Category Archives: Quotes

Auld Lang Syne

I never went to a New Years bash that didn”t culminate with this once a year song. We have heard this little diddy since childhood, but probably know very little about it. The songs we know best are the ones that become the mileposts our lives – Ground control to Major Tom, Like a Candle in the Wind, or Michael Jackson’s Thriller. But I wonder if any of these will endure like Auld Lang Syne (ALS). No pun intended but only time will tell.

The song is actually a poem written by the Scottish poet, Robert Burns, in 1788, and set to the tune of an old traditional folk song. The literal translation of the Scot’s title is “old long since”. The first line reading, “For auld lang syne” loosely translates to “For (the sake of) old times.”

Canadian band leader Guy Lombardo is often identified as the musician who popularised the song at New Year’s celebrations in North America, by his broadcasts on radio and television, beginning in 1929. ALS became Lombardo’s trademark piece of music.

There are some earlier accounts that say ALS was a New Years staple at the Lenox in Boston as early as 1896.

If you want to really impress your midnight kiss, sing the original Scottish version, as follows:

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind ?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and auld lang syne

For auld lang syne, my jo,
for auld lang syne,
we’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.
And surely ye’ll be your pint-stowp !
and surely I’ll be mine !
And we’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.


We twa hae run about the braes,
and pu’d the gowans fine ;
But we’ve wander’d mony a weary fit,
sin auld lang syne.


We twa hae paidl’d i’ the burn,
frae morning sun till dine ;
But seas between us braid hae roar’d
sin auld lang syne.


And there’s a hand, my trusty fiere !
and gie’s a hand o’ thine !
And we’ll tak a right gude-willy waught,
for auld lang syne.

Be prepared to answer the question – What is a gude-willy waught?

Youth is when you’re allowed to stay up late on New Year’s Eve. Middle age is when you’re forced to. ~Bill Vaughn

December distractions

I supposed distractions are pretty much the same year round. Between Facebook and keeping up with the latest episode of Fringe or whatever show has my interest, occasionally I will embrace distractions. (It’s all tied into my procrastination mechanism.) I might say something like, “I’ll get to that in a little bit,” or the more deadly, “I can work on that tomorrow.

But there is a distraction in the winter months that always grabs my attention – temperatures above 60°. Now that ties into my favorite pastime – Pearl, my 2003 Harley-Davidson Ultra Classic. When the temps are in that range during the winter months, I can’t always say, I’ll ride tomorrow, because tomorrow might be cold as a Calgary Popsicle. As a matter of fact, tomorrow is going to cap out in the upper forties. Plenty cold enough to stay indoors and write. So, as long as the gauge reads 72°, I’m afraid my heart is in the wind and not the word. It’s a little different during the other seasons because most of the time I can ride tomorrow, or later, or this evening.

Someone asked me recently if I liked to ride in the cold. Actually, I like riding in the cold as long as it’s not too cold. I left the house one January morning a few years back. It was 9°. Did I like riding that day? Hell no! Did I let 9° stop me? Hell no. Would I ride in 9° if I didn’t have to?… Hell no. But if I have to ride I’m not going to let cold air stop me. I will let snow and ice stop me, because of a little thing called traction. Loss of traction is moderately bad in a four-wheeler. On two it’s possibly fatal. Long story short, I won’t hesitate to ride anywhere from 45° on up. Anything below that begs the question… why?

I like riding in the cool temps, 50° to 75°. The bike runs better, the engine heat is not so troublesome, and it just feels better on the body. I don’t mind riding in the cold. What I don’t like is getting ready to ride in the cold. Getting the layers on, getting the leather together, putting on the winter gloves and getting everything zipped up. It adds at least ten minutes to the prep time.

I said all of this to say…. I didn’t get much writing done today. There’s always tomorrow.

People are more violently opposed to fur than leather because it’s safer to harass rich women than motorcycle gangs. ~Anonymous

I came across this little gem in a book I am reading…

“Stopping a piece of work just because it’s hard, either emotionally or imaginatively, is a bad idea. Sometimes you have to go on when you don’t feel like it, and sometimes you are doing good work when it feels like all you are managing to do is shovel shit from a sitting position.”
~ Steven King – On Writing

It’s very timely considering where I am in the writing process.