It’s about that time of year again when we sing that song you hear in movies and at midnight on New Years Eve. Most of us probably don’t know half the words, let alone the meaning. Read the lyrics, some history, and listen to the song below

The song is of Scottish origin, hence the title’s ambiguous wording. It is said to be written by a Scottish poet Robert Burns in 1788. The literal translation of Auld Lang Syne (Syne pronounced sign) is “old long since.�? It is better translated “days gone by�? or “long long ago,�? or even “once upon a time.�?

Here is the traditional song as written by the Scotsman himself. Most people sing the first verse and chorus, and say “old acquaintance�? and change the last line to “and days of auld lang syne.�?

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

For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We’ll tak a cup of 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!

We twa hae run about the braes,
And pou’d the gowans fine,
But we’ve wander’d monie a weary fit,
Sin auld lang syne.

We twa hae paidl’d in the burn
Frae morning sun till dine,
But seas between us braid hae roar’d
Sin auld lang syne.

And there’s a hand my trusty fiere,
And gie’s a hand o thine,
And we’ll tak a right guid-willie waught,
For auld lang syne

auld lang syne – times gone by
be – pay for
braes – hills
braid – broad
burn – stream
dine – dinner time
fiere – friend
fit – foot
gowans – daisies
guid-willie waught – goodwill drink
monie – many
morning sun – noon
paidl’t – paddled
pint-stowp – pint tankard
pou’d – pulled
twa – two

Auld Lang Syne Lyrics

For a more modern version of the lyrics, go here.

Auld Lang Syne Audio