Today is my last day in Scotland. I can feel the emotions building up – it is hard saying goodbye. I’ve loved being in Scotland and spending time with my Aunty and cousins. For my last night, we watched The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo – it is an annual series performed by the British Armed forces in the Edinburgh Castle. It includes military performances from all over the world. There are over 1,200 performers – over 250 pipers and drummers – most in kilts! The performance starts with a lone piper at the top of the castle and ends with all performers holding hands singing Auld Lang Syne.
Most people know this song from New Year’s Eve. The song symbolises a farewell to the old year. It was the perfect song to end my stay in Scotland on. The song starts with a question – is it right that olds times are forgotten? The answer is a call to remember? Should auld acquaintance be forgot, and never bought to mind? Should old acquaintance be forgot, and old lang syne? The song evokes feelings of cherishing time with loved ones.
My cousin’s husband Keith taught me a little about Robert Burns who first sang this song and is a famous poet and folk singer in Scotland. My favourite folk song of his is “A man’s a Man for A’ That – this song speaks of liberty and independence. He tells the ruling class in this song that the average person is just as good or better than anyone else. (these were radical views during his life). This song was sung at the Scottish Parliament in 1998 to symbolise equality of all human beings.