Who wrote Auld Lang Syne and what are the words? – The Sun

AULD Lang Syne has always been linked with New Year's festivities.

Singing the song around midnight has become a much-loved tradition in Scotland and is an important part of Hogmanay celebrations – but who wrote it?

Pictures of people with their arms crossed, holding hands while singing the words before midnight have become a stereotypical image of ringing in the New Year.

But what are the words to Auld Lang Syne? What does the poem actually mean?

And when did Scottish poet Robert Burns actually write it?

Here, we try to answer all your questions about this old tradition…

What are the words to Auld Lang Syne?

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,

And never brought to mind?

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,

And auld lang syne.

(Chorus: For auld lang syne, my jo,

For auld lang syne,

We'll tak a cup o' kindness yet,

For auld lang syne)

And surely ye'll be your pint-stowp!

And surely I'll be mine!

And we'll tak a cup o' kindness yet,

For auld lang syne.

(Chorus)

We twa hae run about the braes

And pu'd the gowans fine;

But we've wander'd mony a weary foot

Sin auld lang syne.

(Chorus)

We twa hae paidl'd i' the burn,

Frae mornin' sun till dine;

But seas between us braid hae roar'd

Sin auld lang syne.

(Chorus)

And there's a hand, my trusty fiere!

And gie's a hand o' thine!

And we'll tak a right guid willy waught,

For auld lang syne.

(Chorus)

Should old acquaintance be forgot,

And never brought to mind?

Should old acquaintance be forgot,

And long, long ago.

(Chorus)

And for long, long ago, my dear

For long, long ago,

We'll take a cup of kindness yet,

For long, long ago

And surely youll buy your pint-jug!

And surely I'll buy mine!

And we'll take a cup of kindness yet,

For long, long ago.

(Chorus)

We two have run about the hills

And pulled the daisies fine;

But we've wandered manys the weary foot

Since long, long ago.

(Chorus)

We two have paddled in the stream,

From morning sun till dine;

But seas between us broad have roared

Since long, long ago.

(Chorus)

And there's a hand, my trusty friend!

And give us a hand of yours!

And we'll take a deep draught of good-will

For long, long ago.

(Chorus)

What do the words mean?

Auld Lang Syne translates as “old long since” – basically meaning “a long time ago” or “days gone by”.

"For auld lang syne" therefore means something along the lines of “for old times’ sake”.

The song is all about preserving old friendships and looking back over the years.

This is why it is sung on New Year’s Eve, as it encourages people to remember those who mean the most to them and not to forget their friends of the past as they move forward into the New Year.

When did Robert Burns write the poem?

Burns sent the poem to the Scots Musical Museum in 1788 – but he told them he didn’t actually compose it himself.

He said it was an ancient song which had never been written down before, only passed on by word of mouth.

He is said to have recorded it on paper for the first time after an old man dictated the words to him.

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