"Auld Lang Syne" (Scots pronunciation: [ˈɔːl(d) lɑŋˈsəin]: note "s" rather than "z") is a Scots-language poem written by Robert Burns in 1788 and set to the tune of a traditional folk song (Roud # 6294). It is well known in many countries, especially in the English-speaking world, its traditional use being to bid farewell to the old year at the stroke of midnight on New Year's Eve. By extension, it is also sung at funerals, graduations, and as a farewell or ending to other occasions. The international Scouting movement in many countries uses it to close jamborees and other functions.
The poem's Scots title may be translated into standard English as "old long since" or, more idiomatically, "long long ago", "days gone by", or "old times". Consequently, "For auld lang syne", as it appears in the first line of the chorus, might be 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. 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." 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, and is almost certainly derived from the same "old song".
To quote from the first stanza of the James Watson ballad:
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,
On old long syne,
That thou canst never once reflect,
On old long syne.
It is a fair supposition to attribute the rest of the poem to Burns himself.
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.
The song begins by posing a rhetorical question: Is it right that old times be forgotten? The answer is generally interpreted as a call to remember long-standing friendships. 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.
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.
Burns' original Scots verse
Scots pronunciation guide
(as Scots speakers would sound)
IPA pronunciation guide
(Burns' own Ayrshire dialect)
† dine = "dinner time"
‡ ch = voiceless velar fricative, /x/, at the back of the mouth like /k/ but with the mouth partly open like /f/. Similar to "Bach" in German
* syne = "since" or "then" – pronounced like "sign" rather than "zine".
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.)
Beethoven wrote an arrangement of Auld Lang Syne (WoO 156/11) in the original brisk strathspey rhythm - published as part of his 12 Scottish Folksongs (1814).
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. For many years it was the tradition of the Stoughton Musical Society to sing this version in memory of those who had died that year.
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; the melody is identical except the first syllable of the word "forgot".
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 setting, using the name "Fair Haven" for the same tune, uses the text "Hail! Sweetest, Dearest Tie That Binds" by Amos Sutton.
"Auld Lang Syne" is traditionally sung at the conclusion of New Year gatherings in Scotland and around the world, especially in English-speaking countries.
At Hogmanay in Scotland, 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 Queen Elizabeth II 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.
As well as celebrating the New Year, "Auld Lang Syne" is very widely used to symbolise other "endings/new beginnings" – including farewells, funerals (and other memorials of the dead), graduations, the end of a (non-New Year) party, jamborees of the Scout Movement, the election of a new government, the last lowering of the Union Jack as a British colony achieves independence and even as a signal that a retail store is about to close for the day. The melody is also widely used for other words, especially hymns, 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.
"Auld Lang Syne" has been translated into many languages, and the song is widely sung all over the world. The song's pentatonic scale matches scales used in Korea, Japan, India, China and other East Asian countries, which has facilitated its "nationalisation" in the East. The following particular examples mostly detail things that are special or unusual about the use of the song in a particular country.
The strong and obvious associations of the song and its melody have made it a common staple for film soundtracks from the very early days of "talking" pictures to the present—a large number of films and television series' episodes having used it for background, generally but by no means exclusively to evoke the New Year.
As a standard in music, "Auld Lang Syne" has been recorded many times, in every conceivable style, by many artists, both well-known and obscure.
This book was purchased at Burns Cottage, and was reprinted in 1967, and 1973
"Aegukga" (Korean: 애국가; Hanja: 愛國歌, pronounced [ɛːɡuk͈ːa]; lit. "Love Country Song"), often translated as "The Patriotic Song", is the national anthem of South Korea. It was adopted in 1948, the year the country was founded. Its music was composed in the 1930s and its lyrics date back to the 1890s. The lyrics of "Aegukga" were originally set to the music of the Scottish song "Auld Lang Syne" before Ahn Eak-tai composed a unique melody specifically for it in 1935. Before the founding of South Korea, the song's lyrics, set to the music of "Auld Lang Syne", was sung, as well as during Korea under Japanese rule by dissidents. The version set to the melody composed by Ahn Eak-tai was adopted as the national anthem of the Korean exile government, which existed during Korea's occupation by Japan from the early 1910s to the mid-1940s.
"Aegukga" has four verses, but on most occasions only the first one, followed by the chorus, is sung when performed publicly at events such as baseball games and soccer matches.Auld Lang Syne (1917 film)
Auld Lang Syne is a 1917 British silent crime film directed by Sidney Morgan and starring Violet Graham, Henry Baynton and Sydney Fairbrother. The film is notable for marking the screen debut of Jack Buchanan who went on to be a leading star. It was produced in a film studio at Ebury Street in Westminster.Auld Lang Syne (1929 film)
Auld Lang Syne (1929) is a British musical film directed by George Pearson and starring Harry Lauder, Dorothy Boyd, and Patrick Aherne. It was originally made as a silent film, but in September 1929 sound was added. It was shot at Cricklewood Studios in Cricklewood, London.Auld Lang Syne (1937 film)
Auld Lang Syne is a 1937 British historical drama film directed by James A. Fitzpatrick and starring Andrew Cruickshank, Christine Adrian and Marian Spencer. It portrays the life of the eighteenth century Scottish poet Robert Burns. The film was a quota quickie, produced at Shepperton Studios for distribution by MGM. Quota costume films were rare, as the costs generally exceeded the limited budgets allowed for productions.Auld Lang Syne (Bing Crosby album)
Auld Lang Syne is a compilation album of phonograph records by Bing Crosby released in 1948 featuring songs that were sung by Crosby and also by Fred Waring and his Glee Club. The songs were later presented in 33 1/3 rpm and 45 rpm sets, respectively. This set featured many of Bing's great hits such as: Silver Threads Among the Gold and Now Is the Hour.Auld Lang Syne (Suidakra album)
Auld Lang Syne is the second studio album by the German melodic death metal band Suidakra.Auld Lang Syne (The New Year's Anthem)
"Auld Lang Syne (The New Year's Anthem)" is a song by American singer and songwriter Mariah Carey from her second Christmas album/thirteenth studio album, Merry Christmas II You (2010). The second single from the album, an extended play consisting of nine remixes was released by Island on December 14, 2010. Using the public domain poem "Auld Lang Syne" by Robert Burns, Carey along with Randy Jackson and Johnny "Sev" Severin (of RedOne) composed a new arrangement, added lyrics and re-titled it. The track garnered a negative response from critics, all of whom disliked how Carey had re-composed the poem into a house song. An accompanying music video was released featuring a pregnant Carey singing in front of a background of exploding fireworks. "Auld Lang Syne (The New Year's Anthem)" charted on the lower regions of the South Korean international singles charts and at number nine on the US Holiday Digital Songs chart.Auld Lang Syne (comics)
Auld Lang Syne is a comic based on the Angel television series.Auld Lang Syne (disambiguation)
Auld Lang Syne is a poem written by Robert Burns and set to the tune of a traditional folk song.
Auld Lang Syne may also refer to:
Auld Lang Syne (Bing Crosby album), 1948 album
Auld Lang Syne (Suidakra album), 1998 album
Auld Lang Syne (solitaire), a solitaire card game
Auld Lang Syne (comics), a comic based on the Angel television series
For Auld Lang Syne, a quest in Fallout: New VegasAuld Lang Syne (solitaire)
Auld Lang Syne is a solitaire card game which is played with a deck of 52 playing cards. It is a game which is somewhat akin to Sir Tommy, except in the dealing of the deck.Hogmanay
Hogmanay (Scots: [ˌhɔɡməˈneː]; English: HOG-mə-NAY) is the Scots word for the last day of the year and is synonymous with the celebration of the New Year (Gregorian calendar) in the Scottish manner. It is normally followed by further celebration on the morning of New Year's Day (1 January) or, in some cases, 2 January—a Scottish bank holiday.
The origins of Hogmanay are unclear, but it may be derived from Norse and Gaelic observances. Customs vary throughout Scotland, and usually include gift-giving and visiting the homes of friends and neighbours, with special attention given to the first-foot, the first guest of the new year.Ledyard Bank Classic
The Ledyard Bank Classic (formerly the Auld Lang Syne Classic) is a college Division I men's ice hockey tournament played before New Years at the Thompson Arena in Hanover, New Hampshire, the home arena for Dartmouth College.
The tournament was first held in 1978 and was usually played on the final two days of December every year until 1988. Since then it was played infrequently (though with no more than a two-year gap between events) until 2008 when it returned to an annual schedule which it continues to possess. In 2002 the holiday tournament changed its name from 'Auld Lang Syne' to 'Ledyard Bank' due to sponsorship.
In 2016 the schedule was set before the event and, as such, it did not have a championship game.Old Nassau
"Old Nassau" has been Princeton University's alma mater since 1859. Harlan Page Peck was the lyricist and Carl A. Langlotz (sometimes Karl Langlotz) was the composer. The lyrics were changed in 1987 to address sexism at the newly co-educational institution. For a brief time the song was sung to the melody of "Auld Lang Syne" before Langlotz wrote the music on demand. The lyrics were the result of a songwriting contest by the Nassau Literary Review.Platinum (quartet)
Platinum is a barbershop quartet, created in 1998 and the 2000 SPEBSQSA international quartet champions. They are famous for their long posts (held notes at the end of songs), particularly in their adaptation of the song Be Our Guest and in Clay Hine's arrangement of Auld Lang Syne, which is on Platinum's CD of the same name.
Connelly and DeRosa were also members of the 1992 international champion quartet Keepsake. Connelly won gold in 1987 with the quartet Interstate Rivals and again in 2011 with the quartet Old School. DeRosa and Lewis are the lead and baritone of the 2007 Champions, MaxQ. Kevin Miles has been a member of The Dapper Dans and has served as the Voice of Epcot Center, both at Walt Disney World.
Platinum was notable for scoring the most points for a single quartet's song in the history of the contest with their rendition of Cuddle Up A Little Closer, Lovey Mine, in which they scored 1438 points out of a possible 1500.Rarities (The Beach Boys album)
Rarities is a Beach Boys compilation album released in 1983 by Capitol Records. It is a collection of outtakes, alternate mixes and B-sides recorded between 1962 and 1970. Included are songs written or made popular by the Beatles, the Box Tops, Stevie Wonder, Ersel Hickey and Lead Belly. Also featured are several standards, such as "The Lord's Prayer" and "Auld Lang Syne". The album sold poorly and quickly went out of print.Same Old Lang Syne
"Same Old Lang Syne" is a song written and sung by Dan Fogelberg released as a single in 1980. It was also included on his 1981 album The Innocent Age. The song is an autobiographical narrative ballad told in the first person and tells the story of two long-ago romantic interests meeting by chance in a grocery store on Christmas Eve. The song peaked at #9 on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart and is now frequently played during the holiday season and alongside traditional Christmas songs.Violet Graham
Violet Graham (1890–1967) was an English stage and film actress. Graham played leading roles in several films of the silent era, often appearing in those of the director Sidney Morgan such as Auld Lang Syne. Graham was in the original cast of the 1909 musical The Arcadians.Wir warten auf's Christkind...
Wir warten auf's Christkind... or Wir warten auf's Christkind (We're waiting for the Christ-child) is a Christmas album by the German punk band Die Toten Hosen, released under the alias Die Roten Rosen (the second time the alias is used; the first time was on a cover album).
For Australia, a version with an English language title Waiting for Santa Claus... or Waiting for Santa Claus, subtitled a Christmas album, was released, under the name Die Toten Hosen, not Die Roten Rosen.
Many of the traditional Christmas songs have altered lyrics, having themes like drugs ("Ihr Kinderlein kommet", "Leise rieselt der Schnee") or orgasming ("Jingle Bells"). "Ave Maria" is an instrumental intro. "Leise rieselt der Schnee", "Alle Jahre wieder" and "Frohes Fest" originally appeared on the single of "Sascha ...ein aufrechter Deutscher"; here they are re-recorded, the first two sounding much more like rock and "Frohes Fest" has slightly different lyrics. "Still, still, still" is sung by Kuddel in a harsh voice.
The album is inspired by The Yobs Christmas Album, which is in concept very similar to Wir warten...: it was released by the Boys under a pseudonym (The Yobs), includes traditional Christmas song covers and a couple of original songs and the lyrics are changed to sound offensive.