Happy New Year 1958

Saturday, January 2, AD 2016

Something for the weekend.  Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians playing Auld Lang Syne.  The first year I spent on this globe was in 1957.  The above is the New Year’s Eve broadcast on CBS by Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians on December 31, 1957.  Born in Canada, Lombardo became a naturalized American citizen in 1938.  For 48 years, until his death in 1977, Guy Lombardo and his band ushered in the New Year with broadcasts, first on CBS radio and then on CBS television.  The first televised broadcast was in 1956.  Guy Lombardo and his band managed the feat of remaining popular, and highly profitable, for half a century, a difficult feat in as fickle an enterprise as the entertainment industry.  Lombardo was the heart and soul of the operation, his band surviving his death only by two years.

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4 Responses to Happy New Year 1958

  • Compare a ball drop to that sweet romantic nostalgia. When the Lord creates everything new, the ball drop will be one of the things forgotten.

  • Guy Lombardo lived in Freeport, Long Island, New York, where he kept his cabin cruiser in the canal in his backyard. He often played at Jones Beach Marine Theater, which is still popular for concerts – different name. He would go to Jones Beach by boat from his home. Mr. Lombardo’s last Jones Beach production was Finian’s Rainbow in 1977.

    I live about 30 minutes away from Freeport. Have been there many times over the years. It’s waterfront is known for seafood restaurants and pleasure boating.

  • In Kentucky in the ’50s my cousins, a few acres away, were crazy about Guy Lombardo, and everything he played, especially a song about some Mounties capturing Dangerous Dan McGrew. Since I loved Mounties I felt kindly toward The Royal Canadians but at the age of ten I was already hooked on Beethoven and Toscanini. But this did sound rather velvety today, to ears dinted by years of other hideous sounds which can in no way be called music.

  • Kmbold calls to my mind something I had wrong in the first place. I’ll tell it with a dutiful correction at the end. My father’s best friend’s father had in his youth an infatuation with opera singer Ernestine Schumann-Heink. He would leave flowers by her dressing room door at the Met. That is doubtless true but I thought it was Toscanini who said to a rehearsing orchestra,” Louder! Louder! I can still hear the Heink.” A bit of fact checking corrects me that it was actually Richard Strauss who said that. Now, how did I get that wrong? Perhaps Toscanini engaged in a little playful plagiarism.

Auld Lang Syne

Saturday, December 31, AD 2011

Something for the weekend.  Auld Lang Syne sung by the incomparable Arethra Franklin.  Written by the immortal Scots poet Bobby Burns in 1788, his poem captured perfectly the grandeur of human memory as it ponders the cherished past.  It is very appropriate that it has become an essential part of New Year’s Eve celebrations.  Here is his original version:

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 (or my dear),

for auld lang syne,

we’ll tak a cup o’ kindness

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.

Translated into Sassenach:

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4 Responses to Auld Lang Syne

  • Ah, Scottish– just as hard to understand as my dad always told me! (to be fair, it probably didn’t help that his exposure was from grandfathers and great-uncles…his great grandma, too, I think)

    Another translation:
    Should old acquaintances be forgotten,
    And never brought to mind?
    Should old acquaintances be forgotten,
    And days of long ago !
    For old long ago, my dear
    For old long ago,
    We will take a cup of kindness yet
    For old long ago.
    We two have run about the hillsides
    And pulled the daisies fine,
    But we have wandered many a weary foot
    For old long ago.
    We two have paddled (waded) in the stream
    From noon until dinner time,
    But seas between us broad have roared
    Since old long ago.
    And there is a hand, my trusty friend,
    And give us a hand of yours,
    And we will take a goodwill draught (of ale)
    For old long ago!
    And surely you will pay for your pint,
    And surely I will pay for mine!
    And we will take a cup of kindness yet
    For old long ago!

    I suspect love for this song tracks rather closely with love of fantasy lit.

  • Each bought his own cup and together they shared times and experiences. No wonder there’s hope for a cup of kindness when old acquaintance is remembered. Friends from time ago are still so. In 2011, ‘friend’ has taken on a whole different usage.

  • Thanks for providing a translation. Here’s a humorous take one the Scots brogue:

  • A laugh is a good way to start the year Thomas! I have enough Scots blood in me to appreciate this old Mony Python sketch: