Based on a poem by Scotland’s Robert Burns, Auld Lang Syne is traditionally sung here in the U. S. at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve. The words “Auld Lang Syne” refer to “Times Gone By,” though the literal translation is more like “Old Long Since.” Whether you think of it as “days gone by,” “old times,” or even “for the sake of old times,” there’s a pretty good chance you’ll be singing it tomorrow night. Or at least humming along as the ball drops in Times Square. (We oldsters seldom go out that late, so we usher in the new year via television these days.)
The song asks us if we should forget old acquaintances and days gone by? Of course not. And it encourages us to “drink a cup of kindness” for those acquaintances and those long gone days.
If you plan to sing along, here you go:
“Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
In days of auld lang syne!
For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We’ll drink a cup o’ kindness yet,
For auld lang syne!”
Happy New Year!