New Year is a huge event for Scottish families. For anyone who will be singing ?Auld Lang Syne? tonight, a translation:
We're no awa tae bide awa ( Old Scottish said by Scots as they leave their homeland to go overseas ..it means "We're not going away to stay away"....in other words, we'll come back some day )
Scotland has it?s own language, Gaelic, but the poem written by our greatest poet Robert Burns ( ?Rabbie Burns? ) is not written in our native language, but rather in ?Auld Scots? or ?Old Scots? tongue. Gaelic was practically wiped out when an invading army forced schoolchildren to learn English, in many cases under penalty of death for the parents to those who refused. Mass relocations took place when native speakers from the lowlands were forced to live in the barren and frozen north of Scotland, as attempts were made by the invading forces to eliminate the language. Later on, many thousands of those Scots were forced at swordpoint from their homes and deported on ships to Novia Scotia ( New Scotland in Latin ) in Canada. Their small homes were burned to the ground. Many of their descendants travelled through Canada and down into the United States. Variations of Gaelic are spoken in the east coast of Canada and in the Appalachians in the US.
The second song in the following deals with the latter:
As a result, fewer than 10% of the Scottish population actually speak the native tongue.
The original poem is about the bonds of true friendship and comradeship. Auld Lang Syne can be thought of as ?In Days Gone Bye?or ?In Past Times?. ?Auld Aquaintance? means ?Old Friendship?
Happy New Year to everyone. ?Bliadhna Mhath Ur?
Scots are the most geographically distributed race on the planet and millions in practically every country of the world will be raising a glass to bring in the New Year.
Some traditional Scottish songs that will be sung and listened to tonight:
( Our National Anthem. The ?Flower? refers to the young men who were killed during various battles )
( the place where I grew up can be seen at 0:34 into the next video )
Rome is mentioned in the song, as Scotland was the only country in the world that the Romans failed to conquer. The Scots counter-attacked with such ferocity that the Romans had to build a wall across the whole country to keep them away ( Hadrian?s Wall ):
Notice the palm trees at 1:48 into the video ( a unique micro-climate due to the tail end of the Gulf Stream at Inverawe ).
From the movie ?Last of The Mohicans?. The song is derived from the original ?The Gael?by Dougie McLean and contains many Scottish musical instruments:
To be played at max volume on the old stereo with a good double malt. If your foot starts tapping and the hairs on the back of your neck stand up there?s a good chance you have some Celtic blood in you?
Same song from the Edinburgh Military Tatoo:
( Sean Connery at 0:53 )
There will be a tear in the eye of many a Scot living overseas tonight, as they think of their homeland.
All the best to everyone for the coming year.
Thanks Wlanman. Thank God the wonderful thing is that hundreds of years after foreign landowners greased the palms of local officials, honest Scottish folk could never again be forcefully removed from their homes?
For any Aussies out there, a song my Australian mates and I used to sing at New Year. Anyone feeling "pumped up" after watching "Call of Duty: should watch this for a reality check. It describes the Battle of Galipoli in WW1.
Sad news today that one of the greatest supporters of Scottish music, Gerry Rafferty ( ?Baker Street? ) passed away. He used traditional instruments as well as modern ones in many of his songs. The saxophone was his ?trademark?:
Spent many years doing satellite and radio installations on little islands dotted all over world. We'd always play the second one "Island" at the end of the project along with loads of rum. Brings back many memories.