Original music produced and arranged by Walter Afanasieff & Kenny G
This is a traditional song for the New Year, usually sung at midnight. It's origin is Scottish and Northern English. It translates as "old long ago (days)," or, in modern usage, "the good old times." Probably more than anyone would want to know about the song
The audio collage contains a variety of excerpts from the news with an emphasis on politics and entertainment. It focuses on the American experience of the 20th century.
The "transcript" is enclosed in quotes.
The speaker follows in upper case letters.
My comments follow (in parentheses).
AULD LANG SYNE (THE MILLENNIUM MIX)
"The first words I spoke in the original phonograph, 'Mary had a little lamb. It's fleece was white as snow. And everywhere that Mary went, the lamb was sure to go.'" - THOMAS EDISON
(reciting a familiar nursery rhyme. He invented the phonograph, the light bulb, the motion picture projector, the stock market ticker, the alkaline storage battery and hundreds of other things.)
"The Distinguished Flying Cross upon Colonel Charles A. Lindberg"
(He made the first solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean on May 20, 1927. He took off from Roosevelt Field on Long Island, New York and landed near Paris, France. The flight took thirty three and a half hours. Of course, he had to be awake the entire time, and alert enough to pilot a plane.)
"Today, paniced investors ordered their brokers to sell at whatever the price in the stock market crashed."
(In October, 1929, an over-valued stock market, with many owning shares purchased "on margin" or with borrowed money, crashed. Numerous men committed suicide rather than face bankruptcy. In response, the U.S. Government imposed stringent rules on the buying and selling of stocks. These make it less likely that a similar catastrophic devaluation could occur now. The insurance companies began to exclude suicide as an acceptable cause of death for life insurance policies and/or wrote in a two year waiting period before benefits could be paid.)
"The only thing we have to fear is fear itself." - PRESIDENT FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT
(From his first Inaugural Address, 3/4/33. In the depths of the Great Depression, the pessimism of the population and especially the business community kept things bad. Decisions based on a gloomy outlook caused things to get even worse. In that respect, the mood and expectation of bad times became a self-fulfilling prophecy.)
"Horrific place, ladies and gentlemen, the smoke and the flames now, ooh, the humanity"
(Live radio account of the fire and crash of the German airship "Hindenburg." It happened 5/6/37 on the eve of the Second World War in Lakehurst, New Jersey. The Hindenburg was the largest airship ever built. It was filled with an enormous quantity of hydrogen. Hydrogen had two big advantages over helium. It had greater lifting potential and was much cheaper. Unfortunately, it is one of the most flammable substances in the world. Helium could be used to put fires out. Since that disaster all airships have been filled with hydrogen. This luxurious craft had just come from Europe, making the trip across the Atlantic Ocean much faster than any ship. It was the pride of Nazi Germany. It's loss was a blow to the morale of the German engineers. The German public never heard much about it. The exact cause of the fire and crash has never been determined.)
"Now, with the help and support of the woman I love." - KING EDWARD VIII (of England)
(Speech on 12/11/36, after he had announced that he was abdicating the throne of England to marry Bessie Wallis Warfield Simpson Spencer, an American socialite)
"Urging the people to evacuate the city as Martians approach."
(This is from the "War of the Worlds" radio broadcast. This episode of the "Mercury Theater on the Air" was aired on Halloween eve, 10/30/38. The story was written by Orson Wells. Only at the beginning of the radio show was it mentioned that this was fiction. People tuning in later had no idea it was not real. They thought that the Earth was being invaded by aliens from Mars, causing a multitude of suicides.)
"Never to go to war with one another again"
". . .Juden. . ."
ADOLPH HITLER (speaking in German, referring to the Jews)
"This country is at war with Germany."
PRESIDENT WOODROW WILSON (address to Congress 4/2/17, bringing the United States into World War I)
"December 7, 1941, (the Japanese have attacked Pearl Harbor) a date which will live in infamy."
FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT
"This is Bob 'Command performance' Hope telling each Nazi that's in Russia today that, "Crimea doesn't pay.'"- BOB HOPE
(a popular comedian who often went overseas to entertain troops stationed abroad)
"I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth." - LOU GEHRIG
(speaking at Yankee Stadium as he retired from baseball in 1939. He had developed a disease called amyotrophic lateral sclerosis which causes spinal paralysis. It is commonly referred to as the "Lou Gehrig's disease.")
"President Franklin D. Roosevelt stricken late today."
(On 4/12/45 he died of a cerebral hemorrhage (stroke).
"Who's on first." "Yeah" "The fellow's name" "Who" - BUD ABBOTT & LOU COSTELLO
(a famous comedy skit)
"The world will note that the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima."
Abbott: "Who Is on first." Costello: "What are you asking me for?" - ABBOTT & COSTELLO
"Reports from the new Germany tell of horrors leading to the total extermination of the Jews of Europe."
"An iron curtain has descended across the continent of Europe." - SIR WINSTON CHURCHILL
(British Prime Minister, 3/5/46 describing the beginning of the "Cold War" in which Russia (USSR) dominated Eastern Europe, and isolated it from the West.
"Jackie Robinson goes to bat for the first time in a Major League."
(In 1947 he was the first Negro player in Major League Baseball.)
"Old soldiers never die. They just fade away." - GENERAL DOUGLAS MACARTHUR
(Address to a joint session of Congress, 4/19/51)
"Lucy" "Ahhhhhhh!" - LUCILLE BALL AND DESI ARNEZ
(one of the first very popular comedies on television)
"It was a little cocker spaniel dog, and our little girl, Tricia, the six year old, named it 'Checkers'" - RICHARD NIXON
(On 9/23/52, as Vice President of the United States, he gave a speech on radio and television. He had been accused of improperly taking gifts. One of the gifts was a small dog.)
"Are you a member of the Communist Party?" - SENATOR JOSEPH MCCARTHY
(In 1950-51 he held hearings in Congress in which he accused first and investigated later. Many lives were ruined, especially in the entertainment industry. His counsel was a then-little-known member of the House of Representatives named Richard Nixon.)
"Oh, a cop, eh. Woo, woo, woo." - THE THREE STOOGES
"Or have you ever been a member of the Communist Party?" - SENATOR JOSEPH MCCARTHY
"A blast from the past! A blast from the past! A blast from the past!" "Baby, you're the greatest." - JACKIE GLEASON
(from "The Honeymooners," another popular comedy from the earliest days of television)
"From Sun Recording artist, Elvis Presley" - STEVE ALLEN
(introducing Elvis on his variety show)
"I'd like to thank all, all the wonderful folks, and I'd like to thank you, too." - ELVIS PRESLEY
"Three young singers were killed today in the crash of a light plane."
(This referred to the deaths of early stars of rock and roll, Buddy Holly, Richie Valens, J.D. Richardson (The Big Bopper). Don McClain wrote the song "American Pie" about this tragedy.)
"American bandstand. And now, here he is, the star of our show, Dick Clark."
"Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country." - JOHN F. KENNEDY
(Inaugural address, January 20, 1961)
"They're standing up, waiting to see if Maris is going to hit number 61"
(Announcer at ballpark as Roger Maris stepped up to the plate for his turn at bat)
"Godspeed, John Glenn." - MISSION CONTROL
(on 2/20/62 as he became the first American to orbit the earth. It was spoken again in 1998 when he returned, having been a U.S. Senator)
"Happy birthday, Mr. President." - MARILYN MONROE
(Apparently intoxicated, singing "Happy Birthday" at the party at Madison Square Garden.)
"Wondering how and why Marilyn Monroe died."
(on 8/5/62, from an overdose of sleeping pills)
"Something has happened in the motorcade. President Kennedy died at 1:00 p.m. Central Standard Time" - WALTER CRONKITE
(confirming the assassination in Dallas, Texas on 11/22/63)
"Lee Harvey Oswald was shot."
(His death at the hands of Jack Ruby prevented any clear resolution of this crime. Numerous conspiracy theories have evolved because of this lack of information. When you see notorious criminals going to and from jail, with armed guards, wearing body armor themselves, this is where it started. As much as many would like to see these animals die, protecting them until the judicial process is completed is common practice.)
"I have a dream (Really?) that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character." - MARTIN LUTHER KING
(At the Civil Rights March of March 20, 1967 in Washington D.C.)
"And I say segregation now" - GEORGE WALLACE
(Governor of Alabama 1963-1967)
"What we have foremost in common is their enemy." - MALCOLM X
(In the early 1960's a "Black militant" who believed in complete separation of the races)
"segregation tomorrow" - GEORGE WALLACE
"the white man" - MALCOLM X
and segregation forever" - GEORGE WALLACE
He's an enemy to all of us." - MALCOLM X
"I have a dream" - MARTIN LUTHER KING
"I am about to sign into law the Civil Rights Act of 1964." - PRESIDENT LYNDON JOHNSON
(He became President following the assassination of President John Kennedy. Civil rights was a major goal for Kennedy, but he would not likely have had the same success that Johnson did. Johnson was able to pass this legislation becuase he was from the South (Texas). He had been Majority Leader of the U.S. Senate and knew how to get things through Congress. In addition, he apparently would do whatever was necessary to get what he wanted.)
"The Beatles!" "And today I ordered to Vietnam the Air Mobile Division. Additional forces will be needed later and they will be sent." - PRESIDENT LYNDON JOHNSON
"I have very sad news for all of you. Martin Luther King was shot and was killed tonight in Memphis Tennessee."
March 20, 1967
"Senator Kennedy has been shot. Is that possible?"
(June 10, 1967, just after he had won the California Primary Election, and was then moving strongly toward the Democratic nomination.)
"As he said many times in many parts of this nation, 'Some men see things as they are and say, 'Why?' I dream things that never were and say, 'Why not?'" - SENATOR TED KENNEDY
(younger brother of Robert, at his funeral. He was paraphrasing George Bernard Shaw. In "Back to Methuselah" he wrote 'You see things; and you say "Why?" But I dream things that never were; and I say, "Why not?"')
"That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." - ASTRONAUT NEIL ARMSTRONG
(as he became the first man to set foot on the moon. This was a goal that President Kennedy had declared. The saying was mis-stated, however. It should have been "That's one small step for me, one giant leap for mankind")
"It's a free concert from now on."
(Comment from one of the promoters. It had become clear that the total chaos prevented any ticket selling or collecting at the Woodstock Music and Art Fair. This was held 8/15-8/17/69 in rural New York State.)
"We must be in Heaven, man" - Cheech and Chong
"Four persons including two women were shot and killed in Ohio today. Hundreds of students were involved as National Guard"
(In May, 1970 during a student protest against the Vietnam War, members of the Ohio National Guard fired on a group of students)
"There'll be a killer and a thriller and a chiller when I get the gorilla in Manila." - MUHAMMED ALI
(aka Cassius Clay, speaking of his upcoming world-championship boxing match.)
"I have concluded an agreement to end the War and bring peace with honor in Vietnam." - PRESIDENT RICHARD NIXON
"There's a drive into left center field. That ball is gonna be, out of here. It's gone. It's 715. There's a new home run champion of all time and it's Henry Aaron."
(There was substantial sentiment against Aaron because he was Black. Death threats were made and were taken seriously. After the home run his mother ran onto the field and hugged her son. She later said that one of the reasons she did this was to shield him from a possible assassin.)
"Well, I'm not a crook" - PRESIDENT RICHARD NIXON
"Here's Johnny" - ED MCMAHON
(announcer of the Tonight Show, introducing Johnny Carson)
"I shall resign the Presidency effective at noon tomorrow." - PRESIDENT RICHARD NIXON
(As the Senate was clearly ready to impeach him due to the Watergate scandal.)
"An absolute pardon unto Richard Nixon." - PRESIDENT GERALD FORD
"My name is Jimmy Carter, and I'm running for President." - GEORGIA GOVERNOR JIMMY CARTER
"Live from New York, it's Saturday Night."
"Elvis Presley died today at Baptist Hospital in Memphis."
(Of heart failure, drug overdose on 8/16/77)
"John Lennon was brought to the Emergency Room. He was dead on arrival."
(Slain in New York City in 1980)
"Today marks day number 64 in the hostage crisis in Iran."
"I, Diana Frances take thee Philip Charles Arthur George" - DIANA, PRINCESS OF WALES
(7/29/81, marriage in St. Paul's Cathedral, London)
"To my wedded husband." - ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY
"To my wedded husband." - DIANA, PRINCESS OF WALES
"A disease striking primarily in the gay community called 'Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome.'"
"The liftoff of the 25th Space Shuttle Mission, and it has cleared the tower. Rock and roll, Challenger." - MISSION CONTROL
(On 1/28/86 the booster rockets exploded 73 seconds later, killing all seven astronauts.)
"We will never forget them, nor the last time we saw them, as they prepared for their journey and waved 'Goodbye,' and slipped the surly bonds of Earth to touch the face of God." - PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN
"I have as much experience in the Congress as Jack Kennedy did when he sought the Presidency."- SENATOR DAN QUAYLE
(Vice Presidential candidate)
"Senator, you're no Jack Kennedy." - SENATOR LLOYD BENTSEN of Texas
(In the televised debate between Vice Presidential candidates, it is hard to imagine how any speech writer could have made such a disastrous blunder. For the young, inexperienced, not-to-bright Quayle to refer to the revered former President so casually as "Jack" was not appropriate. Comparing himself to Kennedy was beyond laughable.)
"Mr. Gorbachov, tear down this wall." - PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN
(to Soviet Prime Minister Michael Gorbachov, referring to the Berlin Wall. This had been erected to separate the Russian and Allied sectors of the city. It kept the West out, but it's primary purpose was to keep East Germans from escaping.)
"I don't think it was wrong." - OLIVER NORTH
(Regarding the trading of weapons for hostages, in what came to be known as the Iran-contra affair.)
"We did not trade weapons or anything else for hostages." - PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN
"I think it was a neat idea." - OLIVER NORTH
"Everyone on Sesame Street is always talking about love. Yuck"
"Hundreds of Berliners from East and West, standing atop the Wall, with chisels and hammers." - PRESIDENT GEORGE BUSH
"The skies over Baghdad have been illuminated."
(CNN news correspondent, Bernard Shaw)
"Read my lips." - PRESIDENT GEORGE BUSH
(was followed by "No new taxes," a promise he would not keep)
"We, the jury, in the above entitled action, find the defendant, Orenthal James Simpson, not guilty of the crime of murder, a felony, upon Nicole Brown Simpson, a human being." - FOREWOMAN OF THE JURY
"Princess Diana died of injuries suffered in a car accident"
"I'm Ellen and I'm gay." - ELLEN DEGENERES
"Yeah, baby." - MIKE MYERS
(In the Austin Powers movie)
"There it is, 62, folks, and we have a new home run champion, Mark Mcguire."
"Welcome, you've got mail."
(Greeting from America-on-line alerting user to a new email message.)
"I did not have sexual relations with that woman." - PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON
"This vast right-wing conspiracy conspiring against my husband." - FIRST LADY HILARY RODHAM CLINTON
"Watch me pull a rabbit out of my hat" - ROCKY AND BULLWINKLE
(A popular TV cartoon)
"Indeed I did have a relationship with Miss Lewinski that was not appropriate. (Again!) In fact it was wrong. I need to go back to work for the American people." - PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON
"The young killers of Columbine High School do not stand for the spirit of America. We can rise up and we can say 'No more.'" - VICE PRESIDENT AL GORE
"Let the word go forth from this time and place, that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans." - PRESIDENT JOHN KENNEDY
(Inaugural address, 1/20/61)