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"Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And auld lang syne."
~ Robert Burns, 1788
In 1788, Robert Burns sent the poem 'Auld Lang Syne' to the Scots Musical Museum, indicating that it was an ancient song but that he'd been the first to record it on paper. The phrase 'auld lang syne' roughly translates as 'for old times' sake', and the song is known the world over for its sentiments of preserving and remembering old friendships and fellowship. It is a traditional ending to many Burns Suppers.
Portrait by Alexander Nasmyth, 1787
Happy Birthday, Robert Burns!
Born: January 25, 1759, Alloway, United Kingdom
Died: July 21, 1796, Dumfries, United Kingdom
As well as making original compositions, Burns collected folk songs from across Scotland, often revising or adapting them. His poem (and song) "Auld Lang Syne" is often sung at Hogmanay (the last day of the year), and "Scots Wha Hae" served for a long time as an unofficial national anthem. Other poems and songs of Burns that remain well known across the world today include "A Red, Red Rose", "A Man's a Man for A' That", "To a Louse", and "To a Mouse."
As you wind up your own version of Burns Night, see an animation of Robert Burns reading "Auld Lang Syne" by clicking his portrait, as we remember the man himself and raise a toast to auld lang syne. Sláinte!