Auld Lang Syne


With words written by legendary Scottish poet Robert Burns in 1788, the music itself is actually an ancient Scottish folk song.
Singing the song on 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.


It was Canadian bandleader Guy Lombardo who made the song a New Year's Eve tradition in the U.S.
In 1929, his Royal Canadians Orchestra was playing at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York City on New Year's Eve.
The event was broadcast on the radio- it was the first nationwide New Year's Eve broadcast, and therefore many, many people were listening.
Lombardo ended the broadcast at midnight with "Auld Lang Syne", a standard in the Royal Canadians’ repertoire.
The broadcast was an instant success, to be repeated for many years to come.
Thus, the tune became the "official" New Year's Eve anthem.
Guy Lombardo's version is still played in Times Square every New Year's Eve immediately following the dropping of the ball.


Since has been located in Charlottesville for nearly 30 years, this part of the story is especially interesting!

A few months after that first broadcast, Guy Lombardo's band was playing regularly on the radio, which earned the band numerous invitations to perform in various venues, including on college campuses.
In April 1930, they traveled to Charlottesville, home of the University of Virginia.
When the band decided to end their show with "Auld Lang Syne", they were totally blown away with the thunderous applause they received, as well as enthusiastic calls for "Encore! Encore!".
As it turns out, Lombardo was leading them in the school’s fight song.
“The Good Old Song” had the same tune as "Auld Lang Syne", but instead of “Should auld acquaintance be forgot, and the days of auld lang syne,” the students heard “Let’s all join hands and give a yell for the dear old UVA”!


Houdini's favorite song was "Auld Lang Syne".
After the troop transport Antilles was sunk by a German U-boat on October 15, 1917, Houdini, ever the American patriot, decided to put together a benefit show to raise money for the families of the service members who died.
His idea was to bring together theatrical celebrities and put on a huge show at the Hippodrome Theatre in NYC.
The program was presented on November 11th, 1917.
Among the artists in the magic portion of the show along with Houdini were: Charles Carter, Frederick Eugene Powell, Julius Zancig, Howard Thurston, Theo Hardeen, Adelaide Herrmann, and Harry Kellar- by far the most famous name on the bill.
Coming out of retirement one more time, this was Kellar's last big performance.
To honor the great magician, Houdini arranged for Kellar to be literally carried off the stage in triumph on the shoulders of his fellow magicians, as six thousand spectators sang "Auld Lang Syne."
It was a fitting end to his truly magical career.

Add Comment