Minor British Institutions: Auld Lang Syne
What apter way than this for looking backwards and forwards through a dizzy mist of vigorously induced benevolence? A simple, forgiving tune; fine, dense and eminently slurrable dialect, as in: "We'll tak a right gude-willy waught, for auld lang syne", which translates as a goodwill drink (waught: draught) for old times long since (gone). Its origins are lost amid Rabbie Burns, strong drink and folk memory: some even claim the tune is English.
Matters became further confused at the Millennium Dome in 2000 when the Queen, splendidly unamused, failed to link crossed arms with Tony Blair because, apparently, it was the wrong verse. I suggest you ignore such controversies and concentrate instead on extracting the maximum maudlin enjoyment out of the old song as it struggles into the air once more, because next you'll have to kiss everyone.
Happy New Year, and may your gude-willy waughts never wobble.
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Germany sees 'visible rise' in support for far-right extremism in response to perceived 'Islamisation' of the West
£20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£25000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A PHP Developer with knowledge ...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + OTE: SThree: SThree are seeking Associate Recruitm...
£33000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...