Auld Lang Syne — A History

 

bannerIt is to Scottish songwriter, Robert Burns, that the world owes its debt for the beautiful poem of Auld Lang Syne.  Interestingly, it’s become almost an  anthem that is recognized and sung all around the world

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As the website at www.scotland.org says: “Auld Lang Syne is one of Scotland’s gifts to the world, recalling the love and kindness of days gone by, but in the communion of taking our neighbours’ hands, it also gives us a sense of belonging and fellowship to take into the future.”

Burns penned the poem in 1788 and it is said to be set to an old folk song from the Lowland in Scots tradition, but interestingly, the melody sung the world round on New Year’s is not the original tune that the music was set to.  The older tune is said to be sung in Scotland in tradition.  I couldn’t find the melody for this old tune, but I wish I had — I’d love to hear what it was all about.

Another interesting fact is that it was Guy Lombardo who popularized the song and its use at New Year’s — although the song was brought to the United States by Scottish immigrants.  Lombardo started his broadcasts in 1929 — and it just somehow caught on — to the world at large.

 

In the words of Robert Burns, himself:

“… is not the Scots phrase, ‘Auld Lang Syne’, exceedingly expressive – there is an old song and tune which has often thrilled thro’ my soul”.

Robert Burns, a very handsome young man, who though born a peasant, yet  lived with vigor and unfortunately for the world at large died young of rheumatic fever, even as his wife was giving birth to their 9th child.  He was only 37 years old.

9 children?  Goodness, he was busy, wasn’t he?  But he gave the world so much!

The words to Auld Lang Syne — taken from the website:  www.scotland.org/ features/ item/ the-history-and-words-of-auld-langsyne

Fancy singing along yourself? Here are the verses, and a translation of the words to Auld Lang Syne:

Scots Language version

Auld Lang Syne

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

English translated version

Long, Long Ago

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.

Chorus

Karen Kay
KAREN KAY aka GEN BAILEY is the multi-published author of American Indian Historical Romances. She has written for such prestigious publishers as AVON/HarperCollins, Berkley/Penguin/Putnam and Samhain Publishing. KAREN KAY’S great grandmother was Choctaw Indian and Kay is honored to be able to write about the American Indian Culture.
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Updated: December 18, 2014 — 8:44 pm

14 Comments

  1. Thank you for a very interesting post, Karen Kay, and Happy New Year!

    1. Hi Melanie!

      Thank you. I wish the same to you. : )

  2. Yes, very interesting. Thankss for the translation from wwhen he wrote it. Have a Happy New Years.
    Carol L
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

    1. Hi Carol!

      Thank you so very much!

  3. This is really interesting. I really never gave it much thought as to who wrote it.

    1. You interestingly, it’s said that in Communism, the philosophy goes that no one wrote the songs or music that we love and that we sing. No wonder that philosophy or type of government is so devoid of beauty. Oh, well…

  4. Very interesting. Thank you for sharing with us.

  5. I like seeing the differences between the original and the translated one… thanks for sharing Karen! 🙂

    1. Thank you, Charlene! And a Happy New Year to you, too!

  6. Thanks for the post and the translation.

    I hope you have a wonderful New Year.

    1. Thanks so much, Patricia!

      Happy New Year to you, too!

Comments are closed.