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Home  >  Hogmanay in Aberdeen and Scotland  >  Words to Auld Lang Syne Traditional Hogmanay Song

Words to Auld Lang Syne Traditional Hogmanay Song




Auld Lang Syne was a poem penned by Robert Burns (1759 - 1796), which has become a New Year's Eve song sung worldwide, but no one sings it better than us Scots!

Though the words to Auld Lang Syne were written by Robert Burns he based his poem and song on a traditional Scottish song that would have been handed down from family to family through the generations. It would have been one such adaptation. For example there was a similar poem written by the Scottish poet Robert Ayton in the 16th century. The version by Robert Burns of Auld Lang Syne was published six months after his death in 1796.




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Auld Lang Syne is traditionally sung during Hogmanay celebrations as the bells of New Year ring out. People link arms as they sing and it is usual to shake hands up and down. Once people have finished singing the song New Year celebrations start with a few drinks, a piece or two of black bun, shortbread and then first footing.

Auld Lang Syne is also sung at other Scottish celebrations throughout Scotland and the world such as on Burns Night, St Andrews Day, during a ceilidh,

The words Auld Lang Syne translates to English to mean A Long Time Ago. Syne sound be pronounced with a sharp s rather than z.


Rather than hum the tunes each year, why not learn the whole poem/song below:


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.

Repeat Chorus

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.

Repeat 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.

Repeat 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.

Repeat Chorus

And there's a hand my trusty fere!
And gie's a hand o thine,!
And we'll tak' a right guid-willie waught,
For auld lang syne.

Repeat Chorus


Read about Burns Night.


Read about Hogmanay Customs.


Read about the Hogmanay Stonehaven Fireball Ceremony.

More Scottish customs and traditions.

Aberdeenshire Hogmanay






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An original manuscript of Auld Lang Syne by Robert Burns was removed from the Mitchell Library in Glasgow ad placed on display at the Grolier Club in New York to help celebrate Scottish Week 2008 which took place from the 30 March 08. The Auld Lang Syne manuscript is valued at £250,000.
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