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January 2019

    Old Times Gone Again

    Once a year we sing a drinking song with words we kindly consider to be from a dialect preserved by Robbie Burns in 1788. They speak of sharing a pint with acquaintances through the night and navigating a trickling stream as if it was the mighty sea. The irony perhaps may be lost in translation or through the glaze of a glass or two.

    In Burns’ Scotland whisky is known as aqua vitae, the water of life. Their’s is a desolate landscape that is home to perhaps the least healthy lifestyle in the developed world. No wonder then when they refer to a cup of kindness and to any friend as among their oldest.

    In honor of the new year, I offer you this fugue:

    Old Times Gone Again

    Should auld acquaintance

    A drinking song sung once a year

    Be brought to mind

                In words from another time

    Yes auld acquaintance

                Long ago too soon forgot

    So much like the words to the song

    Pint-stoup and braes and gowans fine

                Aged words we mumble through

    Over cups of kindness drunk

                Frae morning sun till dine

    With friends as old as this eve

                All auld acquaintance– new and old

    While paidl’n in the burn

                Give me a hand o’thine

    To a trusty fiere

    As if the seas us braid hae roar’d

    And share a right gude-willie waught

    We drink to auld lang syne


The Last Word

After all is said and done, more is said than done.

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