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Auld Lang Syne

Auld Lang Syne is one of the best known songs in English-speaking countries. It is jokingly referred to as "the song that nobody knows," since its popularity ensures that nobody sings the correct version, and since truthfully many people can recall the melody easily but know only a fraction of the words. It is usually sung each year on New Year's Eve at midnight and signifies the start of a new year. It is also used as the graduation song in Taiwan. In Japan, many stores play it to usher customers out at the end of a business day.

It has also been used on other occasions, mostly as a sign of saying farewell. One occasion that falls in this category was in October 2000, when the body of former Canadian prime minister Pierre Trudeau left Parliament Hill in Ottawa for the last time, going to Montreal for the state funeral.


Auld Lang Syne was transcribed and published by Scottish poet Robert Burns, based on earlier Scots ballads. Scots "Auld Lang Syne" is equivalent to English "old long since" and can best be translated as "times gone by".

In Scots Syne is pronounced identically to the English word sign, [s@in] (Sampa) -- not zine [zaIn] as many people do every Hogmanay.

Guy Lombardo popularized the association of the song with the stroke of midnight on New Year's Eve.

External links

Wikisource has original text related to Auld Lang Syne .

  • 'Auld Lang Syne' from The Burns Encyclopedia
  • Auld Lang Syne association with Guy Lombardo and New Years celebrations
  • What does Auld Lang Syne mean?

Last updated: 02-10-2005 12:40:31
Last updated: 02-28-2005 17:50:41