“Auld Lang Syne” is a song of Scottish origin. “Syne” is pronounced with a “z” (zyne) and the word “auld” means “old.”
The song’s lyrics come from the text of a poem written by Robert Burns in 1788. A year later, it was set to music and became a tradition to bid farewell to the old year when the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve. Because the lyrics are reflective of things passing away, the song’s music is sometimes played at graduations, parties, and even funerals, as a way of closing a chapter and remembering to hold on to memories.
The song’s title, “Auld Lang Syne,” has the meaning of long, long ago, and in contemporary English, “auld lang syne” would literally be understood as “old long since.” Therefore, when one sings, “for auld lang syne,” it conveys “for the sake of old times” and is an encouragement to keep the past alive in one’s memory.
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 days of auld lang syne.
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