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Auld Lang Syne

December 28, 2017

This 1788 poem by Robert Burns has become the cornerstone of the New Year’s Eve celebration. It is a farewell to the old year, not a welcoming of the new year which it seems to have become. A loose translation into today’s English is “old long since” or “days gone by” or “for the sake of old times.”

Burns was not the first to use those words in a poem, but his words seems to have prevailed. The Scots appear to be the first to have used this to bid farewell to the ending year and it spread to the rest of the British Isles and then through emigration around the world. Their New Year’s Eve custom prevailed through the years.

The poem reads:

Should auld [old] 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 take a cup of kindness yet,
For auld lang syne!

And surely you’ll bring your pint-cup,
and surely I’ll bring mine!
And we’ll take a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne!


We two have run about the braes,
and picked the daisies fine;
But we’ve wandered many a weary foot,
since auld lang syne.


We two have paddled in the brook,
from morning sun till dine;
But seas between us broad have roared
since auld lang syne.


And there’s a hand my trusty friend!
And give me a hand o’ thine!
And we’ll take a right good-will draught,
for auld lang syne.


This information was abstracted from my college text, British Poetry and Prose, Third Edition, by Lieder, Lovett and Root, and Wikipedia ( and you are referred there for further information.

I wish all my readers and their families and friends a Happy, Healthy and Peaceful New Year.

One Comment leave one →
  1. 6hawthorne permalink
    December 28, 2017 6:56 am

    Hi Ed Thanks for all the blogs during the year I always find them interesting I want to wish you the best for the New Year and keep the blogs coming Bob nAGLER

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