Scots Sangs Fur Schools

Traditional and new Scots songs for use in Scottish schools

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Auld Lang Syne

The best known Scottish song, sung all around the world at Hogmanay.


Should auld acquaintance be forgot

And never brought to mind?

Should auld acquaintance be forgot

For the sake of 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 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 wandered mony a weary fit,

Sin auld lang syne


We twa hae paddl'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 richt guid willie-waught

For auld lang syne!


This song is always credited to Robert Burns, but Burns himself wrote that he had heard the first verse of this song from an old man, and immediately wrote it down as he thought it "exceedingly expressive". He later remarked it "has often thrilled through my soul."

He did write the other verses given above and wanted to print the song in the collection of songs called the Scots Musical Museum, but he had already used the tune the old man sang him for a song called ‘O Can Ye Labour Lea, Young Man’, also known as ‘I Fee'd a Man at Martinmas’.

So the lyrics were attached to another old tune that Burns called ‘The Miller’s Wedding’. This tune has had many other names, and has even been claimed as an English tune, but the Scottish claim seems incontestable.

We still sing ‘Auld Lang Syne’ to the tune of ‘The Miller's Wedding’. So the best known Scottish song is not sung to the original 'traditional' tune, but to another traditional tune.

Carmondean Primary choir, Livingston, perform Auld Lang Syne to the well known tune.