It is a tradition for many to sing “Auld Lang Syne”, a Scottish poem written in 1788 by Robert Burns, with the ringing in of the New Year. The title may be translated literally as “old long since,” or more idiomatically as “long, long ago,” “days gone by,” or “old time’s sake.” Here are the lyrics from the original Scottish version:
Should auld acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot, and auld lang syne?
For auld lang syne, my jo, 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.
We twa hae run about the braes, and pu’d the gowans fine;
But we’ve wander’d mony a weary foot, sin auld lang syne.
We twa hae paidl’d i’ 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 gude-willy waught, for auld lang syne.
Here is a contemporary translation:
Should old acquaintances be forgotten and never be remembered?
Should old acquaintances be forgotten and days long ago.
For days long ago, my dear, for days long ago
We’ll drink a cup of kindness yet for days long ago!
And surely you’ll have your pint tankard and surely I’ll have mine.
And we’ll drink a cup of kindness yet for days long ago.
We two have run about the hills and pulled the daisies fine
But we’ve wandered many a weary mile since the days long ago.
We two have paddled in the stream from morning sun till dinner-time
But the broad seas have roared between us since the days long ago.
And here’s my hand, my trusty friend, and give me your hand too,
And we will take an excellent good-will drink for the days of long ago.
Here’s a contemporary bagpipe version, courtesy of the Red Hot Chili Pipers:
HAPPY NEW YEAR!