In a few hours, millions of us will be singing a song we have no idea what they lyrics are, or what they mean. So as a service to you, I will provide the lyrics – but as to the meaning, I have no idea. Maybe if we break it down line by line it will help.
Should old acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind?
Hmmm, that doesn’t clear anything up. In the words of Harry Burns from ‘…when Harry Met Sally,’ does that mean you should forget old acquaintances or feel guilty because we don’t think of them?’ Here’s my theory, it’s a new year, out with the old and in with the new. The song is telling us ‘hey, it’s a new year, those old friends should be forgotten, a whole new year is in front of you. Don’t even think about it. Because if you did, you’d feel really bad about it.’ OK, maybe it doesn’t mean that, but it could be.
Should old acquaintance be forgot, and auld lang syne?
Well that line cleared everything up, didn’t it. I just looked up ‘auld lang syne’ on Wikipedia, and it mean ‘old long ago’ – so the second line make no sense at all. I think the guuy who wrote this little song needed something that rhymed with mind and he/she thought ‘I know, I’ll throw in some Scottish, how about auld lang syne’ just to screw with people.
Line #3 – The Chorus
For auld lang synem my dear, for auld lang syne. We’ll take a cup o’ kindness yet, for auld lang syne.
Finally, something that makes some sense. For old long ago, we’ll go drinking. Let’s face it, the Scottish knew that if we were going to really enjoy New Year’s Eve, we needed to toast eachother with with a good glass of whiskey. So if you see a friend this evening that you haven’t seen in a long time, buy them a ‘cup of kindness’ otherwise known as a stiff drink.
Here’s the other thing about this song, how did it become the official song of New Years Eve? An old Scottish tune that makes no sense in English was made popular on American radio by a Canadian of Italian parents named Guy Lombardo. Now that’s what I call the great American melting pot. He played this song for 30 years on the radio and TV beginning in 1929.
Just as Sally says to Harry ‘what ever it means, it’s about old friends’ So, tonight, enjoy New Year’s Eve, and remember old friends are forever. Make sure you call someone you haven’t spoken to in a while. And life a cup of kindness in their honor.
For Auld Lang Syne. Whatever the hell that means.
Happy New Year.