Old friendships should not be forgotten.

At least that’s the central point of the 18th century Scottish poem.

Robert Burns first produced the lines in written form in 1788. It has become a New Year’s Eve custom for many who sing it when the clock strikes midnight. The song begins with a rhetorical question, “Should old acquaintance be forgot?” and is followed by an argument for a negative response.

This time last year, I decided to rewrite the lyrics using the same format—but focus the song on the question of whether or not humanity should forget God in order to find ultimate liberation.  In similar fashion, the entire song is set to negatively answer the opening question. It is set to the same tune as the traditional song. The use of “loose” and “lose” is intentional, btw.

To Loose Humanity

Should men remember God no more,
And finally be free?
Should men remember God no more,
To loose humanity?

To loose humanity, my soul,
To loose humanity,
We’ll drink the dregs of bitter wrath,
And lose humanity.

You’ll surely stand before him then!
And surely so will we!
We’ll drink the dregs of bitter wrath
And lose humanity.

We too will suffer for this dream
And mar reality;
But Christ the perfect lamb has come,
To loose humanity.

And there he stands the sinner’s friend!
Victor of Calvary;
Because he drank God’s wrath fil’d cup
To loose humanity.

To loose humanity, my soul,
To loose humanity,
He drank the dregs of bitter wrath,
To loose humanity.

……………………………………………

“Over a half century ago, while I was still a child, I recall hearing a number of old people offer the following explanation for the great disasters that had befallen Russia: ‘Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this has happened.’ Since then I have spent well-nigh 50 years working on the history of our revolution; in the process I have read hundreds of books, collected hundreds of personal testimonies, and have already contributed eight volumes of my own toward the effort of clearing away the rubble left by that upheaval. But if I were asked today to formulate as concisely as possible the main cause of the ruinous revolution that swallowed up some 60 million of our people, I could not put it more accurately than to repeat: ‘Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this has happened.'”

– Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Russian historian and Nobel Laureate (1918-2008)