"Should auld acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind? Should auld acquaintance be forgot, and auld lang syne."
Most of us don't know what that means, though we have a general idea what it means and the sentiment behind it. Enough so that we'll blurt it out to ring in the new year, as we try and make 2016 better than 2015. But what it actually means is "times gone by." All of a sudden drinking a cup of kindness for auld land syne makes a ton of sense.
The roots of the song itself are Scottish, originally a poem that was written by a man named Robert Burns, that was put to music and every turn of the new year this song rockets to the top of the charts as three quarters of the people sing it. It's probably Scotland's biggest musical contribution to the planet after Annie Lennox.
Sure there are other songs that are heard, "Celebrate," by KC and the Sunshine Band, "New Years Day," by U2 and "Midnight Hour," by Wilson Pickett, but let's face it — none of them have the meaning that "Auld Land Syne" has. Not one song gives you the hope and deep meaning that you and you alone have the ability to effect some change.
Let's face it, 2015 was a wild ride once again. It's even ending oddly. Why just yesterday we got our first real showing of white stuff. Granted, it was more like ice sand that grabbed tires and weighed a ton. And, yes, I ran 6.2 miles on Christmas Eve in a T-shirt and shorts because it was 62 degrees. But that wasn't the only thing that made it weird. We were introduced to the word affluenza, which basically means that if you're rich enough you don't have to understand how the other half lives. And should you accidently kill one, or four, of the other half then you'll get a stern talking to and maybe some probation, because lets face it, only Rich Lives Matter.
In 2015, we had a number of mass shootings on our soil alone, and that's not to mention what happened in Paris. We debated same sex marriage ... again! We had a Shawshank prison-type escape fairly close to us in New York. Jared Fogle went down like a house of cards. The Pope visited, Deflatgate, Caitlyn, Star Wars and marijuana gets legalized.
Politically speaking, wow ... just wow! After the election of Barrack Obama I really felt as though this country turned a corner. Politics aside, the election of a black man in this country gave me hope that we may have finally stepped forward a little and were able to tear down the walls of ignorance, bigotry, and hatred. Then we were reminded that nobody builds walls better that Donald Trump.
So my favorite part about Jan. 1, is the same reason Catholics like confession. You can purge yourself of all the bad things you've done and really work towards not doing them again and make yourself a better person. I use the Catholic thing because I myself am a Catholic in recovery. But I always liked being able to go to church and hit that reset button every Sunday. Nonetheless, it's only good if you follow the true meaning and don't use it as an out.
So, should auld acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind? Should auld acquaintance be forgot, and auld lang syne? Of course they should. And we should work to better ourselves in eyes of the human race. And if your beliefs are such — the Lord.
But, as the song closes out, there's a special line: "And give us a hand o' thine. And we'll take a right good-will draught, for auld lang syne." Translation: Hand in hand we'll toast to a better tomorrow and never forget the past. Lets make 2016 a better place to live, shall we? Happy New Year.