Auld Lang Syne


As the final moments of 2013 approach and people in every corner of the Globe link hands and sing a song written by Robert Burns in 1788, to herald in the new year, how many will pause to think about what the meaning of the archaic and foreign sounding words actually means?

So for those who wish to know, here is a rough translation.


Should auld acquaintance be forgot,

(should old friends be forgotten)

And never brought to mind?

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,

And auld lang syne?

(and days of long ago)


For auld lang syne, my jo,

(for days of long ago, my dear)

For auld lang syne,

We’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet

For auld lang syne.

And surely you’ll be your pint-stowp,

(and surely you’ll have your pint tankard)

And surely I’ll be (have) mine,

And we’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet

For auld lang syne!


We twa hae ran about the braes,

(we two have ran around the hills)

And pu’d the gowans fine,

(and picked the daisies fine)

But we’ve wander’d monie a weary fit

(but we have wandered many a weary mile)

Sin’ auld lang syne.

(since days of long ago)


We twa hae paidl’d in the burn

(we two have paddled in the stream)

Frae morning sun til dine,

(from morning time dinner-time)

But seas between us braid hae roar’d

(but seas between us broad have roared)

Sin’ auld lang syne.


And there’s a hand, my trusty fiere,

(and there’s my hand, my trusted friend)

And gie’s a hand o’ thine,

(and give us a hand of yours)

And we’ll tak a right guid-willie waught

(we’ll take a right goodwill drink)

For auld lang syne!

(for days of long ago)

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