Auld Lang Syne
Auld Lang Syne
What would New Year's Eve be like without the fireworks, the Ball dropping in Times Square and singing Auld Lang Syne?
Another contemporary tradition, playing Auld Lang Syne (literally "old long since"), as the first song after the Ball falls, goes back to when it was first published in 1796, by Robert Burns, in Scotland, as a song of remembrance and reflection. It's the most commonly sung song for English-speakers on New Year's Eve. Guy Lombardo, who popularized this piece with his band Guy Lombardo and His Royal Canadians, first heard the song in his hometown of London, Ontario, sung by Scottish immigrants. From 1929-1959 his band played every New Year's at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York, with the first radio broadcast in 1929. The first televised New Year's celebration with Lombardo's band was in 1954 and continued until 1976, when they were, then, playing at the Waldorf-Astoria. Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve televised broadcast began on December 31, 1972 to bring in a "younger crowd", but, kept Lombardo's rendition of Auld Lang Syne to be the first song played in the new year. For many, not hearing it would make their New Year celebration seem "unofficial," somehow.
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