The Walk of Shame vs First Footing

It’s New Years Eve and I’m celebrating like a lot of 50 year olds that I know by staying at home watching movies with my kids. I went up to pick them up at 7pm and the streets were heaving with blokes carrying copious amounts of alcohol and practically every woman was wearing a party dress and stilettos…ahh I remember those days, the partying, not the stiletto wearing and then doing the walk of shame next morning – if I was lucky!

I’ve been trying to explain to the beasties that New Year’s Eve parties are all ahead of them, getting ‘quite’ tipsy, dancing like crazy, making an ass of yourself and kissing strangers and then trying to sing a Robbie Burns song from 1711 called Old Long Syne. Interesting enough, you can get away with practically any words to this song and I think most folk do because almost no-one knows the correct words apart from the first verse

Should old acquaintance be forgot and never brought to mind,
Should old acquaintance be forgot and old lang syne.

You can thank me later if you don’t even know those few lines, if you were Scots then it would sound like this;

Shid ald akwentans bee firgot, an nivir brocht ti mynd,
Shid ald akwentans bee firgot, an ald lang syn
Fir ald lang syn, ma dear, fir ald lang syn,
wil tak a cup o kyndnes yet, fir ald lang syn.

Which is quite handy because you can just mumble your way through it and pretend you are singing it the traditional Scottish way, the few times I’ve actually had to sing it I was well oiled – just like everyone else in the room – and none of us knew what the hell we were singing.So no change there then!

In Scotland of course they shall be doing First Footing. The first-foot(er) is the first person to cross the threshold of a home on New Year’s Day and a bringer of good fortune for the coming year. Although it is acceptable in many places for the first-footer to be a resident of the house, they must not be in the house at the stroke of midnight in order to first-foot (thus going out of the house after midnight and then coming back in to the same house is not considered to be first-footing). The first-foot is traditionally a tall, dark-haired male; a female or fair-haired male are in some places regarded as unlucky. The first-foot usually brings several gifts, including perhaps a coin, bread, salt, coal, or a drink (usually whisky), which respectively represent financial prosperity, food, flavour, warmth, and good cheer.

I have been out to parties on New Years Eve and been the First-footer, not on purpose but just because I did the walk of shame and came home during the dawn chorus…ahhh those were the days, something to look forward to boys :)

Happy New Year!