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Auld Lang Syne: History and Lyrics

Robert Burns Birthplace Museum / Alexander Nasmyth

Auld Lang Syne: History and Lyrics

As each year passes into history, we always come together to celebrate the year that was and look forward to what the next will be. Part of that yearly tradition is the song "Auld Lang Syne," also known as "Old Ang Sine," "Ol' Lang Sign" or any number of mumbled pronunciations of those three little syllables. The original song comes from an 18th century Scottish poem by Robert Burns, and it's become a tradition to belt it out with our friends and loved ones at the stroke of midnight on New Year's Eve. It's been covered by some of modern music's greatest performers, including Jimi Hendrix, Elvis Presley and Bobby Darin. But perhaps more famous in recent memory is Dan Fogelberg's reinterpretation "Same Old Lang Syne," released in 1980, chronicling a chance reunion between Fogelberg and his high school sweetheart on Christmas Eve.

And if you want to impress your friends by being the only person in the bar who knows all the actual lyrics when midnight comes around, brush up on them before the big day.

Of course, accuracy is not exactly a requirement for singing and enjoying "Auld Lang Syne," so long as you can enjoy it with friends, both old and new.

Written by Seth Joseph