Another New Year’s Eve is almost upon us and for some, it might be happy and for some sad. The one thing that I always loved about this night was that at midnight you could hear the song or music of “Auld Lange Syne.” During the time I lived in Latvia I missed this because at midnight they would play the national anthem of Latvia but I always had this song on tape to play right afterwards. Being on my own now I still want to hear it because of the memories it brings to me.
“Auld Lang Syne” was written by Robert Burns in 1788 and is the most popular version. It was published in 1796. However, it is not known who first wrote the poem. Burns said he took a fragment from a folk song and wrote lyrics around that.
Eventually, this old Scottish folk song “Auld Lang Syne” became a New Year’s Eve song in America. It all started with a popular New Year’s Eve broadcast on radio and later on TV hosted by Guy Lombardo and his band, the Royal Canadians. The show ran from 1929 to 1976. Through this Lombardo was named “Mr New Year’s Eve.”
If you listened to the song in Scottish you would not even recognize it except for the melody. It all begins with the first lyrics “Should auld acquaintance be forgot / And never brought to mind?” which simply is a rhetorical question about whether you should or should not forget about old friends, Of course, everyone has fond memories about years past and this song reminds them of that. The lyric “We’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet” means raising a glass for health and good cheer.
I think that today most everyone would find it odd if they did not hear “Auld Lange Syne” at midnight on New Year’s Eve. What we can hope for is a better and brighter 2021 and pray and hope most of our troubles are behind us.