Saturday, December 31, 2011

Auld Lang Syne

"Here's to the bright new year,
and a fond farewell to the old;
here's to the things that are yet to come,
and to the memories that we hold."

Auld Lang Syne" was first played as a New Year's song by Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians at the Roosevelt Grill in 1927. He adopted the song in 1929 for use in his annual New Year's Eve broadcasts on radio and television. Auld Lang Syne translates "for old times's sake". The song often associated with the new year is a global anthem and remembrance and a fraternity type. If you type the song title into You Tube there are more than 32,000 versions that come up. The song is sung throughout English speaking countries and has been translated into more than 40 languages.
But who is the author? Robert Burns wrote this Scots poem in 1788 and set it to the tune of a traditional folk song. However, Burns never claimed to be the original author. He traveled extensively throughout his native land and once said "he took it from an old man." After more than two centuries after Burn's death opinion is still divided on the source of the song and how much credit he deserves. 
Singing the song on Hogmanay or New Year's Eve very quickly became a a Scottish custom that spread to other parts of the British Isles. As its people emigrated around the world they took their song with the.them.
Today many cities throughout the world have developed their own ball dropping traditions to  ring in the New Year. Auld Lang Syne will be sung by many as each look forward to a fresh start in the New Year 2012.

For last year's words belong to last year's language
and next year's word await another voice
and to make an end is to make a beginning."
T.S. Eliot

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