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Let’s Raise a Glass to Auld Lang Syne

It is a tradition around the world to count down to the New Year, followed by the singing of “Auld Lang Syne”, but where did this song come from and what does it mean?

Auld Lang Syne is a Scottish poem written by Robert Burns in 1788 and set to a traditional folk song. The song’s title may be translated literally as “old long since”, or as “long long ago”, “days gone by” or “old times”. Consequently “For auld lang syne”, as it appears in the first line of the chorus, is loosely translated as “for (the sake of) old times”.

Canadian band leader Guy Lombardo is often credited with popularizing the use of the song at New Year’s celebrations in North America.

Auld Lang Syne
 by Robert Burns
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot
and days of auld lang syne?
For auld lang syne, my dear, 
For auld lang syne,
We’ll take a cup o’ kindness yet 
For auld lang syne