A Perthshire poet has penned a heartfelt reworking of Auld Lang Syne reflecting on the year of 2020 and the effect the Covid-19 crisis has had upon our lives.
Jim Mackintosh, accompanied by Perthshire musicians Karys Watt and Dave MacFarlane, created the piece which thanks the key workers who helped us through and remembering those that were lost.
In his message ‘Dinnae Forget’, Jim raises a glass to absent friends and hopes for a better year ahead.
The poet, who was recently announced as the Makar for the Federation of Writers Scotland, told The Courier: “I wish I hadn’t been inspired to write this poem.
“I wish I could go back to being normal amongst other normal folk doing our normal things and hug my family like normal and shake the normal hand of friends for all the normal reasons but this tragic bourach of a year is leaving us with empty spaces where so many people should have sat with us to see in the new year, where although the news of vaccines brings a glisk of hope, I fear so many more will not see the Spring.
“And in amongst all of that, I felt it was right to try and recognise the extraordinary humanity and the generous depth and bonding strength of community that so many have displayed unassumingly yet so willingly.
“It would’ve been impossible to weave a mention to everyone who has done their bit for us all because the poem would’ve run to several volumes but I hope I’ve captured the essential spirit of this difficult year.”
With his words in mind Jim approached Karys and Dave to help bring his poem to life and create a video for Hogmanay.
Fiddle player and tutor Karys, from Dunkeld, added: “Dave and I have worked with Jim on previous adventures most notably the centenary celebrations for Hamish Henderson in 2019, so when we read his poem and he suggested a musical collaboration, we didn’t hesitate in agreeing.’
Perth based musician & producer Dave said: “We thought Auld Lang Syne was the obvious choice to back Jim’s poem but it was also wonderful to up the beat into a jig as the poem ends to bring notes of hope and hopefully folk will manage a tap of toe and as Jim’s toast offers in the film, raise a glass along with us to absent friends and to bright new horizons.”
Dinnae Forget – by Jim Mackintosh
Should auld acquaintance be forgot
and ne’er brocht tae mind?
Naw! They should’nae nor should we forget
the doctors, nurses and abdie in the NHS
who’ve cared for us,
sacrificed willingly for us.
Nor should we forget aa the fowk who’ve
kept the lichts on, the water runnin,
the heatin on, the shelves stacked for us
on furloughed hours, zero hours, nae hours.
Nor the teachers, the fowk embracin oor bairns futures
or those bidin alone, those on the streets alone,
those just wantin Scotland tae be their home.
Abdie just wantin things to be just a ticky easier.
Nor should we forget aa the musicians
actors and poets who’ve tried to keep the world
spinnin wi a bonny tune, a laugh, a tear
or a heartfelt verse for us.
Nor should we forget those we’ve sadly lost,
should be here in the warm embrace o friends and family
tae toast the licht risin ower a neu year’s horizon:
those who have’nae survived this tragic bourach,
those we love and will haud forever in oor herts
So should auld acquaintance be forgot?
Naw! They should’nae!
So raise a glass tae absent friends,
tae 2021 – a guid ain wi a bit o luck.
And see yon 2020, well, it can get tae fer …
the sake o auld lang syne.