Blog Archives

A Short Analysis of Robert Burns’s ‘Auld Lang Syne’

‘Auld Lang Syne’ – which loosely translates into modern English as ‘old long since’ – is one of Robert Burns’s most famous poems, which is remarkable since Robert Burns almost certainly didn’t write it. What are the origins of this, one of the most famous songs in the world? In this post, we’re going in search of the meaning of ‘Auld Lang Syne’, as well as offering some words of analysis of its lyrics.

Auld Lang Syne

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And auld lang syne!

Chorus. For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne.
We’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
For auld lang syne. Read the rest of this entry


A Short Analysis of the ‘Old King Cole’ Nursery Rhyme

‘Old King Cole’ is familiar to us from the famous children’s rhyme, but just who was he? Although the song of ‘Old King Cole’ is well-known, the man named Old King Cole, with his fiddlers three, remains shrouded in mystery. Before we examine this issue a little more closely, here’s a reminder of the words to the song.

Old King Cole
Was a merry old soul,
And a merry old soul was he;
He called for his pipe,
And he called for his bowl,
And he called for his fiddlers three.

Every fiddler, he had a fiddle,
And a very find fiddle had he;
Twee tweedle dee, tweedle dee, went the fiddlers. Read the rest of this entry

A Short Analysis of the ‘Hey Diddle Diddle’ Nursery Rhyme

We tend to associate nonsense verse with those great nineteenth-century practitioners, Edward Lear and Lewis Carroll, forgetting that many of the best nursery rhymes are also classic examples of nonsense literature. ‘Hey Diddle Diddle’, with its bovine athletics and eloping cutlery and crockery, certainly qualifies as nonsense. What does this intriguing nursery rhyme mean, if anything? What are its origins? Iona and Peter Opie, in The Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes (Oxford Dictionary of Nusery Rhymes), call ‘Hey Diddle Diddle’ ‘probably the best-known nonsense verse in the language’, adding, ‘a considerable amount of nonsense has been written about it.’

Hey, diddle, diddle,
The cat and the fiddle,
The cow jumped over the moon;
The little dog laughed
To see such sport,
And the dish ran away with the spoon. Read the rest of this entry