What is New Year’s Most Popular Song?
For most of the western world the most popular song at New Year’s Eve/Day is Auld Lang Syne.
Its simple verses evoke remembrance of the good times of the past and implicitly look forward to more good times in the future.
Where Did it Come From?
Wikipedia has a good article giving a lot of information about Auld Lang Syne.
Robert Burns sent a copy of the original song to the Scots Musical Museum with the remark, “The following song, an old song, of the olden times, and which has never been in print, nor even in manuscript until I took it down from an old man.” Some of the lyrics were indeed “collected” rather than composed by the poet; the ballad “Old Long Syne” printed in 1711 by James Watson shows considerable similarity in the first verse and the chorus to Burns’ later poem, and is almost certainly derived from the same “old song”.
Should Old Acquaintance be forgot,
and never thought upon;
The flames of Love extinguished,
and fully past and gone:
Is thy sweet Heart now grown so cold,
that loving Breast of thine;
That thou canst never once reflect
On old long syne.
- On old long syne my Jo,
On old long syne,
That thou canst never once reflect,
On old long syne.
It is a fair supposition to attribute the rest of the poem to Burns himself.
Singing the song on Hogmanay or New Year’s Eve very quickly became a Scots custom that soon spread to other parts of the British Isles. As Scots (not to mention English, Welsh and Irish people) emigrated around the world, they took the song with them.
The whole Wikipedia article is here:
Who performs it?
The short answer is — everybody!
I Googled “Auld Lang Syne YouTube” and found dozens of performers and venues including:
Julie Andrews, Susan Boyle, Rod Stewart, Elvis, Mariah Carey, Celtic Woman, Sissel, BBC Symphony, Royal Scots Dragoon Guards, among others.
My Favorite Version
My favorite version of the song is included as the final scene from the Christmas holiday favorite movie, It’s a Wonderful Life.
Here it is:
Happy New Year Everybody!
May 2016 find My World and yours a better, more peaceful place where the value of all life is held in higher esteem. – Dick Stannard