Happy New Year!
I found this gem on youtube. It's the story behind Auld Lang Syne, along with a performance by Scottish singer Mike Ogletree.
As he explains it, the story behind the song and poem is this: Scotland's beloved poet Robert Burns heard a story from a woman acquaintance, who had recently reconciled with a childhood friend after a long period of estrangement. Burns said it put him in mind of the old Scottish phrase, for auld lang syne. For the sake of old past times.
From there, Burns pieced together the poem, later a song, from a variety of old Scottish sources. The tune is based on an old folk melody.
So it's a song about peace and forgiveness, according to Mike Ogletree.
The story behind the singer is equally fascinating. Ogletree was the percussionist in Scottish rock band Simple Minds in the 1980s. He is the first African American Scotsman. Hard to believe, but evidently his was the first documented birth of someone in Scotland who had an African American parent and a Scottish parent. He was born and raised in Scotland, as you can tell from his pronounced burr! (My immigrant grandfather sounded a lot like that.)
Ogletree is currently living and performing in Brooklyn. His latest project is an album of Robert Burns poems set to a reggae beat.
Causes Blair Kilpatrick Supports
Louisiana Folk Roots, National Alliance for the Mentally Ill, Habitat for Humanity/Musician's Village New Orleans, Doctors Without Borders