Every year I wonder what this song is saying. Is it telling us to forget the past year and everyone in it?
So this year I looked it up to save the rest of you, who are also wondering, a little time. After all, the year’s about up, so here it is in short.
It helped for me to find out that it starts with a rhetorical question, the answer to which would be “no, of course not!”
And even though it’s an old Scottish drinking song, you can leave out the alcohol and still appreciate the song.
You can print yourself some piano music here.
Here is a common version of the lyrics:
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 us a hand o’ thine!
And we’ll take a right good-will draught, for auld lang syne.
“Auld Lang Syne” means something like “old times past.” So should we forget old friends and days past? No. Then the chorus encourages to toast to old times. I don’t think I’d ever heard the later verses, which are better than the first, in my opinion.
There’s a nice Wall Street Journal article about the song here.
Happy New Year!