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Why do we sing "Auld Lang Syne" on New Year's?

Hollywood, MD- Another year has come and gone and on Sunday night people around the world will count down to midnight to welcome in 2018.

A long time tradition to accompany the new year is the singing of “Auld Lang Syne.” But do you know why?

The phrase “Auld Lang Syne” translates to “for old times’ sake” and is an old Scottish folk song and has been a much-loved Scottish tradition on New Year’s Eve for centuries.

The poem essentially talks about preserving old friendships and looking back over the past year. It has a long history of being sung to mark the end of something, including funerals and graduations.

It was Guy Lombardo who helped make it a New Year’s Eve tradition in the United States. He used to host a New Year’s Eve concert long before Dick Clark. Lombardo’s concerts started in 1929, first on the radio and then on television.

As we bid good-bye to 2017 and welcome in a new year, “Auld Lang Syne” is a reminder to remember and cherish old friendships, toast good health and good will for the year ahead.

If you need to brush up on the lyrics, here they are:


Traditional lyrics:

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And auld lang syne!

CHORUS
For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne.
We’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

And surely ye’ll be your pint stowp!
And surely I’ll be mine!
And we’ll tak a cup o’kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

CHORUS

We twa hae run about the braes,
And pou’d the gowans fine;
But we’ve wander’d mony a weary fit,
Sin’ auld lang syne.

CHORUS

We twa hae paidl’d in the burn,
Frae morning sun till dine;
But seas between us braid hae roar’d
Sin’ auld lang syne.

CHORUS

And there’s a hand, my trusty fere!
And gie’s a hand o’ thine!
And we’ll tak a right gude-willie waught,
For auld lang syne.

CHORUS

Modern translation:

Should old acquaintances be forgotten,
And never brought to mind?
Should old acquaintances be forgotten,
And days of long ago.

For times gone by, my dear
For times gone by,
We will take a cup of kindness yet
For times gone by.

We two have run about the hillsides
And pulled the daisies fine,
But we have wandered many a weary foot
For times gone by.

We two have paddled in the stream
From noon till dine,
But seas between us broad have roared
Since times gone by.

And there is a hand, my trusty friend,
And give us a hand of thine,
And we will take a goodwill drink (of ale)
For times gone by.

And surely you will pay for your pint,
And surely I will pay for mine.
And we will take a cup of kindness yet
For times gone by!

Happy New Year!!!

Contact Joy Shrum at j.shrum@thebaynet.com

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