As I was surfing the interweb, my ears caught a sweet song being played from my MSI laptop via MS Windows Media Player (it’s the only reliable media player nowadays since RealPlayer and KM Player upgraded itself!). It was the humble and favoured Auld Lang Syne (ALS) song that is immune to the passing of time. It was however in the midi format i.e. the instrumentally cheapish sound that is akin to the sounds coming from a Chinese made plastic transistor radio. ALS is synonymous to the celebration of New Year mostly in the western hemisphere.
Indeed, before I go on further, I would like to clearly explain in advance and anticipation of grumbles from people of my previous posting as per Awwal Muharram. As some may recall, I mildly blasted the practice of reciting some du’a created in the Abbassiyyah time purely because some quarters claim it to be the practice of the Holy Prophet p.b.u.h. And suddenly I write this article on the practice of singing Auld Lang Syne on New Year’s Eve much to the tune of lamenting on it. Before people question this seemingly confusing stand, let’s just say this piece is neither meant to revere nor praise the celebration of NY; rather is another lamenting exercise by yours truly over the passing of time and perhaps a wee bit of indulgence of ‘jiwang – karat’ ness.
People all over the world celebrate new years with zest and joy for various reasons but mostly because it’s a holiday and partly everyone else is jumping and screaming on the streets for only God Knows why. In the western part of the world, it is of popular tradition for folks over there to sing the Auld Lang Syne song with the custom melancholic tune at the countdown of the New Year. ALS is essentially a Scottish dialect which more or less means “For Old Times Sake” (literally ALS means Long, Long Ago or Old Long Since). Apart from this tradition, the ALS song also is sung at various events elsewhere such as at the farewell events as in Malaysia, at sports events (Thailand), during scouts meetings (Poland), and at funeral farewells (Zimbabwe and Chile) (source The Wikipedia).
The ALS song also is used in films such as Charlie Chaplin’s Gold Rush (1942), Waterloo Bridge (1940), the Last Emperor (1987) and Sex and The City (2008) to name a few. History noted that this song was sung / played in important events such as when the British were leaving Burma, ALS was played in a farewell ceremony on that 5th January 1949 day. During the World War II, the Japanese ship Montevideo Maru sank to the bottomless pits carrying with it some 1,053 Australians Prisoners of Wars. The Aussies who managed to escape the sinking hulk sang ALS in the waters for their trapped mates.