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Auld Lange Syne will carry the weight of New Year's reflections on 2021, but offer hope for what 2022 holds

For_Auld_Lang_Syne
Two years ago, as a new decade began, I reflected on the role of Auld Lange Syne, the centuries-old Scottish song with the meaning of “days gone by,” in marking the crossroads of memories that each New Year represents. That New Year carried the weight of the memories of 10 years then passed and the hope of a decade as yet unborn.
 
Rod StewartRod StewartThen last year, I posted an Auld Lange Syne New Year’s Eve column to ponder the question of whether we forget “auld” times, the 2020 year we were leaving, and try never to think of them again, as the song suggests. Or whether it was important to remember 2020 with its pain as a lesson we should carry into a new year and beyond.
 
Now we welcome 2022 with the thought that it’s a pause and reflection that may never be more important to us as COVID brings pain in new forms, with political divisions growing and the social awakening about race bringing new challenges.
 
Thus the strains of Auld Lange Syne and the reflections stirred by the meaning of the words composed 230 years ago by Scotsman Robert Burns may never be more compelling than this New Year’s Eve.
 
And perhaps there’s an important human aspect to the ability to pause to reflect that the link for all the years of memories are the words and music of a song that many who listen to it and sing it on New Year's Eve aren't even sure of the words. But those who sing it share the important awareness that it’s a song of human bonding.
 
In fact, a study conducted three years ago by a British supermarket chain turned up the fact that while a third of the people polled plan to sing the song in the last moments of the year, only 3 percent of them knew the words.
 
The translation of the phrase auld lange syne is "old long since," but the meaning is "days gone by," or "long, long ago."
 
Sissel KyrkjeboSissel KyrkjeboThe song is interpreted to raise the question of whether it's right to forget old times and never think of them again. It's the perfect song for New Year's Eve as we move into a new year and try to decide if we will look back at moments from the past year or forget them and move forward.
 
In Scotland, people traditionally stand in a circle holding hands just before midnight. At the start of the final verse, which says, "And there's a hand, my trusty friend!,"everyone crosses their arms across their bodies so that their left hand is holding the hand of the person on their right and vice versa

The two most memorable versions of the song for me are by Rod Stewart in a 2012 performance at Stirling Castle in Scotland and by Norwegian singer Sissel Kyrkjebo, who is merely known as Sissel. Both are moving videos and there are YouTube versions of each so search Auld Lange Syne, Rod Stewart, Stirling Castle, and Auld Lange Syne, Sissel, December 31, 2013.

A most compelling line in the video accompanying Sissel's song goes: "The New Year lies before you like a precious tract of snow. Be careful how you tread on it for every step will show.”
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So with that lead-in, here are the words in translation, including each verse ending with “long, long ago” in place of auld lange syne.
 
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And long, long ago.
 
For auld lang syne, my jo,
For auld lang syne.
We'll tak a cup o' kindness yet,
For long, long ago.
 
And surely you’ll have your pint cup!
and surely I’ll have mine!
And we'll drink a cup o’ kindness yet,
for long, long ago
 
 For auld lang syne, my jo,
For auld lang syne.
We'll tak a cup o'kindness yet,
For long, long ago.
 
We two have run about the slopes,
and picked the daisies fine;
But we’ve wandered many a weary foot,
Since long, long ago
 
For auld lang syne, my jo,
For auld lang syne.
We'll take a cup o'kindness yet,
For long, long ago.
 
.We two have paddled in the stream,
from morning sun till dine;
But seas between us broad have roared
since long, long ago
 
For auld lang syne, my jo,
For auld lang syne.
We'll tak a cup o' kindness yet,
For long, long ago.
 
 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 long, long ago.
 
For auld lang syne, my jo,
For auld lang syne.
We'll tak a cup o' kindness yet,
For long, long ago.
 
Should old acquaintance be forgot
And never brought to mind?
Should old acquaintance be forgot,
And long, long ago
 
For auld lang syne, my jo,
For auld lang syne.
We'll tak a cup o' kindness yet,
For long, long ago.
 
And for long, long ago, my dear
For long, long ago.
We'll take a cup of kindness yet
For long, long ago.
 
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