What Are You Doing for New Year’s?

This is my last post of 2009, so I wanted to say something significant, something to sum up the year and point with optimism to the days ahead. Instead, my thoughts turned to New Year traditions. A lot of them are pretty silly, when you think about it.

Take “Auld Lang Syne,” for instance.

Why do we sing this? Apparently, back in 1929, Guy Lombardo’s band played the song at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York City after hearing some Scottish immigrants singing it. The Waldorf Astoria continued the tradition,  playing Lombardo’s version of the song every year until 1976. Radio (and then television) allowed the rest of the country to sing along at home.

Do you know the words? I didn’t. A web search turned up the lyrics (reprinted at the end of this post), but then I had more questions. What in the world is a pint-stowp? How does one “pou’d the gowans fine”? Happily Wikipedia had all the answers.

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