Auld Lang Syne

You might end up singing Auld Lang Syne tonight, and like a lot of people wonder, what it means, or even if it’s an English phrase. Well, it is, though strictly it’s Scots, as written by the great Scottish poet Robert “Rabbie” Burns in 1788.

The title can be translated into standard English as old long since, or long long ago, meaning that the song is about remembering long-held friendships. Which might seem like a strange song for such a forward-looking night as New Year’s Eve, but I think it’s an appropriately melancholy way to say goodbye to a year.

And if you’re in Scotland tonight, you’ll be celebrating Hogmanay, the Scots word for today, which usually involves a huge street party in Edinburgh.

Whatever you’re doing tonight, have a great New Year, and may old acquaintances not be forgot!

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