For some people every New Year's Eve after the champagne has been popped, the ball drops and everyone is feeling very merry, "Auld Lang Syne" is sung.

You know, the one that makes you cry even though you don't know what the words mean. Robert Burns, a major contributor to the compilation claimed that the lyrics are about old friends having a drink and recalling adventures they had long, long ago.

The song originated as a poem but probably was not written by Robert Burns as is commonly believed — at least not entirely. It's safe to say that the "Auld Lang Syne" we know today is a combination of an old poem by Burns and his creative input. Years later Burns wrote a friend, James Johnson, but it is unclear Johnson linked Burns to the song, "Auld Lang Syne"; as it was a Scottish song with words attributed to the national poet, Burns first wrote the poem in 1788.

It did not appear in print until shortly after his death in 1796. The melody, however, existed before he wrote down the words.

The Scottish folk song became associated with New Year's largely thanks to bandleader Guy Lombardo. In 1929 Lombardo and his band played "Auld Lang Syne" while performing at New York's city's Roosevelt Hotel during a New Year's Eve broadcast.

It was played after midnight and heard over the radio and television airways inadvertently spawning a global "tradition." Today, it is one of the most recognizable songs around the world, which is played at New Year's Eve celebrations. So this year, as always, I'll "take a cup of kindness yet, for Auld Lang Syne" and be glad I did for old times sake.

Kathy Chamis

Ashland

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