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Hail the new, ye lads and lasses

Can you believe 2020 is here?

As you’ll note in our “Year in Review” starting on page one of this issue, 2019 was unarguably eventful for Franklin County. Good news and bad news alike shaped our communities last year, and now it’s all in the history books. A new year has arrived.

Our headline – Hail the new, ye lads and lasses – is likely familiar to you from the popular Christmas carol, “Deck the Halls.” Interestingly, however, this song’s heritage is rooted in a tune that was originally about New Year’s Eve and welcoming the year to come.

In a set of English lyrics, reportedly translated by John Oxenford from the original Welsh penned by John Ceiriog Hughes – “Nos Galan” to “Soon the Hoar Old Year Will Leave Us” the lines include these; we’ve left off the “fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la’s” of each line for the sake of brevity:

“Soon the hoar old year will leave us

But the parting must not grieve us

When the New Year comes tomorrow

Let him find no trace of sorrow.

He our pleasures may redouble

He may bring us story of trouble

Hope the best and gaily meet him

With a jovial chorus greet him.”

What a positive way to face the start of a new chapter, don’t you think? This is the mindset we’d like to encourage for all of us in 2020.

Although a new year can’t, for better or worse, erase anything that happened in the past year, it nevertheless offers an opportunity to start fresh with a blank slate, turn over a new leaf – whatever cliche idiom most ignites your imagination.

Let’s hail the new year and “let him find no trace of sorrow.”