Full lyrics to Auld Lang Syne – and what it actually all means

Singing Auld Lang Syne at the stroke of midnight has been a popular New Year's Eve tradition for many years.

The custom originally started in Scotland, before spreading to the rest of the British Isles and to many other countries around the world.

At the end of Hogmanay celebrations it is traditional for people to join hands in a circle while the song plays, and then – at the start of the last verse – to cross their arms so their right hand goes to the person on their left, and vice versa.

In other English speaking countries, people tend to cross their arms and dance for the whole song.

Here's where Auld Lang Syne came from, what it means, and the lyrics – in case you want to sing along from home:

What does Auld Lang Syne mean?

Auld Lang Syne literally translates as "old long since", but it really means "days gone by" or "old times".

It's a nostalgic song about old friends catching up over a few drinks, reminiscing on the past, and looking towards the future – perfect for New Year's Eve.

Auld Lang Syne was written by poet Robert Burns, who said he "took it down from an old man".

It quickly became a Scottish tradition to sing it at midnight on New Year's Eve, as a farewell to the year just gone.

In Scotland it's also traditionally sung at the end of funerals, weddings and ceilidhs, as well as on Burns Night (25 January).

What are the lyrics to Auld Lang Syne?

If you want to sing along to Auld Lang Syne on New Year's Eve this year, the lyrics are as follows:

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,

and never brought to mind?

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,

and days of 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-stoup!

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 pou’d the gowans fine;

But we’ve wander’d mony a weary fit,

sin' auld lang syne.

CHORUS

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.

CHORUS

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.

CHORUS

What are the lyrics in English?

Auld Lang Syne translated into English goes like this:

Should old acquaintance be forgot,

and never brought to mind?

Should old acquaintance be forgot,

and days of long ago?

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CHORUS:

For days of long ago, my dear,

for days of long ago,

we'll take a cup of kindness yet,

for days of long ago.

And surely you’ll buy your pint cup!

and surely I’ll buy mine!

And we'll take a cup o’ kindness yet,

for days of long ago.

CHORUS

We two have run about the slopes,

and picked the daisies fine;

But we’ve wandered many a weary foot,

since days of long ago.

CHORUS

We two have paddled in the stream,

from morning sun till dine;

But seas between us broad have roared

since days of long ago.

CHORUS

And there’s a hand my trusty friend!

And give me a hand o’ thine!

And we’ll take a right good-will draught,

for days of long ago.

CHORUS

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