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Auld Lang Syne: The Story and Lyrics So You Can Sing Along

Auld Lang Syne: The Story and Lyrics So You Can Sing Along

As you ring in the new year at the stroke of midnight, you may find yourself singing that famous New Year’s anthem, Auld Lang Syne, written by Robert Burns back in the 1700s.

Even though we sing it, not many of us really know the lyrics or what they mean. The words auld lang syne translate to, literally, for old times’ sake, and the tune is about remembering friends from the past, and not letting them be forgotten.

Despite its association with New Year’s Eve, Auld Lang Syne was a song that had nothing to do with any holiday. It was Guy Lombardo who popularized the song when his band played it between programming during a live radio broadcast in New York in 1929.  The band played Auld Lang Syne right at the stroke of midnight, and a tradition was born.

So here are the lyrics to that famous song:

Auld Lang Syne

by Robert Burns

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


From all of us at the Farmers’ Almanac, we wish a very happy New Year to all our friends from the past and the present.

Take a listen to this beautiful version by Scottish singer Mairi Campbell.

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  • Mary Almeida says:

    Thank you Farmers Almanac. Now I know the words of a very old New Years song. Happy New Year to all of you at Farmers Almanac.

  • Barbara Wroblewski says:

    Thank you, Farmer’s Almanac, for answering a question I’ve had for a very long time ! I’ve always enjoyed singing this song on New Year’s Eve, & now that I now what it means, I will enjoy it even more !!

  • Deborah Suddreth says:

    Love the lyrics
    Thankyou Farmers Almanac.

  • Cyndy says:

    Having grown up in Scotland, the land of the Author “Robbie Burns” . the translation for Auld Langs Syne , is For Old Times Sake.

  • Cyndy says:

    Old Langs Syne _ Translation – is For Old Times Sake

  • Melba Osborn says:

    Please me what the words “Auld Lang Syne” mean.

  • Bob says:

    Thanks!…. now lets sing!

  • Waymon Hughen says:

    Auld Lang Syne to all my friends…2015 has to be better. Love you all…Waymon

  • Valerie says:

    It was always sang before that through out the world. Perhaps in the U.S. it became popular
    in 1929. But I know by experience it was sang before that. Have a Happy Hogmanay !



  • Cynthia says:

    Never knew all the words. Thank you for sharing

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