Auld Lang…What Now?

 

“Should old acquaintance be forgot, / And never brought to mind? / Should old acquaintance be forgot, / And auld lang syne.”

Come again?

Every year, we sing the lyrics to this timeless tune at midnight on December 31st, often with a flute of champagne in our hand and a hopeful feeling in our heart.

But raise your hand if your voice tends to trail off a bit after the opening lines above? Unlike the holiday carols we all know by heart, the words to Auld Lang Syne – in fact, its very meaning – escape most people. Is it really telling us to forget those individuals we’ve met in the past, and move on? Is the song itself even English?

Scottish poet Robert Burns is credited with being the first to put these words to paper in 1788, although some version of it may have been recited as far back as the 1660’s. The song caught fire in Scotland, and its popularity then spread quickly across the world. It’s intended purpose was to create a feeling of nostalgia, and a love of old relationships and times gone by.

 

 

But just what the heck does the song actually mean? The words “Auld Lang Syne” roughly translate to “old long since.” The chorus is saying cheers to days gone by – celebrating the promise of a bright future by looking back on all the good times we’ve already had. 

Seems pretty appropriate for the end of the year, don’t you think?

The traditional Scottish version can be a bit confusing – talk of ‘pint-stowps’ and ‘gowans’ may just cause you to throw back your cocktail and move on. So as the holiday approaches, check out the minimalist English translation below, and get ready to belt out the lyrics this coming Monday.

We here at d’aprile properties would like to raise a glass to you, and wish you all the best in the coming year.

Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind?
Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and old lang syne?

CHORUS:
For auld lang syne, my dear,
for auld lang syne,
we’ll take a cup of kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.
And surely you’ll buy your pint cup!
and surely I’ll buy mine!
And we’ll take a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

CHORUS
We two have run about the slopes,
and picked the daisies fine;
But we’ve wandered many a weary foot,
since auld lang syne.

CHORUS
We two have paddled in the stream,
from morning sun till dine†;
But seas between us broad have roared
since auld lang syne.

CHORUS
And there’s a hand my trusty friend!
And give me a hand o’ thine!
And we’ll take a right good-will draught,
for auld lang syne.