Out with the old, in with the new

Published 8:00 am Saturday, January 2, 2021

You can hear it on repeat this time of year. Whether on Christmas-themed satellite radio stations or drizzled into the holiday movies you’ve been binging on cable, “Auld Lang Syne” tends to be the New Year anthem.

But have you listened to it all the way through?

What started as a poem written in mostly Old English by Robert Burns in the late 1700s has been tweaked to become a singable version for us modern folk.

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If you read the original poem, you’ll see Old English throughout and need a dictionary or Google translate to get through it. However, the modern version loosely translates the Old English wording to help make the sing-a-long a little easier.

I listened to several versions that have been recorded over the years to get an idea of the song’s background. James Taylor hits it out of the park, and Mariah Carey butchers it. Dan Fogelberg uses the song as a thesis of sorts for his “Same Old Lang Syne,” which has been one of my favorite songs for years for several reasons.

It’s Christmas-themed, it tells a story, and I know every word. The point is that everyone has tried their hand at it, and not everyone gets it right.

Yes, auld means aged or old; lang is a Scottish word meaning long; and syne simply means since.

Old long since.

Thinking about those three words brings to mind what people tend to do at the end (or beginning) of the year. We reflect on what has happened during the past twelve months, and these past 12 have been quite interesting to say the least.

One thing has remained the same though for us here in the Miss Lou; we’ve been there for each other. We’ve supported each other’s businesses, shopped locally, done curbside pick up at our favorite places to eat, and (most importantly) tried to stay positive and say thank you to those working through 2020.

It’s the beauty of getting to live in a small town where everyone knows everyone. So, as we start 2021, let’s make an effort to remember the old year’s positive influence on our community and continue to offer support where it will continue to be needed over and over again.

For me, I’ll spend this year sharing stories of locals, reminding you of your favorite dish at that restaurant around the corner, and maybe a few recipes I plan to try, too.

This weekly column will be a place to escape each week and either learn something new, get a laugh, or just read about something Natchezian.

It’s the old city we love and don’t plan on forgetting anytime soon.

Jennie Guido is a community columnist for The Natchez Democrat. You may reach her at guido.jennie@gmail.com.