Auld Lang Syne (contemporary version)

Traditional Scottish, collected and adapted by Robert Burns (25 January 1759 – 21 July 1796)


Two rather different examples of this song:

First example: first verse and chorus performed by Scottish singer Jim Malcolm on his album Acquaintance - the Songs of Robert Burns, available from the Chivalry Music store

Second example: third and fourth verses, performed by 3 Pints Gone,
from their album, Auld Lang Syne, available from the Chivalry Music store

Please refer to Cantaria's Copyright information

sheet music (toggle as desired for printing)

Background notes

Robert Burns sent a copy of the original song to the British Museum with this comment: "The following song, an old song, of the olden times, and which has never been in print, nor even in manuscript until I took it down from an old man's singing , is enough to recommend any air."  (Gavin Grieg: "Last Leaves of Traditional Ballads")  He set it to a traditional Scottish air that is quite different than the popularized version.

Throughout the English-speaking world, Auld Lang Syne is traditionally sung on New Years Eve (known as Hogmanay in Scotland). That  tradition does not hearken back to Burns but rather only to  Canadian band leader Guy Lombardo who sang at midnight January 1, 1929 in the Roosevelt Hotel in New York City.  Guy Lombardo's orchestra played the song every New Years Eve, in live broadcast from New York, until 1976.  Since then, their recording has been played each year as part of the Times Square "ball drop."  Sheet music for the familiar New Years Eve version

Learn more about the poetry of Robert Burns from these sites:  
Biography of Robert Burns in Wikipedia
History of Auld Lang Syne in Wikipedia
Burns Country
Here is a dissection of the song Auld Lang Syne, which may help you decipher the dialect.

Digital Tradition has the "original" Jacobite version of the song.  (Before Burns' rewrite)


Other Robert Burns songs in Cantaria:
    -  A Man's A Man For A' That (or Is There for Honest Poverty)
    -  Rantin' Rovin' Robin
    -  My Love is Like a Red, Red Rose
    -  Green Grow the Rushes, O

See also, our list of recommended song books

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 take 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 take a cup o' kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

We twa hae run about the braes
And pou'd the gowans fine.
We've wandered mony a weary foot,
Sin' auld lang syne.

We twa hae sported i' the burn,
From morning sun till dine,
But seas between us braid hae roared
Sin' auld lang syne.

And ther's a hand, my trusty friend,
And gie's a hand o' thine;
We'll tak' a right good willie-waught,,
For auld lang syne.