Well, another year has passed and we now look forward toward 2014! So time to break open the champagne, hold your loved ones close and sing “Auld Lang Syne”.

So what about ‘Auld Lang Syne”?  Most of us can hum the song and of course sing the closing line “Auld Lang Syne”, but how many of us know what it means?  The original poem was written in 1788 by Robert Burns and eventually was set to the tune of a traditional folk song. The original Scottish, Auld Lang Syne, is literally translated as “Old Long Since”. Perhaps a more understandable meaning could be “Old Times” or “days gone by”.  It’s use in the traditional song could loosely be translated as “for the sake of old times”.  While it may be customary in the United States to sing this solely at New Years, much of the rest of the modern English-speaking world, will also sing the song at funerals, graduations and for farewells to end other occasions. It is to sung to remember the past.

Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind ?
Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and old lang syne ?

For auld lang syne, my dear,
for auld lang syne,
we’ll take a cup of kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

And surely you’ll buy your pint cup !
and surely I’ll buy mine !
And we’ll take a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

We two have run about the slopes,
and picked the daisies fine ;
But we’ve wandered many a weary foot,
since auld lang syne.

We two have paddled in the stream,
from morning sun till dine† ;
But seas between us broad have roared
since auld lang syne.

The past may not always be happy, but it is what brought us to this particular moment. The past makes us who we are today.  It is a part of us and must not be lost. It is important, particularly at this time of year, to remember our past. Remember loved ones that we may have lost, the personal triumphs or financial disasters. The heart-aches as well as the joy.

If 2013 was not the best of years for you, don’t simply erase it from your collected memory. Instead, remember and embrace it. And with the memory, perhaps the new hope that the coming year will be better.

So raise your glasses! Say goodbye to 2013 and say hello to 2014. It is going to be a wonderful, tragic, confusing and beautiful new year!

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