Auld Lang Syne

Should auld acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind ?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot, and days o’auld lang syne ?
For auld lang syne, my jo, for auld lang syne, we’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet, for auld lang syne.

These are the opening words to Robert Burns’ 1788 song. It is traditionally sung at midnight to celebrate the New Year, and in an interesting side note, it made my spellcheck go nuts. The song’s Scots title, Auld Lang Syne, may be translated into English literally as "old long since" or more idiomatically, “long long ago” or “days gone by,” according to Wikipedia. The phrase "Auld Lang Syne" is also used in similar poems by Robert Ayton (1570–1638), Allan Ramsay (1686–1757), and James Watson (1711) as well as older folk songs predating Burns.
Although the song begins with a question as to whether old times should be forgotten, the song is generally interpreted as a call to remember long standing friendships.

Interesting. This song always feels melancholy to me. Or maybe wistful. I much prefer this lovely Irish toast:
“In the New Year, may your right hand always be stretched out in friendship, but never in want.”

This gem from Mark Twain is fun:
“Now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual.”

I hope everyone has a wonderful and safe New Year’s Eve. Remember to take the keys away from anyone who shouldn’t be be-hind a wheel. It’s a lovely gesture of friendship.

Whether you choose to celebrate the new year with a couple of drinks, a couple of friends, a quiet night with a loved one or a rowdy night with kids and a Nintendo Wii, have a great time. I’ll see you around the corner in 2010!
 

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