Stings “Fields of Gold” – An Auld Lang Syne Alternative?

Totally off topic, but since I’m still on vacation (for a few more days), I get to wander a bit on the journalistic map.

We all have certain songs that evoke emotion, and this time of the year, for many of us, it’s “Auld Lang Syne” – loosely idiomatically translated as “for the sake of old times”.

So, while practicing  my rendition of this Scottish poem (written by Robert Burns in 1788), in the shower this morning (so that my choral contribution later tonight won’t sound totally tuneless  🙂  ), I couldn’t help trying a few bars of Stings “Fields of Gold”.

In a very loose fashion, this great tune covers some of the same ground as Auld Lang Syne – especially for those who remember lost lives, lost times, and lost loves.

The following is a particularly good rendition of Fields of Gold taken from YouTube. See what you think.

My good friend, Paul Andrew Russell, is running this New Year’s tune (from ABBA), over on his site. I don’t think he’ll mind if I steal it.  🙂



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15 responses to “Stings “Fields of Gold” – An Auld Lang Syne Alternative?

  1. TeXaCo

    Hey Bill,

    That’s a decent version of fields of Gold, but I’m still partial to Auld Lang Syne.

    Hope you have a great vacation and Happy New Year.


    • Hey TeX,

      I hear ya – I’m a bit of a traditionalist (it’s the Celtic blood, I think), so Auld Lang Syne goes down pretty smoothly.

      Happy New Year to you and your family!



  2. MrLokiNight

    Hi Bill

    Good post !!

    I love the simplicity of the lyric. Yet it is full of imagery
    Have you heard the version by Eva Cassidy (RIP) ?

    Well worth hunting out


    • Hi Michael,

      Yes, the arrangement and lyrics are very simple – neither crowds the mind. Leading, as you point out, to imaginative personal interpretation.

      I have in fact, heard Eva Cassidy’s version (and many more of her’s). A wonderful shift in the right direction.



  3. PasjonatLeonaWachholza

    Great version.
    Happy New Year 2011 Bill.

  4. John Bent

    Hi Bill

    Not wanting to be too pedantic, but there is a debate as to whether the poem originated with Burns or whether he adapted and added to it – see the following:
    That aside, my main problem with the song is that most people don’t know the words or what they mean. OK they may be 3 sheets to the wind when they sing it but it can hardly be said to be inspirational if it’s not understood.
    As for “Fields of Gold”, for me it’s Eva Cassidy every time.
    Those things aside, I’m with you all the way!

    Kind regards

    • Hi John,

      Very interesting debate – I’m glad you brought it up. Personally, I’ve always been on the side of the naysayers,

      I suppose the act of singing the tune is, in itself, the expression of the emotion (not unlike singing ancient Christmas Carols, where the meaning is unclear). No doubt, an understanding of the words of Auld Lang Syne would bring a new meaning to the experience.

      You’re right, Eva Cassidy’s version is much more polished. As well, the tempo is more appropriate, I think.



  5. Mal

    Hey Bill,
    There’s something else we have in commond, Celtic background. My father was born in Scotland. He always gave a good rendition of Auld Lang Syne too. Scottish NYE parties are the BEST. They can go hard for days.
    Happy New Year.

    • Hey Mal,

      I grew up surrounded by Celtic music – my Mother had an incredible voice – the fiddle, piano, guitar, penny whistle, and other instruments, were all played my people in my family.

      It seemed every weekend was a cèilidh – with loads of Scots, and people from the north of England (“arry left the “inges off the door, types). Years later, I ended up doing weekend guitar and traditional Irish music gigs, for my family and their friends. It’s really too bad that type of thing has passed – it was a fantastic way to grow up.

      Btw, I knew you were a Scot – with your first and last name, you couldn’t be anything else.

      All the best in the New Year!


  6. mike

    Wow that Eva Cassidy version is amazing and her vocal talent really blew me away. She can really sing well.

  7. Pingback: Fields of gold | InnovBois

  8. With this amount of interest in Eva Cassidy – it may be “on” this “off-topic” to let everyone know that a new album from her is only weeks away from being issued. Entitled “Simply Eva”, it is a long awaited glimpse at her solo act – that is, what she sang and played while the band was on break. The sound in many ways is more interesting in its bare bones form. The live recording of her trademark arrangement of “Over The Rainbow” is one of the true winners in this collection and should not be missed by any of her fans. Sixty second sound clips from each of the songs can be found here:

  9. John Bent

    @ S Peterkin.
    Thanks, I’ve just pre-ordered this from Amazon UK (had a voucher to use up).