Guy Lombardo Beneath the Lion’s Claws

Guy Lombardo and His Immortal Canadians launched into Auld Lang Syne, all their instruments carefully flattened out of tune. It was twelve o’clock, it was midnight again.

Should auld aquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind? asked Guy, his professional voice heavy with some emotion. It was an old question, a powerful question, repeated until the words wore away and Meaning stared forth.

The song ended, and the band played some old favourites, Dream A Little Dream, Glow-worm, Yesterday, and the couples danced on the floor, beneath the lights. Midnight came again, and again Auld Lang Syne.

And here’s a hand, my trusty friend, and gi’e’s a hand o’ thine, sang Guy, his eyes on the clock, tears in his eyes. His hand shook upon the microphone. The Immortal Canadians flatted and sharped their way through the tune, and through Cheek to Cheek, All Along The Watchtowers, She Bop, sixty minutes of music for the swirling dancers, until midnight came again.

We’ll take a cup of kindness yet, for auld lang syne, sang Guy, for the twenty-sixth thousand, two hundred and eightieth time, and turned to his orchestra to start the fourth year of music, endless music, played for the waltzing demons, the little imps.