Auld Lang Syne

B

urns has described this as an old song and tune which had often thrilled through his soul; and in communicating it to his friend George Thomas, he professed to have recovered it from an old man's singing; and exclaimed regarding it--"Light be the turf on the breast of the Heaven-inspired poet who composed this glorious fragment!" The probability is, however, that the poet was indulging in a little mystification on the subject, and that the entire song was his own composition. The second and third verses -- describing the happy days of youth -- are his beyond a doubt.

Robert Burns Works, William P. Nimmo, Publisher, Edinburgh, 1870

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to min'?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And days o' lang syne?

For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We'll tak a cup o' kindness yet
For auld lang syne!

We twa hae run about the braes,
And pu'd the gowans fine;
But we've wander'd mony a weary foot
Sin' auld lang syne.

For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We'll tak a cup o' kindness yet
For auld lang syne!

We twa hae paidl't i' the burn,
Frae morning sun till dine:
But seas between us braid hae roar'd
Sin' auld lang syne.

For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We'll tak a cup o' kindness yet
For auld lang syne!

Perhaps no song in the English language better illustrates the difference in mood when sung slowly and softly as opposed to being sung fast and loud. Sung fast, with gusto, Auld Lang Syne is a cheerful drinking tune. Sung slowly and softly it becomes the moving experience that many think Burns intended.