Sunday, December 30, 2007

Auld Lang Syne

No, it's not a story but it's a song that is sung each year and yet most of us know nothing about it.

The song Auld Lang Syne is traditionally sung by most of us on the stroke of midnight each New Years Eve however in Scotland, where Auld Lang Syne originates it is also sung on Burns Night, January 25th, to celebrate the life of the author and famous poet Robert Burns.

Auld Lang Syne is also said to be used as a graduation and funeral song in Tiawan and Hong Kong and as a graduation song in Japan and Hungary.

The song/poem has been found in earlier forms in 15th and 17th century volumes by anonymous authors.
But Robert Burns found a song ,

which never was in print, nor even in manuscript, until he took it down
from an old man singing,—adding that the poetry was enough to recommend any air.
About the same time he sent another copy to James Johnson for the now celebrated
Standard Collection of Scottish Songs, the "Scots Musical Museum;" and it was
printed and published for the first time in December 1796, in the fifth volume
of that work, about five months after Burns died.
Check this website for more complete information on Robert Burns and Auld Lang Syne:

THe song is about love and friendship in times past. The lyrics in the song Auld Lang Syne referring to 'We'll take a Cup of Kindness yet' relate to a drink shared by men and women to symbolize friendship.

It is bandleader Guy Lombardo that popularized the song and made it a New Years tradition.
Lombardo first heard "Auld Lang Syne" in his hometown of London, Ontario, where it was sung by Scottish immigrants. The song became a part of his bands repetoire. Lombardo played the song at midnight at a New Year's eve party at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York City in 1929, and thus a New Year's tradition was born.

Words adapted from a traditional song
by Robert Burns (1759-96)

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And auld lang syne?

For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We'll tak a cup of 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!


We twa hae run about the braes,
And pou'd the gowans fine,
But we've wander'd monie a weary fit,
Sin auld lang syne.


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.


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


auld lang syne - times gone by
be - pay for
braes - hills
braid - broad
burn - stream
dine - dinner time
fiere - friend
fit - foot
gowans - daisies
guid-willie waught - goodwill drink
monie - many
morning sun - noon
paidl't - paddled
pint-stowp - pint tankard
pou'd - pulled
twa - two

Same Auld Lang Syne - Dan Fogelberg
Auld Lang Syne