Trivia, resolutions and toasts for the new year

2006-12-27T01:00:00Z Trivia, resolutions and toasts for the new yearBy MARLA TONCRAY Staff Writer Ledger Independent
December 27, 2006 1:00 am  • 

New Year's Eve, the final event of the holiday season is just a few days away.

At the stroke of midnight on Dec. 31, people around the world will ring out the old and ring in the new year with champagne toasts and resolutions for the year ahead with the traditional song "Auld Lang Syne" playing in the background.

Just for fun, let's take a look at some trivia and history about "Auld Lang Syne;" the top resolutions for 2007 and easy to fix recipes to toast the new year.

Auld Lang Syne: Credit for the song is attributed to a poem written by Robert Burns (1757 - 1798) of Scotland and the song's name can be translated to mean "old long since," "long ago" or "days gone by." It is one of the best known songs in English-speaking countries and is sometimes accompanied by a traditional dance where the group singing forms a circle, holding hands for the first verse. For the second verse, arms are crossed and again linked; for the third verse everyone moves in to the center of the circle and then out again.

Singing the song on Hogmanay (in Scotland), or New Year's Day, quickly became a Scots custom, which spread to other parts of the British Isles. As Scots and other Britons began to emigrate around the world, they took the song with them.

In America, bandleader Guy Lombardo is sometimes credited with popularizing the use of the song on New Year's Eve through his annual radio and television broadcasts. In the movie "It's a Wonderful Life," the song is sung at the end of the movie and in the re-release of the Charlie Chaplin film "The Gold Rush" in 1942, the song is sung at a New Year's Eve party.

With the translation of its name meaning "days gone by" or "long ago," the song best known for ringing in the new year is also used in a variety of other forms and traditions throughout the world.

In Taiwan, it is used as a graduation song and a funeral song, symbolizing an end or a goodbye. In Japan, it is also used as a graduation song and many stores play it to usher customers out at the end of a business day. It is played at the close of the annual Congress (conference) of the Trades Union Congress in the United Kingdom. In Portugal, France, Spain and Germany, the song is used to mark a farewell.

The tune which this song is set to is a Scots folk melody and it has also been used around the world in various way including the University of Virginia's Alma mater, "The Good Old Song," and the anthem of Alpha Kappa Psi, the largest business fraternity in the United States, are both sung to the tune of "Auld Lang Syne."

Lyrics to "Auld Lang Syne"

"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.

Should auld acquaintance be forgot

and never brought to mind?

Should auld acquaintance be forgot

and days of auld lang syne?

And here's a hand, my trusty friend

And gie's a hand o' thine

We'll tak' a cup o' kindness yet

For auld lang syne"

Toasting the Holiday

When serving holiday drinks, dress them up by using a silver tray and a variety of fruity garnishes. Cherries, lemon slices, grapefruit wedges, raspberries, cranberries, and lime twists all add color and sparkle to the occasion.

Apple Sparkler (nonalcoholic)

1 Tbsp. red or green colored sugar (optional)

10 unpeeled orange wedges or chunks

5 unpeeled lime wedges or chunks

5 6 inch wooden skewers

2/3 c. raspberry juice blend

1 750 ml bottle sparkling apple cider or sparkling pear-apple juice, chilled

Sprinkle colored sugar on a piece of waxed paper. Moisten the rims of five wine glasses, one at a time, with a little water. Dip each rim in sugar and set aside for 5 to 10 minutes to dry. For fruit garnish, place 2 orange wedges and 1 lime wedge onto each skewer; set aside. Divide raspberry juice blend among prepared wine glasses. Being careful not to disturb the sugar on the rim, gently pour sparkling cider into each glass. Place a citrus skewer in each glass. Makes 5 servings.

Pomegranate Martinis

1 orange, cut into wedges


3 c. vodka or gin

3/4 c. pomegranate syrup

1/3 c. dry vermouth

ice cubes

small pomegranates (optional)

Rub orange wedges around rims of 12 martini glasses. Invert glasses into a dish of sugar to coat rims; set glasses aside. In a small pitcher, combine vodka, pomegranate syrup, and vermouth. Place ice cubes in a martini shaker. For each drink, add 1/3 cup of the syrup mixture; shake. Strain into one of the prepared martini glasses. Garnish with a small pomegranate, if desired. Makes 12 drinks.

For orange martinis: prepare as above, except use 6 tablespoons frozen juice concentrate, thawed in place of the syrup. Omit garnish.

For apple martinis: Prepare as above except use 3/4 cup frozen apple juice concentrate, thawed, in place of the syrup. Garnish with fresh orange peel twists.

Top 2007 Resolutions

According to information provided by, a Web-based organization for setting and reaching personal and professional goals, the following are the top resolutions for 2007. Each year releases its annual statistics, based on an anonymous, random sample of goals people have set at the site.

Health and Fitness — 27 percent

Personal Growth and Interests — 15 percent

Personal Finance — 15 percent

Career — 12 percent

Education and Training — 9 percent

Home Improvement and Real Estate — 7 percent

Time Management and Organization — 6 percent

Family and Relationships — 5 percent

Recreation and Leisure — 5 percent

If you need help making good New Year's resolutions or to view a breakdown on the most popular resolutions for 2007 reported in this study, go to for more information.

Contact Marla Toncray at or 606-564-9091 Ext. 275.

Copyright 2015 Ledger Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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