New Year's Poetry: Auld Lang Syne

New Year's Poetry: Auld Lang Syne

Happy New Year to everyone! To celebrate the day, let's take a look at a classic poem traditionally associated with New Year's Day: "Auld Lang Syne," written down by Scottish poet Robert Burns and based on traditional Scottish lyrics and melody.

Let's begin by reading the poem itself.

"Auld Lang Syne"
By Robert Burns

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 dear,
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 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 fere!
And gie's a hand o' thine!
And we'll tak a right gude-willie waught,
For auld lang syne.
Chorus

Listen to a few stanzas of the poem being read aloud by Frederick Worlock in this recording from 1953. The poem is written in a language called Scots, a relative of the English language (sometimes considered a dialect of English), so it really helps to hear it read aloud!

Of course, you may be more familiar with the poem set to music in the traditional folk melody. Go ahead and listen to this lovely version by Dougie MacLean, which features both lyrics and a rough English "translation" of each verse.

The lyrics have a long history in Scotland. While it was sung in many variations for centuries, the famous Scottish poet Robert Burns first wrote this poem down in 1788 and sent it to the Scots Musical Museum to preserve and honor Scottish culture. You can find out more about the history of the poem here from the Robert Burns Encyclopedia.

If you'd like to find out even more about the poem or about Robert Burns, be sure to check out the full Robert Burns Encyclopedia online here. And have a wonderful new year!


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