Auld Lang Syne


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What would New Year’s Eve be without the annual tradition of a well imbibed crowd slurring their way through a rendition of Auld Lang Syne? But why this song and what does it mean?

In the 1700s, the Scottish poet Robert Burns wrote the words (borrowed from an old song which had been passed down through the ages orally but had never before been written down). It was eventually set to the tune of a traditional folk song and has since become a staple at New Year’s celebrations around the globe. Bandleader Guy Lombardo has been largely credited for its popularity in American culture.

It is a song that wistfully asks us, in the midst of our revelry, to pause for a bit to remember the past. As we stand on the brink of yet another new year, it is fitting to cast a look back at all our days gone by. After all, it is our past that has brought us to where we are today.  

Here are the full lyrics to the old song – modernized to help us understand the meaning of what it is asking us to consider.

AULD LANG SYNE (Times Gone By)

Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind?
Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and auld lang syne (times gone by)?

For times gone by, my dear,
for times gone by,
we’ll take a cup of kindness yet,
for times gone by.

And surely you’ll buy your pint cup!
and surely I’ll buy mine!
And we’ll take a cup o’ kindness yet,
for times gone by.

We two have run about the slopes,
and picked the daisies fine;
But we’ve wandered many a weary foot,
since times gone by.

We two have paddled in the stream,
from morning sun till dine†;
But seas between us broad have roared
since times gone by.

And there’s a hand my trusty friend!
And give me a hand o’ thine!
And we’ll take a right good-will ale,
for times gone by.


Michael Ondrasik and Home Video Studio specialize in the preservation of family memories and would like to wish you and yours a very Happy New Year. And cheers to Auld Lang Syne. For more information, call 352-735-8550 or visit

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