Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Should old aquaintance be forgotten?

Updated and reposted (isn't that sort of redudent?)

"What does this song mean?" wonders Harry Burns to Sally Albright in that ballroom moment from the 1989 movie "When Harry Met Sally."
"My whole life, I have never known what this song means. I mean, Should old acquaintance be forgot? Does that mean we should forget old acquaintances, or does it mean if we happened to forget them, we should remember them, which is not possible because we already forgot them?"
Sally can't help. But whatever the nuances, no one seems capable of forgetting this song.
The original post, now 4 years old, has been frequently sought after on my blog - all year long - and as since the original post has outdated links, I thought it should be refreshed.

Wikipedia traces it back to Robert Burns in 1788, and notes that while the famous band leader Guy Lombardo used it his New Years Eve broadcasts on radio and then TV, the song can traced back as far 1896.   The various translations of the song are found there, and HowStuffWorks breaks down the meanings of the verses.

This is the time people start creating their New Year's Resolutions but I've long since provided my reasoning why doing so is silly (here and here).  Of course, if making a resolution Wednesday night works for, be my guest.

Incidentally, if you haven't seen When Harry Met Sally you have no clue what you're missing.   The trailer has several lines that are indescribably funny ("...and I'm going to be 40!"), and is well worth your watching.

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