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Auld Lang Syne

Being a sentimentalist, I've always loved the song, "Auld Lang Syne". I remember hearing that the words meant for old time's sake but the generally accepted translation is times long past. The song originated in Scotland, according to the article on Wikipedia, which provides the following history:


"Robert Burns sent a copy of the original song to the Scots Musical Museum in 1788 with the remark, "The following song, an old song, of the olden times, and which has never been in print, nor even in manuscript until I took it down from an old man. Some of the lyrics were indeed "collected" rather than composed by the poet; the ballad "Old Long Syne" printed in 1711 by James Watson shows considerable similarity in the first verse and the chorus to Burns' later poem, and is almost certainly derived from the same "old song".


In an old book called "Addresses delivered at the centennial anniversary of the First Congregational Church, Pompey, N. Y. June 21st-23rd, 1896: together with a historical sketch of the church", published in 1896, the following lyrics are printed, but differ from the version we hear today. Still, the lyrics are touching and worth sharing:


Auld Lang Syne


Should auld acquaintance be forgot,

and never brought to mind?

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,

and days of auld lang syne?

For auld lang syne we meet today,

for auld lang syne;

To tread the paths our fathers trod

in days of auld lang syne.


We've passed through many varied scenes,

since youth's unclouded day;

And friends and hopes, and happy dreams,

time's hand hath swept away.

And voices that once joined with ours,

in days of auld lang syne,

Are silent now, and blend no more,

in songs of auld lang syne.


Yet ever has the light of hope,

illumed our darkest hours,

And cheered us on life's toilsome way,

and gemmed our paths with flowers.

The sacred prayers our mothers said

in days of auld lang syne,

Have ever kept us in the right

Since days of auld lang syne.


Here we have met, here we may part,

to meet on earth no more;

And some may never see again

the cherished homes of yore;

The sportive plays and pleasant days

of childhood's old lang syne -

We ne'er shall meet to know again

those joys of auld lang syne.


But when we've crossed the sea of life

and reached the heavenly shore,

We'll sing the songs our fathers sing,

transcending those of yore;

We there shall sing diviner strains

than those of auld lang syne;

Immortal songs of praise, unknown

in days of auld lang syne.


Words by Dr. Richard F. Stevens, as written for and sung at the Pompey Reunion, June 24, 1871. (Source)


An old version on vinyl can be heard here. Click play to hear:



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