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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Robert Burns ("Auld Lang Syne")

Robert Burns
Scotland's favourite son 

    My heart’s in the Highlands, my heart is not here,
    My heart’s in the Highlands, a-chasing the deer;
    Chasing the wild-deer, and following the roe,
    My heart’s in the Highlands, wherever I go.
                                         Robert Burns  (1759-1796)
Burns Night is traditionally celebrated every year on January 25th, and marks the birthday of the famous 18th century Scottish poet Robert Burns, author of many popular Scots poems including "Auld Lang Syne" and "A Red, Red Rose".

Burns Night celebrations typically include poetry recitation, bagpipe music, singing, traditional ceilidh dancing, whisky drinking, and a dinner based on haggis (a dish containing the sheep's heart, liver and lungs).

The Burns Supper is an institution of Scottish life and is very much a night to celebrate the life and works of the national Poet. Burns suppers may be formal or informal, depending on the club, society, or people planning them, but they are always entertaining. The only items held in common by all Burns suppers are haggis, Scotch whisky and a poem or two.

Today is the 252nd anniversary of the poet’s birth.

Tonight is Burns Night 2011, a night to celebrate the life and works of the national poet.

Around the world Scots will be celebrating by toasting the poet in good single-malt whisky, then eating of the haggis, and then drinking lots more whisky in an effort to forget the haggis...

The importance of Burns Night

Burns Night is effectively a second national day in Scotland celebrated on 25 January with “Burns Suppers” around the world, and is recognised as well as St.Andrew's Day (the Patron Saint of Scotland).

In fact, Burns is best known of the poets who have written in the Scot's language and collected folk songs from across Scotland, often revising or adapting them.

His poem (and song) “Auld Lang Syne” is often sung at Hogmanay (the last day of the year).

“Auld Lang Syne”

Antigua canción tradicional escocesa compuesta por Robert Burns, el poeta escocés más popular, nacido en el siglo XVIII. Escrito en el dialecto de la alta Escocia.

Se canta después de las campanadas de fin de año en todos los países de habla inglesa. Además, siempre se canta en momentos emotivos y cuando alguien se va. Generalmente se considera una canción de despedidas. De hecho, este poema se canta tradicionalmente en los países angloparlantes como himno de despedida.

La traducción no puede ser literal. “Auld Lang Syne” se traduciría del escocés al inglés como "Old long since", es decir, como hace mucho tiempo; aunque en español quedaría mejor una traducción del tipo “Por los viejos tiempos”.

 * * * * *

Here you are a virtual movie of Robert Burns reading “Auld Lang Syne”:

    (Letra en versión original)

Should auld acquaintance be forgot
and never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot
and days of auld lang syne?
For auld lang syne, my dear,
for auld lang syne,
well take a cup of kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.
For auld lang syne, my dear,
for auld lang syne,
well take a cup of kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.
 * * * * *
As you can see, this old Scottish poem/song has been adapted in many different ways.
Have a look at the following examples and enjoy the different versions of the song!

Example 1.-
... Performed on traditional Scottish bagpipes.

Enjoy some shots of Scotland!

Example 2.-
... Performed by the soprano Sissel,
"The Golden Voice of Norway".

Enjoy a phenomenal voice!

Example 3.-
... Performed by the disco group Bonye M
(with Spanish subtitles).

Enjoy the rhythm!

Example 4.-
... In the film "Waterloo Bridge"
(with English subtitles).

Enjoy the film!

"When Scotland forgets Burns, then history will forget Scotland"
J.S. Blackie

                                                         Let's drink a toast to Robert Burns!

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