Monday, December 13, 2010


The song we love to sing at the stroke of midnight, marking the beginning of a New Year, "Auld Lang Syne", was written as a poem by Scottish poet Robert Burns in about 1788. Auld Lang Syne literally means in Lowland Scottish "old long since", or can be summed up as "days gone by" or "once upon a time".

In 1796, Robert Burns gave a copy of the song to James Johnson, who included it in his collection of songs in "The Scots Musical Museum". Johnson published the song in December 1796 after the death of Robert Burns, it was also included in George Thomsons "A Collection of Original Scottish Airs", which was published from 1793 to 1818 to Thomson tune that we sing this song today, the original melody long lost.

Though there are approximately 2000 versions of the song recorded by various artists, it was popularized by Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians when they played it during a New Year's eve party in New York City in 1929.

Auld Lang Syne has withstood the test of time and is widely popular in English speaking countries, including the United States, where every New Year across the country, the song is heard from the streets as party goers sing it at the stroke of midnight to mark the end of one year and the start of a new one.

English translation==
Should old acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind? Should old acquaintance be forgot, and old lang syne?
For auld lang syne, my dear, for auld lang syne, we'll take a cup of kindness yet, for auld lang syne.

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.
We two have run the slopes, and picked the daises fine: But we've wandered many a weary foot. Since Auld lang syne.
We two have paddled in the stream, from morning sun till dine; But seas between us broad have roared since auld lang syne. And ther's a hand my trusty friend! And give us a hand o' thine! And we'll take a right good-will draught, for auld lang syne.

I love this song but never knew all the lyrics to the song.


welcome to my world of poetry said...

Thanks Margaret for sharing this song, I always get a lump in my throat whenever it is sung on New Years Eve,
Also thanks for the visit and comments. I hope it won't snow when I get to Nashville we have seen so much of it here, we are in for another cold spell from Wednesday.
Take care and warm.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting this. I never get tired of hearing it and can remember where I was when some of the most memorable tunes were sung.

Gigi Ann said...

I never knew all the verses either. I like it better as a poem, now that I know what "Auld Lang Syne" means. It makes more sense. I always wondered what it meant. Thanks for sharing your research with us.

Merle said...

Hi Margaret ~~ Thank you for the info on
Auld Lang Syne. It is a wonderful song with
lots of feeling in it. Possibly because we mostly hear it only on New Year's Eve at
midnight. Glad you enjoyed the jokes in my post. Enjoy the rest of the week my friend.
Take care. Love, Merle.

Joseph Pulikotil said...

Hello Margaret,

Although this song is not sung in India, I have heard it in movies.

Such an excellent song and a very inspiring one too.

Enjoyed reading the background to this song.

Best wishes,

Lynn@ The Vintage Nest said...

Call me sentimental or maybe melancholy but that song always makes me cry. :)

Patty said...

I never knew all the words either until I read our post. Thanks for sharing. cold up your way. Right now it's 14.

dr.antony said...

Hi Margaret
I had heard the song.Never knew the lyrics were so meaningful. Old is gold.

Judy said...

I had no idea so many versions of this song had been recorded. I did not know all the words either. I always learn something from you!

Gerry's Soap N Stuff said...

Hi margaret, I love that old song too. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I am your newest follower. Gerry

Anonymous said...

New Sex Toys for the Ladies commercial was on and it took till it was over for my mind to grasp the meaning of what I was seeing. Can't you see the Rose Bowl Game sponsored by this outfit. Amazing what this world is coming too. Remember when our mail was censored? Television used to be. And AOL censored what you got to see or show on thei AOL browser in the old days.

Kay said...

Thank you so much for this translation, Margaret. I've also loved this song, but was never quite sure what it all meant. It will have a lot more meaning for me now that I truly know what the translation is.

Merle said...

Hi again Margaret ~~ Thank you so much for your Christmas and New Year Greetings.
That Aussie in the poem wasn't typical of most Aussies, though there are some.
I leave tomorrow morning at 5.30 am as we have a long way to go. I will enjoy it all
but will be vvery tired. Take are my friend, Love, Merle.c

Anonymous said...

Thank You so much for sharing. I never knew the words either. Hope you have a very Merry Christmas & a Happy Snappy New Year.

caspersmom said...

I never knew all the lyrics either. Guess Robert Burns never knew how popular his poem would become. Thanks for the history of the song. Hope you have a really great Christmas.


chubskulit said...

Just wishing you and your family a Blessed Christmas!

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