Should Old Acquaintance Be Forgot

A Frank Toast: Cheers to old friends.

As we prepare to say goodbye to the old year and hello to the new, for old time’s sake, let’s offer a toast to our old friends.

The sentiment of Auld Lang Syne, that simple old tune marking many a New Year’s Eve, goes back a long ways. For Dickies From Gunton: Canadian Brothers in Two World Wars, the family was especially proud of its Scottish roots all the way back to the famous poet, Robert Burns, as the Dickie ancestors came from Scotland.

In the early days of the Second World War, on New Year’s Eve 1941, as the family worries about the fate of their son, who fought with the Winnipeg Grenadiers in the devastating Battle of Hong Kong, the Winnipeg Tribune prints New Year’s wishes from local companies and organizations under the heading “May 1942 Bring Peace and Happiness.”

As they wonder about the fate of their loved one, after the terrible battle, defeat, surrender and survivors taken prisoner by the Japanese, beneath the heading, the familiar words of the old song sing out to them in print: “Should auld acquaintance be forgot And never brought to mind Should auld acquaintance be forgot And days of auld lang syne For auld lang syne my dear For auld lang syne We’ll take a cup of kindness yet For auld lang syne… “

At the time, the sound of Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians playing it over the radio was a beloved annual tradition. For many years to come, the familiar tune will ring out the old year and ring in the new with many joining in as they raise their glass.

For auld lang syne, my friends, for auld lang syne. For old time’s sake. Happy New Year.