New Year’s eve you’ll most likely hear “Auld Lang Syne” you might even attempt to sing along, but do you know what it means? I didn’t. So, what does Auld Lang Syne mean?

Scottish poet Robert Burns introduced the song to the Scottish Musical Museum Academy describing it as an ancient song. However, it’s believed he added the later verses.

The song was set to a traditional Scottish tune and probably performed more uptempo than today’s version. Surprisingly, it wasn’t originally a holiday song, the song was played and sung at funerals, and ending ceremonies such as graduations. The Scottish tradition is to form a circle, hold hands, and sing.

How Did Auld Lang Syne Become a New Year’s Eve Tradition?

Despite its strong association with New Year’s Eve, “Auld Lang Syne,” was never intended to be a holiday song. “Credit Guy Lombardo for popularizing the song when his band used it as a segue between two radio programs during a live performance at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York in 1929. By coincidence, they played “Auld Lang Syne” just after the clock hit midnight, and a New Year’s tradition was born.” — ABC News

But What Does Auld Lang Syne Mean?

The answer to the question what does Auld Lang Syne mean is confusing. It has been translated as times gone by, long time gone, and old long gone, but that’s only the title, what do the verse and chorus mean? It might be that Sally in “When Harry Met Sally” said it best, “Harry[about Auld Lang Syne] What does this song mean? My whole life, I don’t know what this song means. I mean, ‘Should old acquaintance be forgot’? Does that mean that we should forget old acquaintances, or does it mean if we happened to forget them, we should remember them, which is not possible because we already forgot?
Sally: Well, maybe it just means that we should remember that we forgot them or something. Anyway, it’s about old friends.” — Movie Quotes

It’s About Old Friends

That’s my take-away, it’s about old friends. I like that. I believe I’ll print the lyrics and sing it with gusto tonight. Maybe I can get a few friends to join hands, form a circle, and sing it with me.

Auld Lang Syne

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


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.


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


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


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.


So, What Does Auld Lang Syne Mean?

What does Auld Lang Syne mean? It symbolizes remembering old friends, and it reminds us of past good times. It  expresses Happy New Year! So, from all of us at the TKO family of companies to all of you we wish you a happy and productive 2018! Now, let’s join hands and sign!

Photo credit: summonedbyfells via / CC BY