1. You’ve heard this song loads
It even turns up at the end of movies.
2. But it’s sung most often when the bells strike midnight on New Year’s Eve
Or Hogmanay, as Scottish people who are actually professionals at this stuff, call it.
3. It was mostly written by Robert Burns, Scotland’s national poet
He’s thought to have based the first verse and chorus on a traditional song, before doing the rest himself.
4. Auld Lang Syne roughly translates from Scots into English as “days long gone”
So it’s a song of nostalgia.
5. The key themes of the song are: let’s not forget about old friendships, and let’s have a drink
This is what a “cup of kindness” is.
6. Everyone knows you are supposed to join hands. But unfortunately, you all do it at the wrong time.
You start off holding hands with the person next to you, and only cross hands in the last verse when the lyrics say: “And there’s a hand, my trusty fiere / And gie’s a hand o’ thine!”
7. These people are all doing it wrong
8. So when this happened on Millennium Eve, The Queen was right and EVERYBODY ELSE WAS WRONG
I bet Tony Blair doesn’t even know there are five verses, tsk.
9. Even worse than the hands thing: some people sing “And days of Auld Lang Syne”
But this is basically saying “And days of days long gone” so is clearly total nonsense. It’s enough to make Burns turn in his grave (which this is).
10. Don’t worry, here’s some Scottish people getting it all right
See how easy they make it look!
11. Now that we’ve got that sorted, it’s time to wish you all a Happy New Year!
Just remember the bit with the hands.