Who wrote Auld Lang Syne?


"Auld Lang Syne" was penned by Robert Burns in 1788 as part of his effort to preserve Scottish language and culture after the formation of the United Kingdom in 1707, which merged Scotland and England. Burns embarked on a journey across the country to collect and publish old Scots poetry and songs, ensuring that this aspect of Scotland's linguistic heritage would not be lost to time. "Auld Lang Syne" was among the songs he discovered, featuring a blend of Scots and English words.


What does "Auld Lang Syne" mean?


The title of the song is in Scots, a language closely related to English. According to the 2011 census, approximately 1.5 million Scottish individuals reported fluency in Scots. "Auld Lang Syne" translates directly to "old long since" and is a reflection on reminiscing about the past, particularly fond memories and cherished moments from days gone by.



What are the lyrics in Auld Lang Syne?


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!

we’ll tak’ a cup o’ kindness yet,

for auld  lang  syne.


We twa hae run about the braes,

and pou’d the gowans fine;

But we’ve wander’d mony a weary fitt,

sin’ auld  lang  syne.


We twa hae paidl’d in 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-willie-waught,

for auld  lang  syne.



Here's a handy guide to some of the Scots in the poem to help you understand what you're singing!


Auld lang syne - Old long since/for old times' sake

My jo - My dear

Tak - Take

Ye’ll be your pint-stowp - You’ll buy your pint glass

We twa hae run about the braes - We too have run about the hills

Pou’d the gowans fine - Picked the fine daisies

Mony a weary fitt - Many a weary foot

Sin' - Since 

Paidl’d in the burn - Paddled in the burn / paddled in the stream

Frae morning sun till dine - From the morning sun till dinner time

Braid hae roar’d - But seas between us broad have roared

My trusty fiere - My trusty friend

Gie’s a hand o’ thine - Give us a hand of yours (this is a reference to the cross-armed dance you do in a circle at Christmas)

A right gude-willie-waught - Good-will draught / merry sip from a pint