Auld Lang Syne — A New Year’s tradition
Should auld acquaintance be forgot, And never brought to mind? Should auld acquaintance be forgot, And auld lang syne. For auld lang syne, my dear, For auld lang syne, We’ll take a cup of kindness yet, For auld lang syne.
As we celebrate the New Year’s holiday, we reflect on the past year and look forward with anticipation to the new one. Parties and social events usually include singing Auld Lang Syne, most often associated with the New Year’s holiday around the world.
Auld Lang Syne is actually a traditional Scottish folk song. Many attribute the lyrics to Robert Burns, perhaps the most famous and most celebrated poet in Scottish history. However, Burns admitted that he didn’t actually write the poem but recorded the words from an elderly gentleman that later became a folk song.
The words and music of Auld Lang Syne have evolved over the years. The best translation of the Scottish words is “for the sake of old times” and the lyrics bring feelings of memory and nostalgia. The traditional melody dates back to 1929. During a New Year’s Eve broadcast at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York City, big band leader Guy Lombardo directed his band through a version of Auld Lang Syne as a traditional dance number. It was played just after midnight and since the performance was being broadcast by radio throughout the country, it became a New Year’s Eve tradition and has continued on through the years.
Today, Auld Lang Syne is heard around the world. While you will most often hear it during the holidays, in some places you may catch the tune throughout the year.
As you sing and/or hear the song this year, take time to become nostalgic and think about 2021 and what is to come in 2022. Happy New Year!