Old Land Sign or Auld Lang Syne?

We sing it every year as we pay our respects to the passing of the old year and usher in the new.  Every time the chorus comes ’round I feel a bit guilty though.  I sing with gusto but I have no clue what it is I’m singing.  It could be “for old moldy buffalos, my dear; for old moldy buffalos” for all I know.

Well this is year is going to be different.  I saddled up my trusty internet and went a-googling.  “Auld lang syne” translates to English literally as “old long since.”  Cramming it more comfortably into modern day English, it means “long, long ago” or “days gone by.”

But who talks like that?  Well, Auld Lang Syne is actually an old Scottish poem that was first recorded in 1788.  It was Robert Byrnes who was the first to actually write it down, so it’s attributed to him, although he wasn’t the original author.  That guy is lost in the mists of time, so it’s not without irony I say “auld lang syne” to him.

The tune is a well-known folk tune throughout the English-speaking world used to usher out the old and in with the new at such events as graduations, weddings and funerals.  The boy scouts even use it to close out jamborees.

“Auld lang syne” was not an uncommon phrase.  Many of ye olde Scottish authors used it to even mean “once upon a time.”

Here are the complete lyrics to Auld Lang Syne:

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And auld lang syne!

Chorus.-For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne.
We’ll take a cup o’ kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

Happy New Year from The Wurd Turtle!

Copyright Jean Mishra 2012

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3 responses to “Old Land Sign or Auld Lang Syne?

  1. Pingback: Happy New Year 2012!! | MoonLightened Way

  2. Pingback: New Year Traditions | I choose how I will spend the rest of my life

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