For the Sake of Old Times


A Scotsman named Robert Burns is credited with authoring a poem in the 1780s that many still use to bid farewell to an old year as a new one is welcomed. The poem (now folk song) is called Auld Lang Syne. With cocktail glasses and beer mugs hoisted high, more than one person may have tripped over the words in a moment of revelry. As they say back home, “If you don’t know the words, hum along.” In some occupations and locales, namely executive directors who grew up in southern Minnesota, humming leads to sniffling, and then crocodile tears.

All good stuff, but what does Auld Lang Syne mean? Google and Wiki say the translation to English results in ‘Old Long Ago’ making the poem about love and friendship in times gone by. And what about the cup of kindness found in the chorus? Well, it’s a longstanding tradition to raise a glass in friendship, health, or to a deed well done.

From that explanation, Auld Lang Syne makes much more sense, and we are left with this:

Should auld acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind?

Should auld acquaintance be forgot, and auld lang syne!

For auld lang syne, my dear, for auld lang syne.

We’ll take a cup o’ kindness yet, for auld lang syne.

(Humming and Sniffling) For the sake of old times, farewell 2017.

Happy New Year.