Auld Lang Syne

Auld Lang Syne

"Auld Lang Syne" (Scots pronunciation: [ˈɔːld lɑŋˈsəin]: note "s" rather than "z")[1] is a Scots poem written by Robert Burns in 1788[2][3] and set to the tune of a traditional folk song (Roud # 6294). It is well known in many countries, especially (but far from exclusively) in the English-speaking world; its traditional use being to celebrate the start of the New Year at the stroke of midnight. By extension, it is also sung at funerals, graduations, and as a farewell or ending to other occasions. The international Boy Scout youth movement, in many countries, uses it as a close to jamborees and other functions.

The song's Scots title may be translated into English literally as "old long since", or more idiomatically, "long long ago",[4] "days gone by" or "old times". Consequently "For auld lang syne", as it appears in the first line of the chorus, is loosely translated as "for (the sake of) old times".

The phrase "Auld Lang Syne" is also used in similar poems by Robert Ayton (1570–1638), Allan Ramsay (1686–1757), and James Watson (1711) as well as older folk songs predating Burns.[5] Matthew Fitt uses the phrase "In the days of auld lang syne" as the equivalent of "Once upon a time..." in his retelling of fairy tales in the Scots language.



Robert Burns sent a copy of the original song to the Scots Musical Museum with the remark, “The following song, an old song, of the olden times, and which has never been in print, nor even in manuscript until I took it down from an old man".[6] Some of the lyrics were indeed "collected" rather than composed by the poet; the ballad "Old Long Syne" printed in 1711 by James Watson shows considerable similarity in the first verse and the chorus to Burns' later poem,[5] and is almost certainly derived from the same "old song". It is a fair supposition to attribute the rest of the poem to Burns himself.[6]

There is some doubt as to whether the melody used today is the same one Burns originally intended, but it is widely used in Scotland and in the rest of the world.[3][7]

Singing the song on Hogmanay or New Year's Eve very quickly became a Scots custom that soon spread to other parts of the British Isles. As Scots (not to mention English, Welsh and Irish people) emigrated around the world, they took the song with them.

Canadian band leader Guy Lombardo is often credited with popularising the use of the song at New Year’s celebrations in America, through his annual broadcasts on radio and television, beginning in 1929. The song became his trademark. In addition to his live broadcasts, Lombardo recorded the song more than once. His first recording was in 1939. A later recording on 29 September 1947 was issued as a single by Decca Records as catalog #24260.[8]

However, earlier newspaper articles describe revellers on both sides of the Atlantic singing the song to usher in the New Year:

  • "Holiday Parties at Lenox" (Massachusetts, USA) (1896) – The company joined hands in the great music room at midnight and sang “Auld Lang Syne” as the last stroke of 12 sounded and the new year came in.[9]
  • "New Year's Eve in London" (London, England) (1910) – Usual Customs Observed by People of All Classes… The passing of the old year was celebrated in London much as usual. The Scottish residents gathered outside of St. Paul's Church and sang “Auld Lang Syne” as the last stroke of 12 sounded from the great bell.[10]

A manuscript of "Auld Lang Syne" is held in the permanent collection of The Lilly Library at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana.[11]


The song begins by posing a rhetorical question as to whether it is right that old times be forgotten, and is generally interpreted as a call to remember long-standing friendships.[12] Thomson’s Select Songs of Scotland was published in 1799 in which the second verse about greeting and toasting was moved to its present position at the end.[12]

Most common use of the song involves only the first verse and the chorus. The last lines of both of these are often sung with the extra words "For the sake of" or "And days of", rather than Burns' simpler lines. This allows one note for each word, rather than the slight melisma required to fit Burns' original words to the melody.

The following table of lyrics includes the first few stanzas of the James Watson poem, probably derived from the same folk song that Burns used as the basis for his poem.

Complete lyrics
Old Long Syne, by James Watson (1711) Burns’ original Scots verse[4] English translation
Scots pronunciation guide
(as Scots speakers would sound)
IPA pronunciation guide[13]

Should Old Acquaintance be forgot,
and never thought upon;
The flames of Love extinguished,
and fully past and gone:
Is thy sweet Heart now grown so cold,
that loving Breast of thine;
That thou canst never once reflect
on Old long syne.

On Old long syne my Jo,
in Old long syne,
That thou canst never once reflect,
on Old long syne.

My Heart is ravisht with delight,
when thee I think upon;
All Grief and Sorrow takes the flight,
and speedily is gone;
The bright resemblance of thy Face,
so fills this, Heart of mine;
That Force nor Fate can me displease,
for Old long syne.


Since thoughts of thee doth banish grief,
when from thee I am gone;
will not thy presence yield relief,
to this sad Heart of mine:
Why doth thy presence me defeat,
with excellence divine?
Especially when I reflect
on Old long syne


(several further stanzas)

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

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.


We twa hae run about the braes,
and pu’d the gowans fine ;
But we’ve wander’d mony a weary fit,
sin auld lang syne.


We twa hae paidl’d i' 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 gude-willy waught,
for auld lang syne.


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 about the slopes,
and picked the daisies 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 there’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.


Shid ald akwentans bee firgot,
an nivir brocht ti mynd?
Shid ald akwentans bee firgot,
an ald lang syn*?

Fir ald lang syn, ma jo,
fir ald lang syn,
wil tak a cup o kyndnes yet,
fir ald lang syn.

An sheerly yil bee yur pynt-staup!
an sheerly al bee myn!
An will tak a cup o kyndnes yet,
fir ald lang syn.


We twa hay rin aboot the braes,
an pood the gowans fyn;
Bit weev wandert monae a weery fet,
sin ald lang syn.


We twa hay pedilt in the burn,
fray mornin sun til dyn;
But seas between us bred hay roard
sin ald lang syn.


An thers a han, my trustee feer!
an gees a han o thyn!
And we’ll tak a richt gude-willie-waucht,
fir ald lang syn.


ʃɪd o̜ːld ə.kwɛn.təns bi fəɾ.ɡot,
ən nɪ.vəɾ brɔxt tɪ məin?
ʃɪd o̜ːld ə.kwɛn.təns bi fəɾ.ɡot,
ən o̜ːl lɑŋ səin?

fəɾ o̜ːl lɑŋ səin, mɑ dʒəʊ,
fəɾ o̜ːl lɑŋ səin,
wiːl tɑk ə kʌp ə kəin.nəs jɛt,
fəɾ o̜ːl lɑŋ səin.

ən ʃeː jiːl bi juːɾ pəin.stʌup!
ən ʃeː ɑːl bi məin!
ən wiːl tɑk ə kʌp ə kəin.nəs jɛt,
fəɾ o̜ːl lɑŋ səin.


wi two̜̜ː heː rɪn ə.but ðə breːz,
ən puːd ðə ɡʌu.ənz fəin;
bʌt wiːv wɑn.əɾt mʌ.ne ə wiːɾɪ fɪt,
sɪn o̜ːl laŋ səin.


wi two̜̜ː heː pe.dlt ɪn ðə bʌɾn,
freː moːɾ.nɪn sɪn tɪl dəin;
bʌt siːz ə.twin ʌs bred heː roːrd
sɪn o̜lː laŋ səin.


ən ðeːrz ə ho̜ːn, mɑ trʌs.tɪ fiːɾ!
ən ɡiːz ə ho̜ːn ə ðəin!
ən wiːl tak ə rɪxt ɡɪd wʌ.lɪ wo̜ːxt,
fəɾ o̜lː laŋ səin.


dine = "dinner time"
ch = soft throat clearing sound, similar to "lachen" and "Bach" in German
* syne = "since" or "then" - pronounced "sign" rather than "zine".


The tune to which "Auld Lang Syne" is now commonly sung is a pentatonic Scots folk melody, probably originally a sprightly dance in a much quicker tempo.[12]

English composer William Shield seems to quote the "Auld Lang Syne" melody briefly at the end of the overture to his opera Rosina, which may be its first recorded use. The contention that Burns borrowed the melody from Shield is for various reasons highly unlikely, although they may very well both have taken it from a common source, possibly a strathspey called The Miller's Wedding or The Miller's Daughter. The problem is that tunes based on the same set of dance steps necessarily have a similar rhythm, and even a superficial resemblance in melodic shape may cause a very strong apparent similarity in the tune as a whole. For instance, Burns' poem Coming Through the Rye is sung to a tune that might also be based on the Miller's Wedding. The origin of the tune of God Save the Queen presents a very similar problem and for just the same reason, as it is also based on a dance measure. (See the note in the William Shield article on this subject.)

In 1855, different words were written for the Auld Lang Syne tune by Albert Laighton and titled, "Song of the Old Folks." This song was included in the tunebook, Father Kemp's Old Folks Concert Tunes published in Boston, Massachusetts in 1860.[14]

Songwriter George M. Cohan quotes the first line of the "Auld Lang Syne" melody in the second to last line of the chorus of You're a Grand Old Flag. It is plain from the lyrics that this is deliberate.

John Philip Sousa quotes the melody in the Trio section of his 1924 march "Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company"


At New Year

"Auld Lang Syne" is traditionally sung at the conclusion of New Year gatherings in Scotland and around the world, especially in English speaking countries.

It is common practice that everyone joins hands with the person next to them to form a great circle around the dance floor. At the beginning of the last verse, everyone crosses their arms across their breast, so that the right hand reaches out to the neighbour on the left and vice versa. When the tune ends, everyone rushes to the middle, while still holding hands. When the circle is re-established, everyone turns under the arms to end up facing outwards with hands still joined.

In countries other than Scotland the hands are often crossed from the beginning of the song at variance with Scottish custom. The Scottish practice was demonstrated by the Queen at the Millennium Dome celebrations for the year 2000. The English press berated her for not "properly" crossing her arms, unaware that she was correctly following the Scottish tradition.[15][16]

Other than New Year

As well as celebrating the New Year, Auld Lang Syne is very widely used to symbolise other "endings/new beginnings" – including farewells, funerals, graduations, the end of a (non-New Year) party or a Boy Scout gathering, the election of a new government, the last lowering of the Union Jack as a British Colony achieves independence and even the closing of a retail store. The melody is also widely used for other words, especially the songs of sporting and other clubs, and even national anthems. In Scotland and other parts of Britain, in particular, it is associated with celebrations and memorials of Robert Burns. The following list of specific uses is far from comprehensive.

In the English speaking world

  • In Scotland, it is often sung at the end of a céilidh or a dance.
  • In many Burns Clubs, it is sung at the end of the Burns supper.
  • In Great Britain, it is played at the close of the annual Congress (conference) of the Trades Union Congress.
  • The song is sung at the end of the Last Night of the Proms by the audience (rather than the performers) and so it is not often listed on the official programme.
  • The song is played at the Passing Out Parade of Young Officers in the Royal Navy as the march up the steps of the Britannia Royal Naval College – to the beat of the slow march, after the tune "Will ye no come back?". This custom is also followed in Naval and Military colleges in many other countries, especially members and former members of the Commonwealth of Nations. Examples include the Royal Military College of Canada, the Royal Military College (Malaysia), the National Defence Academy (India) ( ), the Indian Military Academy,the Officers Training Academy(India), the Pakistan Military Academy, and at the equivalent colleges in Burma and Nigeria.
  • The song is sung by senior cadets in the Texas A & M University Corps of Cadets during the annual Final Review which occurs after commencement and commissioning ceremonies on campus. The song is sung at the start of "2nd Pass" during which the outgoing class of seniors stand by and watch the remaining classes of cadets pass in review.
  • Since 2007, the melody has been used as an introduction to the mass chorus of America the Beautiful that is played by the twelve finalist corps at the Finals Retreat at the Drum Corps International World Championships. Coincidentally, "Auld Lang Syne" and "America the Beautiful" have the same metre, and the lyrics can be sung interchangeably.
  • In the Sacred Harp choral tradition, an arrangement of it exists under the name "Plenary". The lyrics are a memento mori and begin with the words "Hark! from the tomb a doleful sound".
  • Another Christian arrangement, once popular in India, is "Hail! Sweetest, Dearest Tie That Binds" by Amos Sutton.[17]
  • In the United States, the song is used as a song of remembrance at memorial events. The University of Virginia's alma mater ("The Good Old Song") is also sung to the tune of "Auld Lang Syne".

In non-English speaking countries

  • In Peru, there is a song based in this melody, it is called "Jipi Jay". It is also used as a farewell song, however, due to its interpretation (afro-Peruvian), it is less sad.
  • In Germany the song is called "Nehmt Abschied Brüder" and is widely used as a farewell song by the members of the DPSG, the largest German scout organization.
  • In India, the melody was the direct inspiration for the popular Bengali song "Purano shei diner kotha" (Memories of the Good Old Days) composed by Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore, and forms one of the more recognisable tunes in Rabindra Sangeet (Rabindra's Songs), a body of work of 2,230 songs and lyrical poems that form the backbone of Bengali music.
  • In Chile, the melody is sung in Spanish as a funeral farewell song, especially in the Catholic Church: "Llegó la hora de decir adiós, digamos, al partir, nuestra canción". ("It's time to say goodbye, let's sing, while we leave, this song"). In fact, the melody is known as "Canción del adiós" ("Farewell Song").
  • In Mexico the song is very popular, both at farewell parties and at the end of Scout gatherings, normally around a big fire, which appears in the words. The words are sung in Spanish "No es más que un hasta luego, no es más que un breve adiós, muy pronto junto al fuego nos reunirá el Señor" (It is just "see you later", it is just a brief farewell, soon around the fire, the Lord will bring us together).
  • In China students sing the song in Chinese for friendship. The translation would probably be, 'Friendship for ever' (友谊地久天长). It is also sung at student graduations and funerals. It has the meaning of the ending of relationships. In China it is more of a sad song.
  • In Denmark, the song was translated in 1927 by the famous Danish poet Jeppe Aakjær. Much like Robert Burns' use of dialect, Aakjær translated the song into the Danish dialect sallingbomål, a dialect from the northern part of western Jutland, south of the Limfjord, often hard for other Danes to understand. The song Skuld gammel venskab rejn forgo ("Should auld acquantaince be forgot" — Scots / "Should old acquaintance be forgotten" — English), is an integral part of the Danish Højskole tradition, and often associated with more rural areas and old traditions. Also, the former Danish rock group Gasolin modernised the melody in 1974 with their pop ballad Stakkels Jim ("Poor Jim").
  • In Finland Auld Lang Syne is best known under name "Tää ystävyys ei raukene", "This friendship shall never end", the song is not as common as the original is in English-speaking countries. The lyrics are "Tää ystävyys ei raukene, vaan kestää ainiaan. On suuri silloin riemumme, kun jälleen kohdataan. Tiet kauas voivat loitota, jää muistot sydämiin. Siis vielä kiitos kaikesta ja terve näkemiin", "This friendship shall never end, but will last forever. Great then is our joy, once we meet again. Our roads may separate, the memories will remain. So thank you for everything and bye farewell."
  • In France this song is known as Ce n'est qu'un au revoir mes frères ("This is just a goodbye my brothers"), and is sung for farewells.
  • In Greece it is very commonly sung translated by the Scouts of Greece. It has the name "Τραγούδι Αποχωρισμού" meaning "Song of Farewell" and it is part of the ending ceremony of scouting Camping trips [lyrics url].
  • In Hungary, this song is often sung by school-leavers at their graduation. The song is translated to Régi, régi dal ("Old, old song").
  • Japanese version of Auld Lang Syne. This song is called 蛍の光 in Japan ("Hotaru no hikari", meaning "Glow of a firefly"). 1m00s
    In Japan, the Japanese students' song Hotaru no hikari ("Glow of a firefly") uses the "Auld Lang Syne" tune. The words describe a series of images of hardships that the industrious student endures in his relentless quest for knowledge, starting with the firefly’s light, which the student uses to keep studying when he has no other light sources. It is commonly heard in graduation ceremonies and at the end of the school day. Many stores and restaurants play it to usher customers out at the end of a business day. The national broadcaster, NHK, also plays this during New Year celebrations.
  • Before the composition of Aegukga, the lyrics of Korea’s national anthem were sung to the tune of this song until composer Ahn Eak-tai composed a new melody to the existing lyrics. Like Japan and Taiwan, it is now used in South Korea as a graduation song and a farewell song to friends or at funerals.
  • Before 1972, it was the tune for the Gaumii salaam anthem of The Maldives (with the current words).
  • In the Netherlands the melody is most known for the Dutch football song Wij houden van Oranje (We love Orange) performed by André Hazes.
  • In Belgium, the original Burns' version is sung among students during a typical cantus. A Dutch adaptation is more widely known among the general population of Flanders and the Netherlands as Ik zeg je geen vaarwel mijn vriend, wij zien elkander weer ("I will not say goodbye, my friend, we will meet once again").
  • In Poland the Braterski krąg (Brotherly Circle) song is set to the same tune. It is traditionally sung by the members of the Polish scouting movement as the penultimate song during their meetings. The lyrics, loosely based on the original, are widely known for their last two verses that could be translated as By another campfire on another night we'll see each other again.
  • In Sudan it was translated into Arabic by MR Ahmed Mohammed Saad in (Bakhat ALridha) institute in 1951. And it is commonly used in new year and graduation ceremonies.
  • In Taiwan, the tune is generally only associated with funeral services. It is played by brass bands which specialise in funerals.
  • In Thailand, the song Samakkhi Chumnum (Together in unity), which is set to the familiar melody, is sung after sports, and at the end of Boy Scout jamborees as well as for the New Year. The meaning is about the King and national unity. It is commonly believed to be a Thai traditional song.
  • In Zimbabwe, the melody is sung in Shona as a funeral farewell song, "Famba zvinyoronyoro, tichasanganiswa muroa ra Jesu", literally, go well, we will be united in the blood of Christ.

Use in films

  • It has been used in a number of films, perhaps the first being the film John Ford' s The Black Watch (1929).It was followed by One Way Passage (1932), which stars William Powell. This was an instrumental version.
  • The song is sung in many of the films produced by Frank Capra, including Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936), Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939) (during Jefferson Smith's acceptance speech for his new appointment to the US Senate), and It's a Wonderful Life (1946).
  • In the Shirley Temple film Wee Willie Winkie (1937), Shirley sings the song to a Scottish soldier on his death bed.
  • The song has been used in the film Waterloo Bridge (1940) —under the name of "The Farewell Waltz"— starring Vivien Leigh and Robert Taylor.
  • The W.S. Van Dyke film I Take This Woman (1940), starring Spencer Tracy and Hedy Lamarr, uses the song at the film's finale, with the patients and staff of a clinic singing it a cappella; the finale of It's a Wonderful Life (1946) is a direct echo of this presentation.
  • It was also used in the 1942 re-release of the Charlie Chaplin film The Gold Rush with added sound, the song is sung at a New Year's Eve party. It is not certain if the same song was sung when the original silent film was released in 1925.
  • Friz Freleng's cartoon The Wabbit Who Came to Supper (1942) has Bugs Bunny suddenly claim that it is New Year's Day to stop Elmer Fudd from chasing him. Bugs starts singing "Auld Lang Syne," only to have Elmer look at a calendar and realize that it is actually July.
  • In the Akira Kurosawa film Scandal (1950), the song is sung on Christmas Eve in a bar. Takashi Shimura, portraying a second-rate and sometimes dishonest lawyer, hears Bokuzen Hidari resolve to be better for his family. Shimura makes the same resolution, and the two drunken men sing "Auld Lang Syne" until everyone in the bar joins in the song.
  • In the Samuel Fuller film The Steel Helmet (1951), the film's main character, Sgt. Zack, requests that the song be played by "Fat Paul" on a portable organ. The group of American soldiers is shocked to find out, after a South Korean boy who has accompanied them recognizes and sings Korean lyrics to the tune, that the melody also serves as the South Korean national anthem.
  • It was sung by submarine crew members celebrating New Year's topside in the Blake Edwards film Operation Petticoat (1959), starring Cary Grant and Tony Curtis.
  • Shirley MacLaine and Fred MacMurray attend a New Year's Eve celebration near the end of the film The Apartment (1960). As the clock chimes in the new year, the attendees sing "Auld Lang Syne" when MacLaine's character Fran Kubelik decides to leave her lover.
  • In the Ronald Neame/Irwin Allen film The Poseidon Adventure (1972), the song is sung by the ship's passengers at midnight on New Year's Eve, moments before the ship is struck by a tidal wave and capsized.
  • The music has also been used in game shows on American television, most notably when the sign changed every year on the CBS Match Game and during the credits on the final episode of the original Concentration in 1973.
  • In The Quiet Earth (1985), Zac and Joanne sing it the during an evening celebration after meeting Api, the third person left on Earth.
  • In Out of Africa (1985), the song is sang by a largely British crowd depicting settlers in British East Africa, but the singing was cut off by a woman who wanted the crowd to sing God save the Queen, much to the chagrin of Karen Blixen (played by Meryl Streep), a Danish woman and the film's main protagonist.
  • In the Bernardo Bertolucci film The Last Emperor (1987), a small Chinese orchestra plays the song on traditional Chinese instruments as the emperor's tutor, Reginald Johnston, boards a ship to leave China and return to England.
  • In(1988) film Young Guns, as John Tunsels boys ride back to the ranch at the dawn of New Years Day.
  • Towards the end of Ghostbusters II (1989), thousands of citizens of New York City sing "Auld Lang Syne," at last united in a moment of peace and love after their collective negativity, which had long been feeding power to the evil Vigo the Carpathian, and in that way weakening the revenant sorcerer enough for the Ghostbusters to defeat him.
  • The song was played in When Harry Met Sally (1989) at the New Year's party in which Harry states he never fully understood what the song meant. He says, "I mean, 'Should old acquaintance be forgot?' Does that mean that we should forget old acquaintances, or does it mean if we happened to forget them, we should remember them, which is not possible because we already forgot 'em?"
  • Forrest's New Year's celebration with Lt. Dan in New York City, in Forrest Gump (1994), has the drunk collective singing "Auld Lang Syne" to welcome in the new year.
  • It was also used in the Triad Trilogy Infernal Affairs (2002) which uses the tune in the second film when a triad has finished killing a gang boss.
  • In the Winnie-the-Pooh direct to video film, "Auld Lang Syne" is sung at the end.
  • Sofie Fatale's cell phone ringtone in the film Kill Bill Volume 1 (2003) is "Auld Lang Syne."
  • The song is sung in the comedy Elf (2003) by Buddy's (Will Ferrell) girlfriend Jovie as Buddy opens gifts with his father and stepmother on Christmas Day.
  • The American PBS television series Great Performances program titled "Garrison Keillor's New Year's Eve Special" (2006) had the audience sing an adaptation of the lyrics with a humorous last verse: "I think of all the great, high hearts I had when I was young / And now who are these sad old farts I find myself among?"
  • In the Rat Pack-movie Ocean's 11 from 1960, you hear the song while Frank Sinatra, Peter Lawford and their crew are robbing casinos on The Las Vegas Strip at New Year's Eve.
  • In the 2008 film Sex and the City, a recording by Scottish singer Mairi Campbell is used during a montage depicting the characters' actions at New Year's. The recording is notable for its use of the original melody as opposed to the commonly performed melody sung today. It is also in contrast to the joyous and jubilant arrangements commonly heard on celebratory occasions, as it consists merely of an acoustic guitar and strings accompanying Campbell's vocals.
  • It is sung by 'Harry' in one of the opening scenes of The Time Traveler's Wife (2009).
  • In the 2009 movie A Brand New Life, it is sung by a couple of times in Korean by kids in an orphanage.
  • In the 1935 film, Gunga Din, the song can be heard at the end of the film when a general is reading aloud the poem of Gunga Din, honoring the fallen warrior.

Some notable performances

  • In October 2000, it was played as the body of former Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau left Parliament Hill in Ottawa for the last time, going to Montreal for the state funeral.
  • On the sinking of the Japanese ship Montevideo Maru in World War II, carrying 1,053 Australians (mostly POWs), the Australians in the water sang this for their trapped mates as the ship went down. Surviving Japanese crewman Yosiaki Yamaji remembers being deeply moved by this.
  • In Pakistan, the tune was played at the formal resignation of President Pervez Musharraf as the country's Chief of Army Staff.
  • On 30 November 2009, students and staff at the University of Glasgow sang the song in 41 different languages simultaneously.[18]
  • In Dunedin, New Zealand, a city with rich Scottish heritage and roots, it was sung after the last ever Rugby Union test match at the famous Carisbrook Stadium between the New Zealand All Blacks and Wales on 19 June 2010.

Notable covers and renditions

  • Jimi Hendrix can be heard playing a version of the song on the 1999 'Live at Fillmore East' recording of a December 31, 1969, concert.
  • Brian Fallon recorded a version with some of his own lyrics on his first release The Coffeehouse Sessions.
  • Me First and the Gimme Gimmes covered the song on the album Ruin Jonny's Bar Mitzvah.
  • Elvis Presley released his version on his album Elvis - New Year's Eve '76 (Live In Pittsburgh).
  • Canadian band Barenaked Ladies performed a rendition of the song "Auld Lang Syne" on their 2004 CD Barenaked for the Holidays.
  • Billy Joel sang and released "Auld Lang Syne" in his live CD titled 2000 Years: The Millennium Concert, and is known to play the song both lyrically or piano solo in his concerts during holiday seasons.
  • Kenny G recorded a saxophone version of the song in 1999 to commemorate the Millennium.
  • Bobby Darin recorded a Christmas version in 1960, titled "Christmas Auld Lang Syne"
  • Prince performed "Auld Lang Syne" on 12/31/87 with Miles Davis, and transitioned into "Purple Rain" to the same chords as "Purple Rain".
  • Mariah Carey covered the song for her 13th studio album, Merry Christmas II You, and released it as the album's second single on December 14, 2010.[19]
  • American country-pop singer Juice Newton included a gospel version of "Auld Lang Syne" on her 2007 The Gift of Christmas album.
  • Dougie MacLean, Scottish singer-songwriter, sang "Auld Lang Syne" on his 1996 Tribute album.
  • Tom Waits uses "Auld Lang Syne" as the motif of the song "New Years" on his 2011 album "Bad as Me".


  1. ^ Dictionary of the Scots language
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b The History and Words of Auld Lang Syne
  4. ^ a b Burns, Robert (1947) [[[Transcribed]] 1788]. George Frederick Maine. ed (in English and Scots) (leather-bound sextodecimo). Songs from Robert Burns 1759–1796. Collins Greetings Booklets. Glasgow: Collins Clear-Type Press. pp. 47–48. "This book was purchased at Burns Cottage, and was reprinted in 1967, and 1973" 
  5. ^ a b
  6. ^ a b Lindsay, Maurice (December 1996) [1959]. "Auld Lang Syne". The Burns Encyclopedia (New Third ed.). Robert Hale Ltd.. pp. 448 pages. ISBN 0-7090-5719-9. Retrieved 28 December 2007. 
  7. ^ Links to the original and contemporary melodies can be found here
  8. ^ Lynch, Stephen (31 December 1999). "New Year's song remains ingrained in public mind". The Orange County Register. 
  9. ^ "Holiday Parties at Lenox". The New York Times: pp. 10. 5 January 1896. 
  10. ^ "New Year's Eve in London". Washington Post: pp. 12. 2 January 1910. 
  11. ^ The Lilly Library, Guide to the Collections: British Literature
  12. ^ a b c Electric Scotland history site
  13. ^ Wilson, James (Sir) (1923) The dialect of Robert Burns as spoken in central Ayrshire, Oxford University Press.
  14. ^ Father Kemp and Auld Lang Syne
  15. ^ Aslet, Clive (13 July 2007). "One doesn't do tantrums and tiaras – Telegraph". London: Retrieved 25 November 2008. 
  16. ^ "Queen stays at arm's length". Retrieved 10 December 2010. 
  17. ^ Hail! Sweetest, Dearest Tie That Binds
  18. ^ "'New record' for Auld Lang Syne". BBC News. 30 November 2009. Retrieved 25 April 2010. 
  19. ^

External links

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  • Auld Lang Syne — ([ˈɔːld lɑŋˈsəin], рус. Старое доброе время) шотландская песня на стихи Роберта Бёрнса, написанная в 1788 году. [1] Известна во многих странах, особенно англоязычных, и чаще всего поётся при встрече Нового года, сразу после полуночи. Содержание 1 …   Википедия

  • Auld Lang Syne — Frank C. Stanley, 1910 Auld Lang Syne (Scots, auf Englisch wörtlich „old long since“, sinngemäße Ü …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Auld Lang Syne — es una canción patrimonial escocesa cuya letra consiste en un poema escrito en 1788[1] por Robert Burns, uno de los poetas escoceses más populares. Se suele utilizar en momentos solemnes, como aquéllos en que alguien se despide, se inicia o acaba …   Wikipedia Español

  • Auld Lang Syne — Frank C. Stanley, 1910 Plus connu des francophones sous le titre de Ce n est qu un au revoir, Auld lang syne signifie en …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Auld lang syne — A Scottish phrase used in recalling recollections of times long since past. The days of auld lang syne. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Auld Lang Syne — a Scottish song that people sing when they celebrate the beginning of the new year at 12 o clock ↑midnight on December 31st …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • Auld Lang Syne — [ ,ɔld læŋ zaın ] a Scottish song that people sing at midnight on NEW YEAR S EVE, when the new year begins …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • auld lang syne — [ôld′ laŋ′ zīn′, ôld′ laŋ′sīn′] n. [Scot, lit., old long since] old times; the good old days (of one s youth, etc.) …   English World dictionary

  • auld lang syne — n. times long past. Etymology: Sc., = old long since: also as the title and refrain of a song * * * |ōˌlaŋˈzīn, |ōlˌlaŋ , |ōlˌdaŋ , aiŋ also |ōlˌdla or |ȯl or |äl or |ȧl or ˈsīn noun Etymology …   Useful english dictionary

  • auld lang syne — Meaning Times past. Literally translated from the Scottish as old long since . Origin From the Robert Burns poem. Should auld acquaintance be forgot, And never brought to mind? Should auld acquaintance be forgot, And auld lang syne! Chorus. For… …   Meaning and origin of phrases

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