Download There’s never been a prettier piece of music than this. Anyone can sit down to a piano and pick out the melody. The beauty is in the simplicity of just a few notes within just one octave. Nothing fancy – nothing complicated – and nothing sweeter.
“Auld Lang Syne” is Scottish for “old times sake”. Scotland’s national poet, Robert Burns, seems to have the most to do with the creation this tune. He claimed to have heard an old man singing the melody and decided to put lyrics to it. We Americans don’t have an exclusive on “Auld Lang Syne” to bring in a new and exciting year. It was a Civil War drinking song – and in Taiwan, it’s used in both graduations and funerals. In Japan, it has the same melody but different lyrics and is used to usher customers out of the store at closing time. Go figure.
The sound of bagpipes is not something you want to wake up to in the morning. But Scotland is famous for the instrument, so I decided to throw Yamaha’s version of a bagpipe into the beginning and middle of our arrangement. Sounds more like an oboe, if you ask me, but it establishes the melancholy, yet uplifting, mood of the song. Happy New Year… and try to forget how the Japanese desecrate this wonderful piece of music.
The saxophone lead at the end is dedicated to my friend and colleague, Arnie Kole. I know he’s “wowing” them in the heavens right now. The man could play – there’s no greater compliment in my book.