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Sunday, 16 October 2011

Auld Lang Syne

Auld Lang Syne is a song, whose title means literally "old long since" or more idiomatically, "days of long ago".

The Scottish poet, Robert Burns (see below), restored the song based on fragments of an old ballad dating from over 150 years before. Burns came across the song in the late 1780s. Burns transcribed it from "an old man singing," having been deeply moved by the words and in particular the line "should old acquaintances be forgot". He added at least two new verses, to those which already existed and sent it to his friend James Johnson, the publisher of Scots Musical Museum, as an old Scottish song. Johnson delayed publishing it until after Burns’ death.

The American bandleader Guy Lombardo popularized the association of the song with the stroke of midnight on New Year's Eve in the early 1930s.

In 1999 Cliff Richard had a UK chart topper with his "Millennium Prayer," which was the words of The Lord's Prayer sung to the tune of "Auld Lang Syne."

In the movie When Harry Met Sally, just seconds after he successfully declares his love for Sally (Meg Ryan) at a New Year's Eve party, Harry (Billy Crystal), goes on a rant about "Auld Lang Syne", saying: "My whole life, I don't know what this song means. It means 'Should old acquaintance be forgot.' Does that mean we should forget old acquaintances or does it mean that if we should happen to forget them, we should remember them which is not possible because we already forgot?"
Sally then replies: "Well maybe it just means that maybe we should remember that we forgot them or something. Anyway, it's about old friends."

Source Songfacts

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