"Auld Lang Syne.....What does Our New Year's Mean?"
     "The most commonly sung for English-speakers on New year's Eve, 'Auld Lang Syne' is an old Scottish song that was first published by the poet Robert Burns.
     It is often remarked that this song is one of the most popular songs that nobody knows the lyrics to.  It is literally translated as 'old long since' and means 'times gone by.  The song asks whether old friends and times will be forgotten and promises to remember people of the past with fondness, 'For auld lang syne, we'll take a cup o'kindness yet.'
The lesser known verses continue this theme, lamenting how friends who once used to 'run about the braes, and pou'd the gowans fine' (run about the hills and pulled up the daisies) and 'paidl'd in the burn/Frae morning sun till dine' (paddled in the stream from morning to dusk) have become divided by time and distance - - 'seas between us braid hae roar'd (broad seas have roared between us).  Yet there is always time for old friends to get together - - if not in person then in memory - - and 'tak a right guid-willie waught' )a good will drink).
     But it was Guy Lombardo, and not Robert Burns, who popularized the song and turned it into a New Year's tradition.  Lombardo first heard 'Auld Lang Syne" in his hometown of London, Ontario, where it was sung by Scottish immigrants.  When he and his brothers formed the famous dance band, Guy Lombardo and His Royal Canadians, the song became one of their standards.  Lombardo played the song at midnight at a New Year's eve party at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York City in 1929, and a tradition was born.  After that, Lombardo's version of the song was played every New year's Eve from the 1930's until 1976 at the Waldorf Astoria.  In the first years it was broadcast on radio, and then on television.  The song became such a New Year's tradition that 'Life magazine wrote that if Lombardo failed to play 'Auld Lang Syne,' the American public would not believe that the new year had really arrived.'"