Whenever midnight rolls around on New Year’s Day, chances are some will burst into song with the classic tune “Auld Lang Syne.” However, many people aren’t aware of the meaning behind the song and its history.

“Auld Lang Syne” was actually a poem that was sent to the Scots Musical Museum by Robert Burns in 1778. The museum learned the piece was from ancient times, but Burns was the first to write it down on paper, according to Scotland.org

The phrase “auld lang syne” roughly translates to “for old times’ sake.” The goal of the song is to reflect on the events that took place over the year and maintaining friendships.

In 2020, some people are using the song for important films. A church in Alabama has chosen to use the song to reflect on the racial injustice over the last year in the film, “For The Sake Of Old Times,” according to NPR

The goal of the film is to answer the question of whether or not the past should be forgotten.

In Scotland, the song is sung just before midnight on New Year’s Eve and traditionally sees the group that is celebrating standing in a circle and holding hands. 

However, when the final verse begins, the group crosses their arms across their bodies and use their left hand to hold the hand of the person to their right and their right hand to hold the hand of the person to their left.

Once the song ends, everyone runs to the middle while still holding hands and often burst into laughter.

Check out the complete original lyrics to “Auld Lang Syne” to sing when celebrating the new year.

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,

And never brought to mind?

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,

And auld lang syne.

Chorus

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!

And we’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,

For auld lang syne.

Chorus

We twa hae run about the braes

And pu’d the gowans fine;

But we’ve wander’d mony a weary foot

Sin auld lang syne.

Chorus

We twa hae paidl’d i’ the burn,

Frae mornin’ sun till dine;

But seas between us braid hae roar’d

Sin auld lang syne.

Chorus

And there’s a hand, my trusty fiere!

And gie’s a hand o’ thine!

And we’ll tak a right guid willy waught,

For auld lang syne.

Chorus

Should old acquaintance be forgot,

And never brought to mind?

Should old acquaintance be forgot,

And long, long ago.

Chorus

And for long, long ago, my dear

For long, long ago,

We’ll take a cup of kindness yet,

For long, long ago

And surely youll buy your pint-jug!

And surely I’ll buy mine!

And we’ll take a cup of kindness yet,

For long, long ago.

Chorus

We two have run about the hills

And pulled the daisies fine;

But we’ve wandered manys the weary foot

Since long, long ago.

Chorus

We two have paddled in the stream,

From morning sun till dine;

But seas between us broad have roared

Since long, long ago.

Chorus

And there’s a hand, my trusty friend!

And give us a hand of yours!

And we’ll take a deep draught of good-will

For long, long ago.

The New Year will be a time for many to reflect on the challenges of the past 12 months The New Year will be a time for many to reflect on the challenges of the past 12 months Photo: AFP / Armend NIMANI