Celia Mounsey – our Commercial Manager and proud Scot – invites us to reflect on Auld Lang Syne as 2019 comes to an end and look with optimism to the new year & new opportunities.
Auld Lang Syne is famously sung at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve, but few people know what the lyrics actually mean. This nostalgic song calls for us to reflect ‘For the Sake of Old Times’ on ‘Days Gone By’. The song is fitting for Near Year’s, as people celebrate the past year and look forward to the future. We can so often be caught up in trying to achieve our future goals that we forget to pause and reflect on our past achievements.
The phrase Auld Lang Syne has appeared in Scottish song as early as 1588, but it was Scotland’s national bard (the Scot’s word for poet) Robert “Rabbie” Burns who gave us the version we now know and love. A tradition began in Scotland, where the pinnacle of any good night out at Hogmanay (NYE) is marked by the singing of this song at the bells (midnight) - revelers join hands to form a large circle, sing raucously, stamping their feet in and out of the centre of the room, swinging their linked arms and usually end up with a few crushed toes! As Scots immigrated around the world, we took this tradition with us. You will now hear Auld Lang Syne sung at NYE parties from Edinburgh Castle to Times Square NYC to Kite Beach Dubai!
The first verse asks a question as to whether you should forget about the events of the past:
Should auld acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind? Should auld acquaintance be forgot, and auld lang syne?
The chorus provides the answer that the past should not be forgotten, but rather should be celebrated.
For auld lang syne, my dear, For auld lang syne, We’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet, For auld lang syne
At the countdown to the bells this Hogmanay, (see - you can talk like a true Scot now!), you’ll be able to form a circle and sing along with confidence, knowing Rabbie’s true meaning. Pausing to appreciate how far you have come this past year will motivate you to achieve your future goals for 2020. So, on 31st December, drink a cup o’ kindness to all of your successes of auld lang syne!
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