Normally at this time of year, I make a post rounding up all of the different versions of "Auld Lang Syne" that I came across during my search for free Christmas music in the last year. However, this year has been anything but normal, so I'd like to do something a little different.
In February of this year, my father passed away very suddenly. Not a day goes by that I don't think of him, but I've found myself thinking of him more than usual today, as last New Year's Eve turned out to be the last time I ever spoke to him. Dad was a huge Pink Floyd fan (so big that he actually wanted their music played at his funeral; my brother, two of our uncles, and I granted that request when we sang "Wish You Were Here" for him), and I've spent more time listening to their music this year than I ever have before.
I also downloaded quite a few shows from a Pink Floyd tribute band called The Machine. As fate would have it, one of the shows was recorded on New Year's Eve 2008 and features "Auld Lang Syne" incorporated beautifully into the intro and guitar solo of "Coming Back to Life". "Coming Back to Life" itself is a pretty special song to me, as it's from The Division Bell, which was the first Pink Floyd album that I ever experienced alongside my father; I was too young to appreciate their other albums when they were released, but he picked up The Division Bell when we were on summer vacation the year it came out, and the album became one that we listened to regularly on our vacation drives. This is a great version of the song, and the two little excursions into "Auld Lang Syne" work extremely well, making it a very appropriate song for this time of year.
I'd like to close this post with one of my favourite quotes that took on an entirely new meaning for me this year:
"We get to think of life as an inexhaustible well. Yet everything happens only a certain number of times, and a very small number, really. How many more times will you remember a certain afternoon of your childhood, some afternoon that's so deeply a part of your being that you can't even conceive of your life without it? Perhaps four or five times more. perhaps not even that. How many more times will you watch the full moon rise? Perhaps twenty. And yet it all seems limitless." --Paul Bowles
If you haven't talked to your father lately, please do so as soon as you can and let him know how much you appreciate him. Life is definitely anything but inexhaustible, so take the time to appreciate the things you hold dear while you still can.
I love you, Dad. I'll always miss you, but thanks for the lifetime of memories, especially the ones revolving around Pink Floyd!