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Grand Old Flag/Auld Lang Syne connection

clueless don 14 Jun 04 - 03:55 PM
Cool Beans 15 Jun 04 - 09:17 AM
GUEST 05 Feb 16 - 02:36 AM
GUEST,HiLo 05 Feb 16 - 02:51 AM
Jack Campin 05 Feb 16 - 08:33 AM
GUEST 05 Feb 16 - 09:07 PM
Joe Offer 05 Feb 16 - 09:25 PM
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Subject: Grand Old Flag/Auld Lang Syne connection
From: clueless don
Date: 14 Jun 04 - 03:55 PM

My wife and I have a question about the George M. Cohan song "You're a Grand Old Flag" (I found the words in another thread, but not a discussion devoted to the song.) Does anyone know why the songwriter quotes "Auld Lang Syne" in the penultimate line? i.e.

should auld acquaintance be forgot,
keep your eye on that grand old flag!

We can't see what "Auld Lang Syne" has to do with the message of "Grand Old Flag". Is it a matter of "When other motivations have been forgotten, the flag will give you a clear compass by which to steer"? Or did the songwriter just find himself at a loss for a line, and he filled in the first snippet of words that came to him?

I know that Mr. Cohan isn't around to ask, but maybe he spoke of the matter during his lifetime?

Don


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Subject: RE: Grand Old Flag/Auld Lang Syne connection
From: Cool Beans
Date: 15 Jun 04 - 09:17 AM

Could this be the first known instance of sampling?

    Here's another: "Back Home Again in Indiana" borrows words and tune from "On the Banks of the Wabash" as its penultimate lines: "When I dream about the moonlight on the Wabash/ Then I long for my Indiana home." This may have been a fairly common practice.

    My speculation: George M. finishes writing "You're a Grand Old Flag" with all original words and music, realizes he's inadvertantly stolen melody from "Auld Lang Syne" as his penultimate line, figures what the hell, may as well use the words, too, "Should old acquaintance be forgot" and turns theft into tribute.
   This is purely conjecture on my part, but since I used to live in Providence, and George M. was from Providence, perhaps there is a psychic connection.


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Subject: RE: Grand Old Flag/Auld Lang Syne connection
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Feb 16 - 02:36 AM

I wonder when the song was written. If it was written for the revolutionary war it could imply that England/Great Britain is what should be forgotten.


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Subject: RE: Grand Old Flag/Auld Lang Syne connection
From: GUEST,HiLo
Date: 05 Feb 16 - 02:51 AM

It was published in 1906. had nothing to do with the revolutionary war. If you read all of the lyrics you get a sense that Cohan is referencing a number of other tunes. Just my take on it. Not being American however, I may be missing something.


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Subject: RE: Grand Old Flag/Auld Lang Syne connection
From: Jack Campin
Date: 05 Feb 16 - 08:33 AM

That was a common trick as far back as the seventeenth century - when re-using a tune, include a few words from the best-known song that uses it (more often they are quoted at the start). Saves printing the tune or even naming it.


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Subject: RE: Grand Old Flag/Auld Lang Syne connection
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Feb 16 - 09:07 PM

Consult


https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/You%27re_a_Grand_Old_Flag


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Subject: RE: Grand Old Flag/Auld Lang Syne connection
From: Joe Offer
Date: 05 Feb 16 - 09:25 PM

The song was published in January 1906 as "You're a Grand Old Rag" much to the chagrin of many Americans. In June 1906, it was republished as "You're a Grand Old Flag," and then it became a hit.

-Joe-


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