From the book by Debra Talley
God Moments In An Ordinary Life
Do you know what auld lang syne means? Polls show that 85% of us don’t know the meaning of the song or know the words. Most of us are familiar with the Guy Lombardo orchestra version that we often hear on New Year’s Eve. The first verse and chorus are sung around the world at the stroke of midnight to “ring out the old and ring in the new”. Many will sing the song with glasses of spirits held high and never know what they are singing.
The song’s origin is dated back to 1711 as a poem by James Watson. In 1799, the Scottish poet Robert Burns used the original and add to it his own verses. The tune then was attributed to an old man that sang the song to him. This is probably not the tune we sing today, but no one is quite sure where the current tune came from.
I never knew what Auld Lang Syne meant exactly. I thought it had something to do with old acquaintances and drinking, which is why we didn’t sing it. The line “we’ll take of cup of kindness” is the Scottish influence, but it was originally sung in front of St. Paul’s Church in Scotland at midnight on New Year’s Eve.
The song has a beautiful meaning, though. It ask the question, “Should we forget the relationships and memories of days gone by.” Some interpretations say simply,” let’s remember those we love and keep the past in our memories“. There may be those that would rather not look back on the past year. Some things may be too painful to remember, but for Christians, we can look back on even the hardest of times and see God’s faithfulness. He has been with us every one of the last 365 days and will be with us in the next. His promise is “He will never leave us or forsake us”. So no matter what the new year holds for us, because He lives, we can face tomorrow.
This New Year’s Eve, whatever you are singing, remember to hold your loved ones close, give thanks for the days gone by, and know that God is holding your future.
Have a Blessed and Happy New Year!