It’s that time of year when you grab a glass, kiss a stranger, and say b-bye to the last 12 months, against the I’m-over-this-year soundtrack, Auld Lang Syne. Loosely translated to “For Long Ago,” Auld Lang Syne was created by Scottish poet Robert Burns. Burns repurposed (read: stole) the words from a drunkard in a bar, added more lyrics and voilà. I think it’s no coincidence that revelers warble the tune inebriated.

Should old acquaintance be forgot

Auld Lang Syne Lyrics

Auld Lang Syne Lyrics

The song symbolizes conclusions and new beginnings, reflection and promise.

Union generals were concerned that soldiers missing home would make a run for it.

and never brought to mind?

Scottish people emigrated around the world with culture and song in tow. The melody is heard at graduations, funerals, military ceremonies and sporting events across the globe. Even the International Boy Scouts closes its jamborees with Auld Lang Syne.

The song was cemented as the January 1st anthem after the band, Guy Lombardo and His Royal Canadians played it at a New Year’s Eve shindig in 1929. In a Keeping-Up-With-the-Kardashians, self-promoting way, the swanky Roosevelt hotel in New York broadcasted the event on NBC Radio and instant classic!

Should old acquaintance be forgot

Some notable performances include:

The crew from the University of Glasgow in Scotland sang Auld Lang Syne in 41 languages–simultaneously. How very Kumbaya.

Auld Lang Syne record set

Glasgow University played host to a world record attempt as the famous Burns anthem Auld Lang Syne was performed simultaneously in 41 different languages.

Jimi Hendrix. Just gonna leave that right there in all of its glory.

And of course, octave-defying Mariah Carey. I love Mariah Carey, but this video production is suspect.

Mariah Carey – Auld Lang Syne (The New Year’s Anthem, Fireworks Version)

Music video by Mariah Carey performing Auld Lang Syne. (C) 2010 The Island Def Jam Music Group and Mariah Carey

You’re doing your part to bring the song full circle. Happy New Year!

 and old lang syne?


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