Monday, December 28, 2009



Ever wonder how the New Year was set for January 1? Or maybe you already know, but just in case it has faded from your mind -

The celebration of the special day dates back to the days of emperors who thought a day should be set to end one year and begin another. First New Year celebrations were noted in Mesopotamia about 2000 years ago, but it was at the time of the Equinox in march. The calendar had only ten months. It was the second king of Rome who divided the year into 12 calendar months by adding January and February, and the New Year was shifted at January 1. Some Romans did not accept the new calendar, but Julius Ceasar officially declared January 1 as the New Year in 46. B.C. Thus the Julian Calendar. In the medieval period, pagans celebrated March 25th as the New Year; it was Annunciation Day, as the day Mary got the news that she should be impregnated. Later the King of England ensured that Jesus' birth December 25th should be commemorated as New Year. About 500 years later, Pope Gregory XIII abolished the old Julian calendar and introduced the Gregorian calendar which comprised of a leap year after every four years to maintain balance between seasons and calendar. Finally, in 1582, Gregorian calendar was set to celebrate New Year on January 1.
SO NOW YOU KNOW. But wait - I was going to tell you the history of resolutions. Well, maybe next week. You might want to check out "". I don't know if it actually gives the origin of the tradition, but I think it does give hints on good resolutions and how to keep them, or maybe it is a "tongue in cheek" piece. It may be a money scheme. Everyone needs to make a buck. I don't do resolutions anymore. With good intentions I used to think of two or three things that needed "fixing" and would resolve to do so. Within a few days or weeks at the most, I was back to my old habits. Making excuses for failure is tedious. I think the keeping the Christmas spirit all year long is probably the best anyone can do. So, I'll go with that for 2010, thank you, Charles Dickens for thinking of that one.

I can only think of two particular pieces of music for the New Year:
Auld Lang Syne and What Are You Doing New Years Eve. The internet has a list of newer pieces which are totally unfamiliar to me, as are the groups that perform them. I associate Guy Lombardo with Auld Lang Syne. For many years, going back to early TV transmission with a snowy screen, I watched Guy Lombardo and his band on New Year's Eve. Auld Lang Syne means "for past memories." So when we sing "We'll take a cup of kindness ...for auld lang syne" it means we will drink to past memories. It has a ring of sadness, to be sure.

There are a few winter songs: Sleigh Ride, Let It Snow, Let It Snow; Winter Wonderland; Baby It's Cold Outside; Winter Love; Snowbird; Simon and Garfunkle wrote Hazy Shade of Winter. There seem to be a number of new compositions by groups such as the Doors, Black Sabbath, The Cure, and others. There also seem to be several different songs named "Winter." I'll stick with the ones I am familiar with, but I will hunt for Hazy Shade of Winter because I like some of S & G music. If you have a winter song you like, please let me know. You can post a comment to this blog, or you can e-mail me directly at if that is easier for you. I think you do have to have a YAHOO password or something to post on the blog.

If you are not in the mood to play winter tunes while the snow is covering your driveway, and the icicles are hanging from your eaves, try playing "Hazy Lazy Days of Summer" ~ "Summertime" ~
"Summer In The City" ~ "Take Me Out To The Ball Game" ~ "Summer Samba"~"Heat Wave" - I'm sure you can think of others. The important thing is to

"Keep a song in your heart and keep the music playing.


Janice Major

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