Oddity of the Week: The Old Refrain

0 Conversations

Happy New Year, with added hopes for world peace.

The Old Refrain

New Year's Eve poster, 1919.
And there’s a hand, my trusty fiere!

and gie's a hand o’ thine!

And we’ll tak' a right gude-willie waught,

for auld lang syne.

Robert Burns.

Like the man said. New Year's Eve is a time to drink a 'gude-willie waught', and hope for a better future. That's what this 1919 New Year's poster was about. Ignore all those stars and stripes.

Count the days: 11 November 1918, the guns fell silent. Four years of human depravity and mass murder stopped. Less than two months later, somebody drew this picture. They had hopes for 1919. And yes, we know what happened to those hopes: millions died of the influenza, a legacy of the war. People faced uncertain futures. Maps got redrawn. People got shoved from pillar to post. Struggle, struggle, struggle. So what else is new?

New Year's Eve is an arbitrary date. There's no magic alignment of stars, no voice from Heaven, no mandate from the universe that says, 'Humanity, stop and think.' We just mark our calendars, put on our funny hats, and drink a hopeful toast. And then we sing the old refrain:

For auld lang syne, my jo,

for auld lang syne,

we’ll tak' a cup o’ kindness yet,

for auld lang syne.

May it be ever so, until the guns of war are silent forever.

Post Quiz and Oddities Archive

Dmitri Gheorgheni

29.12.14 Front Page

Back Issue Page

Bookmark on your Personal Space

Conversations About This Entry

There are no Conversations for this Entry



Infinite Improbability Drive

Infinite Improbability Drive

Read a random Edited Entry


h2g2 is created by h2g2's users, who are members of the public. The views expressed are theirs and unless specifically stated are not those of the Not Panicking Ltd. Unlike Edited Entries, Entries have not been checked by an Editor. If you consider any Entry to be in breach of the site's House Rules, please register a complaint. For any other comments, please visit the Feedback page.

Write an Entry

"The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is a wholly remarkable book. It has been compiled and recompiled many times and under many different editorships. It contains contributions from countless numbers of travellers and researchers."

Write an entry
Read more