Auld Lang Syne: Mairi Campbell & Ronnie Browne

Shid ald akwentans bee firgot, an nivir brocht ti mynd? Shid ald akwentans bee firgot, an ald lang syn*?

Fir ald lang syn, ma jo, fir ald lang syn, wil tak a cup o kyndnes yet, fir ald lang syn.

An sheerly yil bee yur pynt-staup! an sheerly al bee myn! An will tak a cup o kyndnes yet, fir ald lang syn.

We twa hay rin aboot the braes, an pood the gowans fyn; Bit weev wandert monae a weery fet, sin ald lang syn.

We twa hay pedilt in the burn, fray mornin sun til dyn; But seas between us bred hay roard sin ald lang syn.

An thers a han, my trustee feer! an gees a han o thyn! And we’ll tak a richt gude-willie-waucht, fir ald lang syn. [Scottish dialect.]

H/t glasgow1234  =  Mairi Campbell /  H/t negba = Ronnie Browne.

Scottish thistle! The national
Scottish thistle! The national “flower” of Scotland.
I would like to dedicate this Hogmanay lyric to all survivors of Goldenbridge industrial *school* who emigrated to Scotland after their incarceration period was up. I know from hearing stories that there were many who fled Erin’s shores and made new lives there. I nearly had the good fortune of being adopted by Esther Brady – née Boyne, but for some reason unknown to me it never came to fruition.
Now, in hindsight, I can see clearly how difficulties would have arisen – now that I’m in receipt of past family history. Esther’s only son became a redemptorist priest. He went to boarding school in Aberdeen colloquially referred to as the granite city. He’s highly trained in oratorical and counselling skills and travels world-wide doing missionary work. I would like to extend the Hogmanay greetings to those who also found themselves locked away as children in industrial *schools* in Ireland, who went to Scotland.

I really enjoyed Mairi Campbell’s singing and Dave Francis’ accompaniment. A perfect duo. I’d planned on listening to Eddi Reader during Hogmanay. So it was a real treat to discover the YT video with stunning Scottish landscape visuals to boot. I read at Mairi’s blog that she does fiddle retreats. I must look further into it. I have plans in the pipeline to visit Glasgow. It would be extra delightful indeed to take in one of her retreats whilst in Scotland. I would be on home-turf, as the music and fiddle-playing in Ireland is very similar. I have a violin, and what an opportunity to learn to play it better in a beautiful peaceful Island setting. Especially music that I’ve related to for my entire life.

An aside: I couldn’t help but notice that Mairi’s features are kind of like Kyle Sturgess of FtB. I did mention it in a tweet a long time ago that the Australian pod-castor/blogger /DJ looked very Scottish in appearance. Seems to me to be reconfirmed by this [very elegant] photo of Mairi Campbell?

Mairi Campbell Mairi Campbell trained as a viola player at the Guildhall in London, and worked in London until she withdrew to focus fully on traditional song and fiddle music, essentially finding her musical roots. Her musical interests are wide, and range from playing Scottish dance music to free improvisation (the former with Bella McNab’s Dance Band, the latter with the Working Party). She is in great demand as a fiddle teacher, and was one of the pioneers in the re-introduction of solo step-dancing to Scotland in the early nineties. Mairi is currently musical director of the Edinburgh based folk-choir Sangstream. She has also worked extensively as a session musician. Mairi performs regularly with Dave Francis as “The Cast” and their version of “Auld Lang Syne” was recently featured in the “Sex and the City” movie.Click here to listen to a sample of Mairi’s MusicThe second rendition of the song is mind-blowingly fantastic. Sung by Ronnie Browne. What a powerful strong baritone voice. So lyrical. It puts me in mind of Tommy Makem & the Clancy Brothers. I was reading a few YT comments wherein it was stated that Robbie Burns never actually created the words, but just wrote them down from somebody else. I’ll look further into it. Enjoy both versions of the song this Hogmanay.

Ronnie Browne (“The Voice”) (born Ronald Grant Browne in Edinburgh, Lothian, Scotland), is a Scottish folk musician and founding member of The Corries. Browne’s musical career began when he met Roy Williamson and multi-instrumentalist Bill Smith at Edinburgh College of Art in 1955 and formed the Corrie Folk Trio in 1962. The group was expanded the following year with the addition of female singer Paddie Bell. Shortly after releasing three albums in 1965, Bell left to begin a solo career. With the departure of Smith, the following year, Browne and Williamson continued to perform as a duo now known as The Corries.   ———-> Read the rest here.

The Corries were the godfathers of the modern folk music scene in Scotland, introducing huge audiences to traditional songs, composing songs in a traditional style, using innovative instrumental arrangements and pioneering practices which later became commonplace throughout the music industry.” –> Read more here.

I didn’t know until I googled RB’s name, today, that he was one of the founders of The Corries – whose folk-music I thoroughly enjoyed when I lived in London during the 70s/80s. Ronnie is/was the viking-looking hunk on the left. How the years fly.

tartan                       Assorted Scottish Tartans, digital illustration (©2008 Liz Hager

Here is the most common rendition of the song. The video footage of Scotland is excellent. My preferred choice though, of melody is most definitely the one sung by the very talented folk-singers above.