“Auld Lang Syne” for New Year’s Eve

Auld Lang Syne is the most popular New Year’s Eve song in the English speaking world and elsewhere. Guy Lombardo began the tradition of ringing in the new year with the tune in 1929. He and his band played it on the radio and then counted down till midnight. Every year from then till 1976 Lombardo played it for the occasion, on the radio and later on TV.

Guy Lombardo and his band

Originally, dating back at least to the 1600’s, Auld Lang Syne was a Scottish folk song. Then around 1788, the Scotch poet Robert Burns added two verses and his friend George Thompson put Burn’s lyrics to the tune of another Scottish song The Miller’s Wedding. That’s the version we hear today.

Below are the lyrics to the popular short version of Auld Lang Syne and the longer version based on the Robert Burns Poem, with explanations of the meanings of the Scottish words plus an mp3 recording.

Auld Lang Syne (literally Old Long Since, meaning Old or Way Long Ago)

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And days of auld lang syne?

(Chorus)
For auld lang syne, my dear
For auld lang syne,
We’ll take a cup o’ kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

And there’s a hand my trusty fiere (friend),
And gie’s (give us) a hand o’ thine
We’ll take a right guid-willie (good will) waught (drink),
For auld lang syne.

(Chorus)

Here’s the longer version of Auld Lang Syne by Robert Burns (1759-1796)…

MP3 of Auld Lang Syne by Ruth Golding

Auld Lang Syne
by Robert Burns

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot
And days of auld lang syne?

(Chorus)
For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We’ll take a cup o’ kindness yet
For auld lang syne

We twa (two) hae (have) run about the braes (hillsides)
And pu’d (pulled) the gowans (daisies) fine;
We’ve wander’d mony (many) a weary foot
Sin’ auld lang syne

(Chorus)

We twa hae paidled (waded) i’ the burn (brook),
Frae mornin’ sun till dine (noon);
But seas between us braid (broad) hae roar’d
Sin’ auld lang syne

(Chorus)

And there’s a hand my trusty fiere (friend),
And gie’s (give us) a hand o’ thine
We’ll take a right guid-willie (good will) waught (drink),
For auld lang syne.

(Chorus)

And surely ye’ll be (pay for) your pint-stowp (about a 3 pint cup)!
And surely I’ll be mine!
And we’ll take a cup o’ kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

(Chorus)

Happy New Year’s!

Lisa

This article was posted on Monday, December 26th, 2005 at 6:14 pm and is filed under Auld Lang Syne, Auld Lang Syne, Auld Lang Syne, Countries & Cultures, English, Folk Songs, Holiday Songs, Holidays Around the World, Languages, MP3's, New Years, New Years Songs, Poetry, Recordings of Songs, Robert Burns, Scotland, Scottish, Scottish Folk Songs. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

4 Responses to ““Auld Lang Syne” for New Year’s Eve”

  1. Dana Holder Says:

    This website was very informative and helpful! It’s been a hard one trying to figure out what all this song meant! Thanx
    Dana

  2. Monique Says:

    Lisa asked me if we sang Auld Lang Syne for New Year. We don’t cos the French version is titled “Le chant des adieux” (“Farewell song”, lyrics written by Father Jacques Sevin). The first verse and the chorus go:

    Faut-il nous quitter sans espoir
    De nous revoir un jour
    Faut-il nous quitter sans espoir
    Sans espoir de retour

    Ce n’est qu’un au revoir, mes frères
    Ce n’est qu’un au revoir
    Oui nous nous reverrons, mes frères
    Ce n’est qu’un au revoir

    English literal translation:
    Must we leave each other without a hope
    To see each other again some day
    Must we leave each other without a hope
    A hope of return

    It’s only a goodbye, my brothers
    It’s only a goodbye,
    Yes, we’ll see each other again, my brothers
    It’s only a goodbye.

    So we sing the chorus as a joke and/or to hide the emotion when we leave (end of term, retirements, long lasting far away travels…). Children and teenagers sing the complete version in Scouts or Summer camps.

  3. Cynthia Says:

    These three recordings of Auld Lang Syne are all amazing:
    Scott West (2006), Guy Lombardo (1947) and Ken McKellar (1995).

    Here’s a great FREE Auld Lang Syne download my boyfriend sent to me:

    http://www.myxertones.com/ringtone:227941/

  4. Babu Says:

    Great site! absolutely amazing!

    So many information i found here. Thnx to mamalisa.

    Can any1 tell me where i can find the Auld Lang Syne song, performed by the childrens. Plz let me know…

Leave a Reply