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31 December 2021

As we are about to leap into our 11th year publishing Photo Corners, we thought we'd mix up our traditional New Year's Eve feature. Just a little bit. Something old, something new.

For something old, cherishing the past, we returned to the UCSB Cylinder Audio Archive to dig up a cylinder recording from around 1903.

For something new, that recording isn't Auld Lang Syne, which we always used to present on the last evening of the year. This time we have Leo Stormont singing Gae Bring Me a Pint o' Wine, a Francis Melville composition with lyrics by Robert Burns (who wrote Auld Lang Syne before he himself was forgotten).

We played the same mischief with the images accompanying the music. We used last year's smartphone photos of our upright Baldwin but we colored them using Lightroom's new Color Grading panel.

We set them all to a preset (FT12 Futuristic) first, then set the highlights to a blueish cast, the midtones to a warm cast and played with the predominant shadows across the color wheel.

It was more fun than a pint of wine.

The Stormont recording is a bit hard on the ears, so if you suffered much, here's the antidote:

Here's the words with a reckless translation:

GO BRING TAE ME a pint o wine, and fill it in a siller tassie
that I may drink afore I go, a service tae my bonnie lassie

The boat rocks at the pier o Leith, fu loud the wind blows fae the ferry
The ship rides by the Berwick Law, and I maun leave my bonnie Mary.

The trumpet sounds, the banners fly, the glitterin spears are ranked ready
The shouts o war are heard afar, the battle closes deep and bloody

It's no the roar o sea on shore that maks me langer wish tae tarry
Nor shouts o war that's heard afar, it's leaving thee, my bonnie Mary.

GO BRING ME a pint of wine and pour it into a silver thimble
so I can drink before I go, in service to my beautiful girl

The boat rocks at the pier of Leith, so loud the winds blow from the ferry
The ship rides by Berwick Law and I have to leave my beautiful girl

The trumpet sounds, the banners, fly, the shining spears fixed and ready
The shouts of war are heard afar, the battle closes deep and bloody

It's not the roar of sea on shore that makes me longer wish to tarry
Nor shouts of war that's heard afar, it's leaving you, my beautiful Mary.

To us tonight, it's the flip side of Auld Lang Syne. Anticipating the pain of parting (one way or another) from from those we love rather than remembering those friends from whom we are parted.

Either way, a cup of kindness, if you please.

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