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The Origin of Auld Lang Syne

Posted: Tuesday, December 31, 2013

By: D. Retz (Expired article)

The familiar tune of "Auld Lang Syne" sung at the turn of the new year is based upon a poem written by Scotsman Robert Burns in 1788. The words mean "Old Long Since" (long time ago), and were originally used in another poem by Sir Robert Ayton (1570-1638), one of the first Scottish poets to write in the English language. The song is also sung at the end of school graduations, boy scout jamboree's, and funerals.

Ironically, the song that ends a year has a tinge of sadness to it. The thought behind it goes back to Ayton's original poem:
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never thought upon,
The flames of love extinguished,
And freely past and gone?
Is thy kind heart now grown so cold
In that loving breast of thine,
That thou canst never once reflect
On auld lang syne?
It's an interesting reflection at the end of a year: has your heart grown so cold that you can't reflect on the past? Its about oft-forgotten love and friendships from long ago.

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