One of the books I wrote this year, Family Ghosts, has a dance that ends with "Auld Lang Syne". It's not New Year's Eve - instead occurring on the day after Thanksgiving, but it felt like the right ending, and it got me looking into the song more.
It turns out that it was a very common close to dances, especially in Scotland, home of the author of the original poem, Robert Burns. It is about remembering the past, not specifically the change from one year to another, but we associate the song with that largely because of an Italian-Canadian bandleader.
Guy Lombardo formed a band with his brothers and other local musicians in 1924. I don't know that they could have expected to become as big as they did, but for almost fifty years, first on radio and then on television, this was whom people listened to on New Year's Eve, and he always ended on "Auld Lang Syne".
I was born five years before Guy Lombardo died in 1977. (The group tried to continue but for another two years, but it was really his band.) For my generation, New Year's Eve belongs to Dick Clark, and I guess that is changing over to Ryan Seacrest now, but that broadcast always included "Auld Lang Syne" as the first song of the new year.
It was interesting looking and finding how that tradition went back. You roll back into London, Ontario, and further back into Scotland, but the history is strong. and I thought I should spend some time listening to their stuff.
There is a lot of holiday music, but he wasn't just an end of the year guy. There are a of classic old songs and standards, and it was good listening. I had heard many of the songs before, but there was one, "Blue Skirt Waltz" that was completely new to me and that I really liked.
So, that's not so much of a review really. It's more of an appreciation, and also a reminder to sometimes look back. That's also what the song is about, so it all works out.