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Auld Lang Syne lyrics: All the words to the traditional song ahead of New Year’s Eve

Auld Lang Syne lyrics: All the words to the traditional song ahead of New Year’s Eve

Every New Year’s Eve, many of us will come to the realisation that we don’t actually know the words to “Auld Lang Syne”.

Belting out the song as the clock strikes midnight is a long-held tradition in Scotland and around the world, but, after confidently singing the first line, you most likely end up singing “la laaaa la la la” over the actual words.

Given the song’s popularity, it’s quite funny how very few people can actually recite the (relatively short) anthem.

It derives from a 1788 Scots poem by Robert Burns – but the poet actually never intended the piece to act as a farewell to the old year.

After writing it, he sent the poem to the Scots Musical Museum accompanied with a note that read: “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.”

The phrase “for auld lang syne” essentially means “for (the sake of) old times”, which positions it as an apt song to sing at a time when people reflect on the past 12 months.

While there are several variations of what’s sung on New Year’s Eve, below is Burns’s original Scots verse followed by a simplified English translation.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Burns’ original Scots verse

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’lltak‘ a cup o’ kindness yet,for auld lang syne.

And surely ye’ll be your pint-stoup! 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 pou’d the gowans fine; But we’ve wander’d mony a weary fit, sin' auld lang syne.

CHORUS

We twa hae paidl’d in the burn, frae morning sun till dine; But seas between us braid hae roar’dsin' 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 gude-willie waught,for auld lang syne.

CHORUS

English translation

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

CHORUS: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.

CHORUS

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

CHORUS

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

CHORUS

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.

CHORUS