Malaga wine, for Auld Lang Syne

This morning on BBC Radio 4, there was a programme by John Sergeant which explored the history of toasting – as in drinks rather than bread. It being New Year’s Eve, he was talking about the tradition of singing Auld Lang Syne at midnight, and what the lyrics are all about.
Written by Robert Burns in 1788, Auld Lang Syne draws heavily on traditional songs and poems. The first verse of the version that is most popularly sung today goes as follows – more or less, as there are quite a few variations:

Should auld acquaintance be forgot
and never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot
and auld lang syne?

In the programme, however, John Sergeant and the contributors talked about an earlier version by Burns, which went as follows:

Should auld acquaintance be forgot
and never thought upon?
Let’s hae a waught o’ Malaga
for auld lang syne

They explained that, in the 18th century, Malaga wine was really popular in England and Scotland. Now there’s a custom worth reviving. I’ll still be toasting the New Year with cava tonight, but a glass of Malaga as an aperitivo tomorrow morning sounds like a good idea. I’ve been saying for ages that it’s about time Malaga wine came back into fashion.

10 thoughts

  1. We are celebrating New Years Eve in Málaga (my fiancé´s family lives here) and our plan is to go for a glass of Malaga Virgen this afternoon. The most typical is to drink Málaga Dulce (i.e. Quitapenas) during the afternoon, and maybe even with an aperitif, and then ring in the new year with a glass of Cava. Happy New Year to all wherever you might be celebrating!

  2. Muy cierto, el vino de Málaga es algo al que sin duda cualquiera se podría aficionar. Ahora a tratar de aprendernos esta famosa canción.

  3. Never before have I heard or read those lyrics of Auld Lang Syne but I have to say have survived the mountainns of Andalucia through 15 winters my intake of Malaga wine only occurs in winter months.

    I call it my internal heating and it is instant. One sip of Malaga wine and my knees down to my toes come alive again. Perhaps “Burnsie” had the same effect. Warmed from the cockles of his….. insides.

    Cheaper than central heating. If I´m warm and me nose and toes is then sing the night away.

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