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Beyond 'Auld Lang Syne': Music That Plays at the Heart Like New Year's

Music and emotions go hand in hand. Songs can make us feel the heartbreak of a lost love, or the excitement of finding a new love. Transcript of radio broadcast:

Welcome to THIS IS AMERICA in VOA Special English. I'm Steve Ember, and today we bring you music for the New Year.


In the United States and other countries, this old Scottish song, "Auld Lang Syne" is played when a new year begins. It is about remembering old friends.

New Year's is a holiday for memories and for hopes. The past and the future come together at midnight. Not surprisingly, emotions are as much a part of New Year's Eve as noisemakers and fireworks. After all, a traditional way to welcome the New Year is to kiss the person you love.

"Old Lang Syne" lends its name to a modern song about a man and a woman who once were lovers. One day, a week before New Year's, they meet again by chance. The singer is Dan Fogelberg and the song is called "Same Old Lang Syne."


On December sixteenth, two thousand seven, fans of Dan Fogelberg lost an old friend. The American singer and songwriter died of prostate cancer at the age of fifty-six. He was known for the kind of soft rock popular in the nineteen seventies and eighties. "Same Old Lang Syne" was one of the hits from his nineteen eighty-one album "The Innocent Age."

The idea of meeting an old lover by chance is also at the heart of a Paul Simon song. Here is the title song from Paul Simon's nineteen seventy-five album "Still Crazy After All These Years."


Chance meetings are one of life's little surprises. They can happen anywhere -- in a market, on the street, even in a taxicab. This song by Harry Chapin is called "Taxi."


Harry Chapin was a popular folk singer and songwriter. In nineteen eighty-one, at the age of thirty-eight, he died in a car crash on his way to a performance.

Music and emotions go hand in hand. Songs can make us feel the heartbreak of a lost love, or the excitement of finding a new love. Songs can also capture the pain of a wish that a person knows will never come true. Here is James Blunt with "You're Beautiful."


The nineteen eighty-nine movie "When Harry Met Sally" was about a relationship. Billy Crystal plays Harry and Meg Ryan is Sally. They meet and become friends, though not at first. Later, they fall in love, though not for very long. Then, on New Year's Eve, Harry comes to his senses and finds Sally at a party.


From New Year's Day, we turn to "A New Day." That was the name of Celine Dion's music and dance show at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada. It closed on December fifteenth, two thousand seven, after almost five years. It earned a reported four hundred million dollars in ticket sales.

The show's run ended two months before the start of a worldwide tour for a new album by the Canadian singer. But some fans came to the show again and again, so closing night was like an emotional goodbye to an old friend.

We leave you with Celine Dion and a song that some of you will probably sing along with. From the nineteen ninety-seven movie "Titanic," here is "My Heart Will Go On."


We hope you will join us again next week for THIS IS AMERICA in VOA Special English, on the radio or online at Wishing you a happy New Year from all of us, I'm Steve Ember.