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Happy Hogmanay & New Year!

It’s amazing to think that during my lifetime, Christmas Day was a normal working one for many in Scotland and New Year was the big holiday. In many households, gifts were exchanged on New Year’s Day rather than Christmas.

Growing up in Scotland in the 60’s and 70’s, Hogmanay and New Year was a kind of magical mystery time. The house was tidied up on Hogmanay, everything dusted and polished.
It was the first time when staying up beyond midnight was officially sanctioned and alcohol was taken – probably a shandy made from dad’s beer, ginger wine or a mild drink like a sip of the snowball your mum was drinking.

There was all the rigmarole of first footing where neighbours would wander from house to house having impromptu parties of varying length,music being played, songs being sung. You needed a bit of coal, a dram and some black bun or shortbread (and a wee minding*) if you were a serious first foot.

New Year, new hope, glad that ones over – maybe next year will be better. ‘Lang may yer lum reek!’ ‘May the best of ’70 be the worst of ’71!’ ‘slainte!’ The White Heather Club, Robin Scott and Jimmy McGregor, Jimmy Shand, Andy Stewart and Jimmy Logan on the telly.

Sneaking another sip of the bevvy when no one was looking.

Steak pie for New Year’s lunch with some attendees the worse for wear.

It really was like that. Or at least it is in my head.

The old traditions may have largely died out but wherever you are from and for whatever your reason for dropping by this outpost of the internet, let me wish you the warmest and happiest of New Year wishes from Scotland for 2011.

*small token or gift


The Weekend Waits – I Hope I Don’t….

The track which gave the title to Tom’s first album Closing Time 38 years ago.

‘Now it’s closing time, the music’s fading out’

Well I hope that I don’t fall in love with you
‘Cause falling in love just makes me blue,
Well the music plays and you display
Your heart for me to see,
I had a beer and now I hear you
Calling out for me
And I hope that I don’t fall in love with you.

Well the room is crowded, people everywhere
And I wonder, should I offer you a chair?
Well if you sit down with this old clown,
Take that frown and break it,
Before the evening’s gone away,
I think that we could make it,
And I hope that I don’t fall in love with you.

Well the night does funny things inside a man
These old tom-cat feelings you don’t understand,
Well I turn around to look at you,
You light a cigarette,
I wish I had the guts to bum one,
But we’ve never met,
And I hope that I don’t fall in love with you.

I can see that you are lonesome just like me,
And it being late, you’d like some some company,
Well I turn around to look at you,
And you look back at me,
The guy you’re with has up and split,
The chair next to you’s free,
And I hope that you don’t fall in love with me.

Now it’s closing time, the music’s fading out
Last call for drinks, I’ll have another stout.
Well I turn around to look at you,
You’re nowhere to be found,
I search the place for your lost face,
Guess I’ll have another round
And I think that I just fell in love with you.