Auld Lang Syne

Should auld acquaintance be forgot, And never brought to mind? Should auld acquaintance be forgot, And auld lang syne! For auld lang syne, my jo, For auld lang syne, We'll tak a cup o' kindness yet, For auld lang syne. And surely ye'll be your pint stowp! And surely I'll be mine! And we'll take a cup o' kindness yet, For auld lang syne. We twa hae run about the braes, And pou'd the gowan fine; But we've wander'd mony a weary fitt, Sin' auld lang syne. We twa hae paidl'd in the burn, Frae morning sun till dine; But seas between us braid hae roar'd Sin' auld lang syne. And there's a hand, my trusty fiere! And gie's a hand o' thine! And we'll tak a right gude-willie-waught, For auld lang syne. For auld lang syne, my jo, For auld lang syne, We'll tak a cup o' kindness yet, For auld lang syne.


Denis Lawson


Paolo Nutini


About this work

This is a song by Robert Burns. It was written in 1788 and is read here by Denis Lawson.

More about this song

The most universally famous song associated with Robert Burns, the poet first sent 'Auld Lang Syne' to his friend and Patron Mrs Frances Dunlop (1730-1815) in 1788. In this letter the poet praised 'Auld Lang Syne' as an old song.

Likewise, in a letter to George Thomson dated September 1793, the poet claimed that he collected the song by noting it down from an old man's singing. It was eventually published in James Johnson's Scots Musical Museum in 1796.

It is important to remember, however, that Burns frequently amended and improved old songs that he collected prior to their publication. Therefore, it remains likely that Burns played a significant part in shaping this particular version of the song.

'Auld Lang Syne' is an extremely nostalgic and sincere expression of friendship. It is for this reason that people all over the world sing this song at social gatherings and most famously on Hogmanay as they reflect on times past and welcome the New Year.

Pauline Mackay

Themes for this song

brotherhood friendship

Selected for 31 December

And so we come full circle with the poem that launched the project exactly a year ago. Happy Hogmanay. And have a peaceful, productive and prosperous New Year in which EVERY day is Burns's Day!

Donny O'Rourke

Skip to top

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.