This came over my transom this morning.
Corky Siegel is a blues and world musician based in Chicago for over 40 years. I’ve known him since around 1982. His writing always makes me smile! Enjoy ~

Cousin Corky’s New Year’s Message

Should old acquaintances be forgot?
There are so many weird lyrics in Auld Lang Syne. I got goosebumps singing it but I never even knew what it meant.
Well I’m not the only one who didn’t understand these lyrics. Historians call this: “The song that no one knows.”
So last year as I was preparing to lead everyone in song at midnight at Evanston’s New Year’s Eve First Night celebration, I decided I was going to find out what it really means and also sing a more literal translation (see below). Last night and this morning in preparing for tonight’s concert and sing-along (again at Evanston’s First Night) I delved deeper, and as it turns out, Auld Lang Syne is a brilliant yogic treatise on how to begin the new year with a clear head and a big heart.
I contemplated the first line:
“Should old acquaintance be forgot and never brought to mind.”
Really? Are we saying we want to “forget” old acquaintances? Old friends? They should never even be brought to mind? I should not remember any of you fondly or otherwise? I love my acquaintances. Boo! 😦
If you look up the word “acquaintance,” you will see two primary meanings:
1) “A person you know but who isn’t a close friend,”
This can mean a friend, but not a “close” friend. However, all our friends are close friends. (Watch: ONE)
2) “A person’s knowledge or experience of something.”
Certainly the song is suggesting we forget “experiences” and not our good people. And surely it’s not suggesting we forget our beautiful experiences at the Grand Canyon or the Redwood Forest, but instead those memories that keep us awake at night: the displeasing agitations of the mind, our fears, our grudges … may they be forgot.

You may have also wondered why the 2nd line reads:

“Should old acquaintance be forgot ‘AND’ the days of Auld Lang Syne.”
Why not “IN” the days of Auld Lang Syne? Apparently, the suggestion is that we forget displeasing agitations, “AND” also “let go” of the past, for a clear and unfettered view of what is ahead.
In researching the song we find many references to translations of the words; “auld lang syne” as: days gone by; let by-gones be by-gones. And for me the word “forgot” as in “Should old acquaintance be forgot,” has a deeper meaning: “forgive and forget.” Since to forgive is to forget and to forget is to forgive. And forgiveness is said to be the best tool for clearing the palate and looking to the future, free of the binds that tie.
But in looking to the future the song doesn’t have us start completely from scratch.
“For Auld Lang Syne MY DEAR, for Auld Lang Syne, we’ll take a cup of kindness yet”
As we leave behind the past, we sing to each other, and humanity, with love, as in “my dear.”  And we drink a cup of kindness – a kindness smoothie – which nourishes our body and pervades our soul. Now in a state of kindness we are ready to look ahead, unburdened, to spread our full love and joy through the new year and the world.
Happy 2020 and may you have perfect vision!

Your own, Cousin Corky

Lyrics (with chords)

Should (C) old Acquaintance (G) be forgot
and (C) never brought to (F) mind
Should (C) old Acquaintance (G) be forgot
And (F) days of Auld Lang (C) Syne
For (C) old lang (G) syne my dear
For (C) old lang (F) syne
We’ll (C) take a cup of (G) kindness yet
and the (F) days of old lang (C) syne

Literal version:

Should (C) old displeasures (G) be forgot
and (C) never brought to (F) mind
the (C) past is gone the (G) future now
we move (F) on from Auld Lang (C) Syne
For (C) all the days of (G) old my dear
For (C) all the days gone (F) by
We (C) offer only (G) kindness now
let the (F) days gone by go (C) by
We (C) offer only (G) kindness now
as the (F) the world on us (C) relies

Here’s assorted contact information:
Contact Information
Text & Mobile: 773-551-6141

Direct Contact: Om-Corky-Om
Western Union: TS3475
Pony Express: Circle K Ranch
Smoke Signal: Puff-Fluff-Puff-Poof
Cave Signal: Boom Bang Boom Boom
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Holly Siegel/Personal Manager

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