The New Year’s Eve song, explained

The US associates “Auld Lang Syne” with the New Year, but not everyone does.

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After the ball drops in Times Square on New Year’s Eve, the crowd cheers, couples kiss, confetti flies and the song you hear is “Auld Lang Syne.” For Americans this song is associated with another year passing, but it means something else entirely in other cultures. Since the Scottish poet Robert Burns first published the words to the song in the 18th century, the melody has been adapted as a soccer ballad in the Netherlands, a graduation song in Japan, and more.

This video explains how an obscure Scottish folk tune took on new life around the world and how Guy Lombardo solidified it as the sound the US hears at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve.

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