Monday, January 2, 2012

Auld Lang Syne - Translation

Robin from Pink House Studio asked for a translation of Auld Lang Syne as she never heard the other verses, and if you weren't an English major and had to study 18th c. British Poets, you probably haven't either. It gives me a chance to show off my near graduate level research skills. Nah, I just dug out my copy of The Norton Anthology of English Literature (vol. 2) c. 1974. because I needed the gloss for "gude-willie waught"

Robert Burns (1759 - 1796) first of the Romantic poets and considered Scotland's national poet. His best work is written in Scots, a northern dialect of English and spoken by the country folk. ( Rabbie was a farm boy sometimes called the Plowman Poet.) He also wrote songs which he set to traditional Scottish tunes. Auld Lang Syne is probably his most famous work. Robert Burns died from a heart condition at the age of 37. The portrait of him was painted by Alexander Nasmyth in 1787.

Auld Lang Syne (Long Ago) 1788-1796

beginning with the second verse:

We twa (two) hae (have) run about the braes (slopes)
And pu'd the gowans fine (picked the daisies)
But we've wandered mony (many) a weary foot (mile)
Sin' auld lang syne.

We twa have paidled (yup, just like it looks paddled) in the burn (stream)
From morning sun til dine (dinner or from sun up to sunset)
But seas between us braid (broad) hae roared
Sin' auld lang sine.

And there's a hand, my trusty fiere (friend)
And gie's a hand o' thine (and give us a hand of yours)
And we'll tak a right gude-willie waught (a real good swig)
For auld lang syne.

And surely ye'll be (pay for) your pint-stwop (pint cup)
And surely I'll be mine.
And we'll tak a cup o'kindness yet
For auld lang syne.

Haggis anyone? ('Spect I'll pass.) Have you been first footed yet?

1 comment:

  1. Thanks, CJ! Now it won't keep me up nights wondering! LOL