Shall Old Acquaintance Be Forgot?

If you don’t have a chance to observe the start of the new year with Auld Lang Syne on New Year’s eve, you’re still likely to hear it at graduations, funerals or other farewell and memorable celebrations. It’s a longing toast that can either lift your spirits as you remember friends and occasions gone by or bring tears to your eyes knowing you may never see them again. Commentary by Pamela Hulse Andrews

The historic Scots’ poem was written by Robert Burns in 1788 and set to the tune of a traditional folk song. Most of us know the lyrics and the tune by heart and have treasured its captivating meaning numerous times over the years. The title may be translated into English literally meaning ‘old long since’ or loosely translated as ‘for the sake of old time.’

It brings to mind friends…real friends who show up when the rest of the world is missing. Friends we’ve spent time with building long lasting memories: fishing stories, youthful adventures, love affairs and challenging moments made less so by loyal friends.

It poses a rhetorical question as to whether it is okay to forget old times or should you always and forever more be grateful for longstanding friendships? I prefer the latter response, adding that even new friendships are to be cherished.

So as we begin the New Year, from my heart to yours, may you capture the sentiment of this verse and treasure it for ever more.

Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind ?
Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and old lang syne ?
For auld lang syne, my dear,
for auld lang syne,
we’ll take a cup of kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.
And surely you’ll buy your pint cup!
and surely I’ll buy mine!
And we’ll take a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.
We two have run about the slopes,
and picked the daisies fine;
But we’ve wandered many a weary foot,
since auld lang syne.
We two have paddled in the stream,
from morning sun till dine;
But seas between us broad have roared
since auld lang syne.
And there’s a hand my trusty friend!
And give us a hand o’ thine!
And we’ll take a right good-will draught,
for auld lang syne.

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