld lang syne.

We’ll take a cup of kindness yet,

  for auld lang syne.

The rest of the Scots’ lyrics have to do with running around picking daisies, paddling along a stream, putting back an alcoholic beverage or two, the “flames of Love extinguished” with “thy sweet Heart now grown so cold” and some other bullshit into which I don’t have the time nor the inclination to delve deeper.  But rest assured, it’s all the same teary crap as the earlier verse.

Let me nutshell this baby for you.  The truth is that this boohoo drivel mindlessly leads us around by our sentimental shorthairs every December 31st by inanely posing a question for which we all know is rhetorical, but we still treat as if a sincere inquiry.  The author is not truly asking us as to whether we believe it is right that old times be forgotten.  He’s telling us, in his devious little wordplay, that it is NOT okay to let long-standing friendships slip into just more dust bunnies swept under the rug of time.

And, if I’m honest, I generally agree with this in concept.  I am certainly guilty of letting some past relationships once cherished sink down into the swamp of obscurity.  However, the fact is that I say good riddance to many of those painful memories.  It wasn’t only kisses and vodka back then; you ALL damn well know what I mean, too.  Go ahead and scrutinize your current social media.  I bet you wish you hadn’t “friended” or “followed” some of those once dead-in-your-memory but now regurgitated-back-into-your-life folks, huh?  Some of them should have stayed buried … deep … REALLY deep.

Don’t look at me like that.  You get what I’m saying.

Now, I know what you’re thinking.  Is it New Year or New Year’s or the new year?  And my answer is—  Fuck you!  What am I, your 2nd-grade English teacher?  In the age of Google, you can figure all that out for yourself.  My cheap-ass persona is too engaged in trying to figure out if I can make grain alcohol mixed with 7-Up taste enough like champagne to fool my drunk dumbass-friends by the time the ball drops at midnight.

What?  I’m on a budget.

 

© 2014 Joseph P. Buonfiglio     All Rights Reserved.

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2 thoughts on “AULD ACQUAINTANCE? SEE YA’!

    • I can’t delete such a delicious comment, Big Al. Perfection in its delightful simplicity. Not to mention “@upyerbum.com.” I’ve never enjoyed someone telling me to go fuck myself so much. Gabh mo leisgeul, my friend.

      — Uncle Joe

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