For Auld Lang Syne

The end of the year is at hand. In the spirit of out with the old and in with the new, here are a few track selections for New Year’s Eve festivities, be they outrageous or intimate.

Pink Martini, “Auld Lang Syne” – A recent creative take on the quintessential midnight sing-along from the Oregon group’s holiday collection Joy to the World.

Adele, “Rolling in the Deep” – Embrace the one song that was inescapable this past year. Why not? Massive hits like this one provide genuine points of reference. You’ll always think 2011 when you hear “Rolling in the Deep,” just like “Smells Like Teen Spirit” transports one to 1991, “Like a Virgin” is all about 1985 and “Staying Alive” screams 1978.

Skeeter Davis, “The End of the World” – We’ve been bombarded with references to end times forecast for 2012 in the Mayan calendar. I’m betting we’ll all be putting together New Year’s playlists next year at this time, but, just in case, here’s a sweet, sad pop classic that puts in all in perspective:  “Why does my heart go on beating? / Why do these eyes of mine cry? / Don't they know it's the end of the world / It ended when you said goodbye.”

Prince, “1999” – Like Orwell’s 1984 and Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, the date of Prince’s end-of-the-century anthem passed long ago, but it hasn’t lost its potency or relevance. After all, we’re all still afraid of being controlled; we still wonder what’s out there; and we still feel the urge now and then to party like there’s no tomorrow. And as far as that Mayan thing goes, remember that the end of 1999 was when Y2K was going to shut down everything. Well, here I am still typing away at my perfectly workable computer, wishing you a Happy New Year. 

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