Saturday, January 1, 2011
And so — 2011
Christmas Carols have a way of hitting my nostalgic spot like no other song, save one. Yes, just when you thought it was safe to turn off Bing Crosby, New Years Eve snuck up on me last night and whammo — good old Auld Lang Syne. I think it must have been genetically encoded into me that this song would always bring a lump to my throat.
We have the poet Robbie Burns to thank for the words. (He's the one in the fancy cravat.) I guess it is no coincidence that he is considered a pioneer of the Romantic Movement and I know that he was a favourite of my grandfather Thomas Burns, but maybe that was due to the surname.
Another favourite of Pa's was Christina Rossetti (she of the nearly Princess Leia hairdo). When he died I inherited a tiny padded ox-blood coloured covered book of Rossetti's poetry — a book from his childhood — and eventually two chair rockers. The book has since gone AWOL and one of the rockers sits in the corner of my study and catches the late afternoon winter sun, a perfect spot for reading. We spent considerable time together when I was a child, my pa and I, rocking away, pondering the strangeness of life. He with his magic roll your own cigarettes machine and racing form guide and me with a book in my lap and one of Pa's strong mints used to cover his tobacco breath. For years after he'd gone, my nan would watch the Scottish Highland Pipers on New Year's Eve as if to pipe him back to her. If she had leftover Christmas pud to eat at the same time, all the better.