(WYTV)- We have Christmas songs aplenty, but on New Year’s Eve, there’s really only one: “Auld Lang Syne.” meaning.

Most of us join in without knowing what auld lang syne means, what language it is, or what it has to do with New Year’s. Historians call it the song nobody knows.

“Auld lang syne” is the title and key phrase of a 1788 Scottish poem by Robert Burns, and it translates to “old long since” and basically means “days gone by.” Merriam-Webster says “the good old times.” So the song brings to mind yesterday and more than that. The original five verse poem essentially gets people singing, “let’s drink to days gone by.”

How did “Auld Lang Syne” become so popular?

As Scots immigrated around the world, they took the song with them. Eventually, North American English speakers translated Burns’ dialect into the common lyrics we know today, made famous in part by Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians band. The group performed the song on New Year’s Eve from 1929 until about 1977. It’s his version that plays after the ball drops in Times Square every year.

“And surely you’ll buy your pint cup! And surely I’ll buy mine! And we’ll take a cup o’ kindness yet, for Auld Lang Syne.”