Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Traditional - The Parting Glass

We are come hard up on the end of the year.  Modern New Years' Eve celebrations include the singing of Robert Burns' Auld Lang Syne, a traditional Scottish ballad.  But that's not the only song that was included in the party.  This one is older, perhaps almost two hundred years older.  It sings of the sorrow of parting, of reminiscing of times now gone.  The "parting glass" was the final toast offered to a departing guest, frequently served when the guest mounted his horse (i.e. a stirrup cup).

Burns referred to this song, so it was not only common but famous in his day - the music was incorrectly attributed to Joseph Haydn (!).  But the song dropped into obscurity.  It was Tommy Makem and The Clancy Brothers who re-introduced it into popular use; it became a signature number of theirs, and they would typically close concerts with it.

So this New Years' Eve when everyone dusts off the old Robert Burns, hoist a glass of cheer to the anonymous authors of this.  We even now saddle up to ride into the New Year; a parting glass is not too much to ask from 2019.



The Parting Glass (traditional)
Of all the money that e'er I had
I spent it in good company
And all the harm I've ever done
Alas it was to none but me
And all I've done for want of wit
To mem'ry now I can't recall
So fill to me the parting glass
Good night and joy be to you all

So fill to me the parting glass
And drink a health whate’er befall,
And gently rise and softly call
Good night and joy be to you all

Of all the comrades that e'er I had
They're sorry for my going away
And all the sweethearts that e'er I had
They'd wish me one more day to stay

But since it fell unto my lot
That I should rise and you should not
I gently rise and softly call
Good night and joy be to you all

A man may drink and not be drunk
A man may fight and not be slain
A man may court a pretty girl
And perhaps be welcomed back again
But since it has so ought to be
By a time to rise and a time to fall
Come fill to me the parting glass
Good night and joy be with you all
Good night and joy be with you all
To all our readers, we wish you a happy and healthy New Year!

8 comments:

"Zack" said...

"To all our readers, we wish you a happy and healthy New Year!"

Back at ya, kind sir. Back at ya.

Gorges Smythe said...

Excellent song. Thanks for posting.

libertyman said...

Thought this was an old song, but no it is not. The sentiment is perfect, many thanks for posting this. And what harmony!!

Happy New Year everyone!

Secesh said...

Great song, one of my favorites. Happy New Year.

McChuck said...

May the new year be better than the last.

Murphy(AZ) said...

In my family, sadly, "The Parting Glass" is played or sung at funerals, to bless the departed on their new journey.

libertyman said...

I thought the song was recent, as it was used "Waking Ned Devine"! I was mistaken! My humble apologies to all.

And all the harm I've ever done
Alas it was to none but me

Sorry!

Borepatch said...

Murphy, I can see that.

Libertyman, LOL.