Monday, January 02, 2006

KILT WATCH: Auld Lang Syne

Hollister Free Lance:
New Year a Time to Start Fresh? and Write the Wrong Date

Of course, a calendar change just isn't the same without singing that famous old song "Auld Lang Syne." Sure, nobody knows what it means. And sure, nobody knows the words. But still we sing it, and we love it.

In case you were wondering, after a bit of research, I believe I can clear up the "Auld Lang Syne" mystery. It seems this was a Scottish song, originally sung on New Year's Eve, which in Scotland is known as Hogmanay or "the night old man Manay's hogs turned loose on Edinburgh."

And the reason nobody knows the words is that the words are in Scottish, a language most Americans don't even pretend to speak. Oh, everybody knows a few words like "kilt," which is Scottish for "I'm manly and I wear a skirt." But for the most part, Americans are woefully ignorant of the Scottish language.

And that's why we don't understand "Auld Lang Syne." Not that it matters anyway. I mean, my extensive research (3.5 seconds on Google) revealed that "Auld Lang Syne" is actually a song about wading in streams, looking for daisies and drinking in a pub. Not one mention about changing your calendar or writing the wrong date on your checks, but for some reason, it's still a tradition.

No comments: