Traditions and Trivia: Auld Lang Syne
“Auld Lang Syne” is a popular Scottish song that is sung across the world from Times Square to Bangkok.
Scotland.org states, “The song literally means 'old long ago.' The work by 18th-century Scottish poet Robert Burns has endured the ages and spread beyond Scotland and throughout the English-speaking world.”
The poem can be sung to a variety of tunes and has been translated in many languages, but the longing for good days and looking forward to new times are a continual staple in the song.
“Auld Lang Syne” begins asking a rhetorical “should old acquaintance be forgot?”
Other verses describe memories before the song ends with drinking to the upcoming and future ‘good days’ together.
It is common to circle up and hold hands to sing the song just before midnight.
Perhaps it is best described on the site Scotland.org as, “Auld Lang Syne is one of Scotland's gifts to the world, recalling the love and kindness of days gone by, but in the communion of taking our neighbours' hands, it also gives us a sense of belonging and fellowship to take into the future.”