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Auld Lang Syne : A song for New Years celebration, by Robert Burns

Updated on December 31, 2012

This hub is dedicated to the man, Robert Burns for composing the famous song “Auld Lang Syne”, a song for New Years celebration.

Every year, we celebrate the coming of new year, and most of us would hear the song “Auld Lang Syne” from the television or from any other celebration or parties we are attending. I am just wondering where does this famous song originated, that’s what prompted me to do a research about the famous song and I want to share it with you.

Meaning of Auld Lang Syne

The phrase simply means “old long since” or “long time ago”, and “days gone by“. You can also translate it as “once upon a time“. In short, the days of Auld Lang Syne simply means a day long ago, and is also used in retelling of fairy tales like…Once upon a time….

How to sing the song Auld Lang Syne

Those who are participating usually cross their arms and link arms with each other people on each side of them. You then cross your arms and then your left hand links with the crossed left hand of the other person on your left and the opposite happens for the person on your right. You can either stand in rows or in a large circle formation. Normally a large circle is the Scottish way of singing it. It is often say that a very large celebrations, thousands of people will sing the lyrics of this song, the circle can take up whole dance floors or even the length of a street.

It is sung also as loyalty to a friend and remembering the good old days you shared with them.

 Robert Burns (25 January 1759  21 July 1796) (also known as Rabbie Burns, Scottish poet, who wrote the "Auld Lang Syne"
Robert Burns (25 January 1759 21 July 1796) (also known as Rabbie Burns, Scottish poet, who wrote the "Auld Lang Syne" | Source

History of the Song Auld Lang Syne

In 1788 Robert Burns, a Scottish man wrote a poem which later on became the most famous song during New Years eve, the Old Lang Syne. It is greatly sang in all parts for the world specially in English speaking countries. Aside from the New years eve, the song is also sang during the celebration of Robert Burns day or Burns night. According to history Burns supper is common in Scotland and is celebrated on January 25 every year. This is his near his birthdate and in memory of his life and works. It is also known as Robert Burns Day or Burns Night (Burns Nicht), although they may in principle be held at any time of the year.

The original of the song was submitted by Burns to the Scott Musical Museum, and accompanying the song he wrote this note “The following song, an old song of the old times, and which has never been in print, nor even in manuscript until I took it down from an old man”. The song was popularized by Guy Lombard (Canadian band member) in the united States and Canada where he recorded it twice, once in 1929 and in 1947. It became his trademark when he open his live broadcast in radio and in television too. It became popular ever since.

Since it first creating by Burns in the song has been popularized everywhere in the world. Although it has been known at first to be sang in Scottland, some Britons and English people shared the song to the world when they travel or immigrate to other place.

Some of known poets like Robert Ayton 1570–1638), Allan Ramsay (1686–1757), and James Watson (1711) used the term before Burns finally made the poem which turned into a song for every new years day celebration.

It was also said to be sang in the two most popular event in the early 19th century

"Holiday Parties at Lenox (Massachusetts, USA) (1896)

"New Year's Eve in London (London, England) (1910)

Now we know where Auld Lang Syne came from : A song for New Years celebration, by Robert Burns came from. I am inviting you all to celebrate with me and sing the song. Cheers, Happy New Year to all!

auld lang syne by Andre Rieu

Auld Lang Syne (first two paragraphs)

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.


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