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Auld Lang Syne – 2013

January 1, 2013
Golden Sunsetphoto by Mary McAvoy

Golden Sunset
photo by Mary McAvoy

Days Gone By

by Mary McAvoy

He poured me a thimble of sturdy port,
he drank his from a sturdy glass.
He held my small hand with love so dear,
’tis a memory never forgot.

And he sang me a song sweet to my ear,
a song of long ago.
I said to him, Pa, what does it mean,
the song of auld lang syne?

He smiled at me so sadly,
and he smiled at me tenderly,
and he said, much later – when you’re like me –
you’ll know about auld lang syne.

‘Tis a song o’ friends, and a song o’ time,
and a song o’ no goin’ back.
‘Tis a song o’ love and keepin’ in your heart
those who were once to you dear.

Long now he rest in the vale,
and longer still the seas have roared ’round me.
but true as his word, and I hear them clear,
I know of auld lang syne.

So many I remember with love
so many are forever dear
still one holds a place in my heart
never to be lost from there.

We twa hae run thru the night, my dear
and on ’til morning came bright,
then later we went ’round again
and cried back into the night.

I raised a pint to you last night
and surely you raised yours.
Tears soaked that place in my heart for you –
forever, for auld lang syne.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. awriterweavesatale permalink
    January 29, 2013 8:29 pm

    Lovely. Can’t imagine how long that must have taken to write!

    Like

    • January 29, 2013 9:02 pm

      It took one evening – a total of about six highly focused hours while reviewing various versions (old Scottish to the familiar versions) of the lyrics as well as a variety of versions of the song. My favorite version of the song is by James Taylor. Rod Stewart does an amazing job with it. And there’s another that influenced my poem, stunning version by a Scotsman, Dougie MacLean.

      What looks like a typo in my poem is actually a lift from the old version.

      Interestingly, and unintentionally, my poem can nearly be sung to the melody!
      Perhaps because the song played constantly as I wrote and edited.

      I remember vividly my father (who I called “Dad” not “Pa”, but “Pa” fit better) telling me the meaning of Auld Lang Syne. I could read the melancholy in his face and voice. He didn’t want me (who was about eight years old) to yet feel the sorrows of loss that we all experience. And each New Year’s Eve, when I was a child, he did pour me a thimble-full (into an actual thimble!) of the drink he was having.

      The poem is written about someone who was the first true love of my life (I was 18). One time, we stayed up all night long, just for the experience of watching a new day dawn. (You can find this referenced in a broader meaning in the poem.) In time, we broke up and went our separate ways completely losing contact. Thirty-five years later, both divorced after 26 and 28 year marriages, we met and fell in love again. And again, after two years, it didn’t work out. There must be a name for this – the truest of love that does not survive a mismatch of dispositions or natures. It’s tragic.

      Thanks Sandra, for your visit and your comment.

      Like

  2. January 2, 2013 3:01 pm

    Mary — These words are so sweet.. and nicely expand and deepen the meaning of the phrase.

    A happy 2013 to you and yours!

    Like

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