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Why Do We Sing "Auld Lang Syne" on New Year's?

Why We Sing Auld Lang Syne on New Year s Eve


It was in 1929 that Guy Lombardo and his band took the stage at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York City on New Year’s Eve. Their performance that night was being broadcast on the radio, before midnight Eastern-time on CBS, then after on NBC radio.

At midnight, as a transition between the broadcasts, the song they chose to play was an old Scottish folk song Lombardo had first heard from Scottish immigrants in Ontario. The song was Auld Lang Syne.

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"Should old acquaintance be forgot..."

Does this mean that we should remember people we forgot?

How can we do that if we've already forgotten them???

Well, it's rhetoric now, isn't it... good ole Robby Burns, the Scottish poet of centuries ago whose many lines became etched into immortality as we were hungry enough for their sentiments to translate them into the King's English... as even centuries later Guy Lombardo burnished them further into our more modern sensibilities.

Still the British commonwealth continues to nourish us all by the common tongue.  And English speaking man can still delight by slumbering in nostalgia... but only those of us lucky enough to live long enough to be old enough to forget some old acquaintances and reminisce about them with someone that hasn't forgotten them in the first place... as such celebration was something that felt true and rang through many of us on New Years eve, not so long ago.

Now perhaps not so much, if at all...and tis a pity.  

I've many auld lang syne family and friends passed away I can't forget and still bring them to mind... so raise a cup of kindness yet:


Should old acquaintance be forgot,

and never brought to mind?

Should old acquaintance be forgot,

and old lang syne?


CHORUS: For auld lang syne, my dear,

for auld lang syne,

we'll take a cup of kindness yet,

for auld lang syne.


And surely you’ll buy your pint cup!

and surely I’ll buy mine!

And we'll take a cup o’ kindness yet,for auld lang syne.



We two have run about the slopes,and picked the daisies fine;

But we’ve wandered many a wearyfoot,since auld lang syne.



We two have paddled in the stream,from morning sun till dine†;

But seas between us broad have roaredsince auld lang syne.



And there’s a hand my trusty friend!

And give me a hand o’ thine!

And we’ll take a right good-will draught,for auld lang syne.



I had never known about those verses until now. Mind blown. 

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