When the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve the familiar tune “Auld Lang Syne” will play as revelers slosh back sparking wine — or whatever their choice of drink may be. People will begin to sing the words, “Should old acquaintance be forgot …” and probably get lost somewhere after that. In this instance, booze isn’t to blame even though alcohol consumption might be high. Most people don’t know the words to the famous Scottish song sober.
The full lyrics to the song have been provided below, but for those who are curious about the origin and meaning to the lyrics of “Auld Lang Syne,” continue reading:
Scottish poet Robert Burns is credited with writing the lyrics to the classic New Year’s tune. The overall meaning of the song is remembering kindness and love experienced in the past, and the point is to have listeners band together to bring a sense of union and belonging into the future.
“Auld Lang Syne” directly translates to “old long ago.” However, the way it is used in the song essentially means the “good old days” or “times gone by.”
The song was never intended to be a New Year’s tune — or for holiday use at all, ABC News noted. Even though it was written in the 1700s, it didn’t become popular in North America until Guy Lombardo’s orchestra played it on the radio in 1929, USA Today wrote.
There are dozens of versions of the song, but one of the most popular adaptations is the one that’s heard in “When Harry Met Sally.” Billy Crystal’s character, Harry, questions the meaning of the song when talking to Sally, who is famously played by Meg Ryan.
In the first “Sex in the City” movie, “Auld Lang Syne” plays while Carrie rushes to meet Miranda before midnight hits on New Year’s Eve.
To sing along without missing a word, check out the lyrics:
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.
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.
Have a safe and happy new year, everyone.
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