December 27, 2012

“Ring out the old, ring in the new.”


THE FAMILIAR NEW YEAR’S SAYING:

“Ring out the old, ring in the new.”
      
Alfred Tennyson (a.k.a. Alfred, Lord Tennyson, 1st Baron Tennyson; 1809-1892)
       English poet 
       Famous line from Tennyson’s epic poetic work
In Memoriam A.H.H. (1850)
       Many websites and books say these familiar words linked to New Year’s Eve are from a Tennyson poem titled
“Ring Out, Wild Bells.” Technically, that’s incorrect. 
       The verses that go by that name come from Tennyson’s epic work, In Memoriam A.H.H., his elegiac musings on the death his friend
Arthur Henry Hallam (the “A.H.H.” in the title).
       In Memoriam A.H.H. is essentially a very long poem comprised of 131 short ones that are referred to as cantos.
       These cantos were not given individual names by Tennyson. The popular title “Ring Out, Wild Bells” are the first four words of the canto that includes the line “Ring out the old, ring in the new,” 
Canto CVI (106 in Roman numerals).
       The tradition of tolling bells to “ring out” the year that is ending and “ring in” the new one predates Tennyson. It is an old custom in England and many countries around the world. But Tennyson is generally credited for cementing “Ring out the old, ring in the new” into the English language and making it a linguistic tradition associated with New Year’s celebrations.


A PERFECTLY HEARTWARMING MUSICAL VARIATION:

“Bring out the old, bring in the new
A midnight wish to share with you
Your lips are warm, my head is light
Were we alive before tonight?
I don't need a crowded ballroom
Everything I want is here
If you're with me, next year will be
The perfect year.”

      
Don Black
       English lyricist
       Lyrics from
“The Perfect Year,” one of the songs in the musical Sunset Boulevard, with lyrics by Black and music by Andrew Lloyd Webber. (First performed in London in 1993.)


GEORGE’S MUSICAL VARIATION:

“Yesterday, today was tomorrow
And tomorrow, today will be yesterday
So, ring out the old, ring in the new
Ring out the old, ring in the new
Ring out the false, ring in the true.”

      
George Harrison (1943-2001)
       English rock musician
       From the lyrics of his 1974 song
“Ding Dong, Ding Dong” (included on the Dark Horse album)


THE 2013 FISCAL CLIFF VERSION:

“If Congress doesn’t act, America will ring in the new year with $110 billion in spending cuts and a $500-billion tax increase, leaving the average household with a nearly $3,500 hangover.”
       CBS News report, December 3, 2012 
      Referring to the stalemate between Democrats and Republicans on how to reach a budget deal and prevent the US from going over the so-called
“fiscal cliff” in 2013. Happy New Year from the politicians in Washington!


THE HELPFUL CLEANING TIP VERSION:

“Wring out the Old; Bring in the New...
The Old: Sponges can be sanitized in the microwave.
The True: Using the microwave can be risky...there is the possibility of starting a fire.”
      
The American Cleaning Institute (formerly the Soap and Detergent Association)
       In the
January/February 2009 edition of the organization’s newsletter, "Cleaning Matters"

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