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Auld Lang Syne

20 Dec 99 - 01:24 AM (#151796)
Subject: Auld Lang Syne
From: Curtis & Loretta

Does anyone know the meaning and/or the background of the song Auld Lang Syne. Looked at an old thread from July, but doesn't really say much.
    I think I'll add the entry from the Traditional Ballad Index.
    -Joe Offer, October 2002-

Auld Lang Syne

DESCRIPTION: Recognized by the first line "Should auld acquaintance be forgot" and the chorus "For auld lang syne." Two old friends meet and remember their times together, ending by taking "a cup o' kindness."
AUTHOR: Adapted by Robert Burns
KEYWORDS: drink friend
FOUND IN: Britain US
REFERENCES (3 citations):
Silber-FSWB, p. 381, "Auld Lang Syne" (1 text)
Fuld-WFM, pp. 115-117, "Auld Lang Syne"

Bohunkus (Old Father Grimes, Old Grimes Is Dead) (File: R428)
On Mules We Find Two Legs Behind (Pankake-PHCFSB, p. 202; DT, MULEBEHD)
We Made Good Wobs Out There (Greenway-AFP, p. 182)
The Fish It Never Cackles Bout (Pankake-PHCFSB, p. 156)
Notes: This is a song that Burns rewrote (the putative original is in the Digital Tradition as AULDLNG3); Fuld traces the "Should Auld Acquaintance" text to 1711 in Scots Poems. Burns's own version was published in the Scots Musical Museum in 1796/7. This had a mostly traditional first verse, with the remainder by Burns, but by error the wrong melody was printed and has become the "traditional" tune. - RBW
File: FSWB381B

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The Ballad Index Copyright 2002 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.

20 Dec 99 - 09:47 AM (#151890)
Subject: RE: Auld Lang Syne
From: Jacob Bloom

Auld Lang Syne means "old long since". The song is by Robert Burns. His songs are often rewrites of older versions, but I haven't heard anything about there being older versions of this song.

20 Dec 99 - 10:03 AM (#151896)
Subject: RE: Auld Lang Syne
From: T in Oklahoma (Okiemockbird)

This is one of the most commented-on works of Burns, and his precise contribution to the vulgate form of the song is controversial. In the Scots Musical Museum Burns used a letter-code to ("X", "Z", and one or two others, if I recall rightly) to indicate the extent of his modifications to prior material. I can't remember what code he attached to ALSyne. He also mentioned the lyric once or twice in letters. My impression is that this issue is complicated by: (1) the fact that Burns transmitted more than one version of the lyric, and (2) Burns scholars' desire to attribute as much of the vulgate version to Burns rather than his sources.

I leave it to Bruce O. to set out the details. For now I'll just mention that an edition of one of Playford's books circa 1700 contains a melody called something like "For old lang Ine my Jo".


20 Dec 99 - 10:45 AM (#151906)
Subject: RE: Auld Lang Syne
From: Okiemockbird

Oops. That should be: Burns scholars' desire to attribute as much of the vulgate version //as possible// to Burns rather than his sources. T.

20 Dec 99 - 10:53 AM (#151909)
Subject: RE: Auld Lang Syne
From: George Seto -

The Barra MacNeils, of Cape Breton, just came out with a new Christmas recording which includes a 5:04 version of Auld Lang Syne, which their research indicates may have been the melody current when Burns first wrote it down.

Personally, I think it's one of the most beautiful versions of the song I have heard in a long time. Doesn't get much better than that.

20 Dec 99 - 11:16 AM (#151915)
Subject: RE: Auld Lang Syne
From: fulurum

to qoute the liner notes from tommy makems xmas cd, 'robert burns great song has become the unquestioned musical harbinger of the new year. wriiten in his native scottish dialect, it has defied all modern musical convention to become questionably, the worlds second most popular song. i believe 'happy birthday' may have pipped it for first'

20 Dec 99 - 05:07 PM (#152096)
Subject: Lyr Add: AULD LANG SYNE
From: Bev Lawton

The original was not wholly written by Robert Burns in the 1780's but here is a rough translation:

Original Lyrics
For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We'll tak a cup of kindness yet,
For auld lang syne!

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And days o' lang syne?

And surely you'll be your pint-stowp,
And surely I'll be mine,
And we'll tak a cup of kindness yet,
For auld lang syne!

We twa hae run about the braes,
And pou'd the gowans fine,
But we've wandered monie a weary fit,
Sin auld lang syne

We twa hae paidl'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 right guid-willie waught,
For auld lang syne.

For "old long since," or "old times,"
For old times,
We'll have a drink
For old times.

Should old friends be forgotten?
And never remembered?
Should old friends be forgotten?
And old times?

You'll pay for your pint
And I for mine,
And we'll have a drink
For old times.

We've run about the hillsides
and picked the daisies,
But we've wandered many weary steps
Since old times.

We've waded in the stream
From sunrise to dinner-time,
But broad seas have separated us
Since then

Here's my hand, companion,
Give me yours.
We'll have a goodwill drink
For old times' sake.

Bev Lawton
Line Breaks <br> added.
-Joe Offer-

20 Dec 99 - 05:21 PM (#152100)
Subject: RE: Auld Lang Syne
From: Mbo

The Cast does an excellent version of the song, with the lyrics printed above. They use the ORIGINAL tune that Burns set it to, not that overworn, annoying one that everyone knows. The Cast shows us how Robert Burns REALLY wanted it to sound, a quiet, nostalgic commentary on the YEARS (plural) past, and not a boozy celebration where no one remembers anything past the first verse, sings the lyrics wrong, doesn't have the slightest idea of what a willie-waught is. BTW I love that phrase "A right guid willie-waught."!


20 Dec 99 - 05:39 PM (#152105)
Subject: RE: Auld Lang Syne
From: graham; ayr, as in burns country............

all above is interesting and quite accurate, as far as i know. have copy of cast version and that is good, but try ronnie brown (as in ex one half of corries) for the best, in my opinion, also to the original tune; the more common tune wasn't even written during burns' lifetime !!! cheers frae ayr.

20 Dec 99 - 05:43 PM (#152107)
Subject: RE: Auld Lang Syne
From: Mbo

I know, his "publisher" thought that nasty new tune would work better, and since he did it after Burns died, Robbie couldn't object. And I'm sure he would have objected. I'll be sure to check out the Ronnie Brown version. I do love the Corries...


20 Dec 99 - 05:47 PM (#152108)
Subject: RE: Auld Lang Syne
From: graham again, sorry

forgot to identify ronnie brown version; it's on cd of that name, ie auld lang syne, compilation of 22 burns songs ( or at least his collections, alterations, additions etc to older songs and some of his own) it's on linn records of glasgow ( cheers, and i'm not conected to linn bye the way, just have copy of the cd handy............strangely i did used to live near there office south side of glasgow !!!......

20 Dec 99 - 06:21 PM (#152119)
Subject: RE: Auld Lang Syne
From: Curtis & Loretta

Thanks for all the info, everyone. So, the consensus is that the melody now commonly in use is not the original melody... Was the original melody one written by Burns, or did he only write the words, and set it to some old Scottish melody? Anybody know what year he wrote it?

And how did the new melody come about? Through that mysterious, "folk process" of being sung and handed down through the years???? Or some other event?

20 Dec 99 - 06:30 PM (#152124)
Subject: RE: Auld Lang Syne
From: Murray on Saltspring

I haven't got my trusty index to hand, but off the cuff I can say this:
Burns wrote his words [about the origin of which he left contradictory statements] to an old tune, to which Allan Ramsay had written his own words about 1720: "Old Long Syne". Then B's publisher printed it to another tune [the present one]--a habit he had; he often completely disregarded the poet's instructions, and SOMETIMES was successful. Anyway, the second tune was again old and anonymous, going to a faintly bawdy song called "I fee'd a lad at Martinmas". More later, maybe.

20 Dec 99 - 07:16 PM (#152145)
Subject: RE: Auld Lang Syne
From: Barry T

I've done a midi of the old melody, albeit with some modern folk interpretation here.

20 Dec 99 - 08:18 PM (#152175)
Subject: RE: Auld Lang Syne
From: T in Oklahoma (Okiemockbird)

The Words were published in Johnson's Scots Musical Museum to a tune which had been published in Playford's Original Scotch Tunes, 1700, to the title For old long Gine my jo and several other times in the 1700s. The words were published again with the vulgate tune in Thomson's Scotish Airs. A form of this latter tune had been used in the Scots Musical Museum with a different set of words, "O can ye labor lea".

It may be of interest that in the U.S. the vulgate melody appeared as a hymn-tune in Samuel Wakefield's The Western Harp (Mount Pleasant, Pennsylvania, 1843) under the title Kirkland.


20 Dec 99 - 08:57 PM (#152187)
Subject: RE: Auld Lang Syne
From: Murray on SS

There are several versions of this besides the famous one by Burns.
OLD LONG SYNE (1) (Should old acquaintance be forgot) Perhaps by Sir Robert Aytoun (1570-1638, buried in Westminster Abbey), of Kinaldie, Fife. He wrote several Latin poems which were much admired, and a few in English, though we can't be certain about this one, which is attributed to him in Watson Choice Collection III (1711; repr. 1869), 71. Robert Chambers finds it on 17th c. broadsides. In many anthologies (Chambers, Scottish Songs Prior to Burns p. 274, with the music), etc.; Ford Song Histories 1900), 4 (attr. to Francis Sempill of Beltrees, because of some MSS., not in FS's holograph). Attributed to Aytoun in the ed. of his Poems (Edin., 1844).
10x8 lines; 1-4: Should old acquaintance be forgot,/ And never thought upon,/ The flames of love extinguished,/ And freely past and gone? Watson prints 1-6, 7-10, as two parts [7.1 My Soul is ravish'd with Delight.]
Allan Ramsay a century later wrote his own verse:
OLD LONG SYNE (2) (Should auld acquaintance be forgot)
Alternative title"The Kind Reception".
In many collections, e.g. Ramsay, Scots Songs (1720); idem, Tea-Table Miscellany (1876 ed.), I.51 ("Auld Lang Syne"); idem, New Misc. of Scots Sangs (1727), 61; Orpheus Caledonius (1725; 1733), I.66 (+ m.); Herd (1776), I.177. ["Auld Lang Syne"]; Scots Musical Museum I (1787), 26 (#25) (+ m., key Ef, Common Time) [titled "Auld lang syne"], etc. etc. 5x8 lines. 1-4: "Should auld acquaintance be forgot,/ Though they return with scars?/ These are the noble hero's lot,/ Obtain'd in glorious wars."
These songs that predate Burns go to the old melody: in Mitchell Highland Fair (1731), 26 (# XV); earliest in print in Playford's Collection of Original Scotch Tunes (1700), p. 11 (misprinted as For old long Gine my Joe); also sans title in Mgt Sinkler's MS., 1710 (the versions differ). SMM version is from Neil Stewart's Scots Songs, 1772.
Among other songs to this old tune are "Should old gay mirth", "O Caledon!" (Lockhart), "When floury meadows".
Next, the famous words.
(Should auld acquaintance be forgot)
SMM V (1796), 426 (# 413) (+ m.), Dick Songs (1903), 233, and long note, 433 ff. G. F. Graham Wood's Songs of Scotland (1850), II.36 (+ m., I fee'd a lad at Michaelmas). Thomson's set: Scotish Airs (1799), 68; Select Melodies (1822), II.19; Dick Songs, 209, + note, 438 ff. Ford SH (1900), 9; SSCA (1870), 240 (with "days of auld" in line 4); Chambers SSPB 278 (+ music, called I fee'd a lass at Martinmas); and many others. Texts differ slightly. Jack Lyric Gems II (1858), 6 (+ m., I fee'd a lad at Michaelmas), title "Auld Langsyne".
Two rewrites by Lady Nairne are "What gude the present day can gi'e" and "The days were bright, the nights were sweet"; and there's an anonymous one in Greig, Folk-Song of the North-East article lxxii, 1.(No more, sweet youth, with you I'll walk), with chorus "For auld lang syne, my dear" etc.
The modern tune, used ever since Thompson's edition, is I fee'd a man at Martinmas. This gets the name from an old bawdy song preserved in the notorious Merry Muses of Caledonia (1799), called "O can ye labour lee, young man?", from the chorus. The tune specified is Sir Arch. Grant's Strathspey, = the well-known Monymusk; however, the tune of our title is actually the same as The Miller's Wedding, the modern "Auld Lang Syne" tune; it is found also as Sir Alex. Don in Gow's Strathspey Reels, 1784. Has there been an editorial error here? On the other hand, Sir Archibald Grant was a member of the Crochallan Fencibles, for whom MMC was compiled; so there may be a misdirectional in-joke here. N.B.: Chambers (SSPB, 278), incorrectly refers to "I fee'd a lass at Martinmas"; note that "man" is sometimes "lad".
A slightly different version [not so bawdy] is in SMM IV (1792), 407 (# 394) (+ m.) 3x4 lines + cho. (Titled from cho.)

21 Dec 99 - 12:32 PM (#152465)
Subject: RE: Auld Lang Syne
From: Willy

... and a heartfelt plea to all non-Scots out there: 'syne' is pronounced with a sibilant 's' as in 'soda'. After 30 years in America I still cringe when they sing 'zyne'.

21 Dec 99 - 07:18 PM (#152640)
Subject: RE: Auld Lang Syne
From: Jeremiah McCaw

The scholarship displayed here is nothing less than frightening (I would have said "sobering", but that wouldna been appropriate).

Haven't heard the Barra McNeils' version as yet, but there's a lovely rendition by Bobby Watt on his "Homeland" CD - not the conventional melody.

As for the line:
"We'll tak'a richt gude willie waught ..."
My notes translate "gude willie waught" as "good will/draft of ale"

21 Dec 99 - 09:18 PM (#152685)
Subject: RE: Auld Lang Syne
From: Bruce O.

Wm. Motherwell printed a broadside copy of c 1700, about like Watson's noted above, in 'The Paisley Magazine', 1838. I've given it on my website in Scarce Songs 2, along with ABCs of 2 copies of the older and 2 of the new tunes.

27 Dec 00 - 01:36 PM (#364050)
Subject: RE: Auld Lang Syne
From: Barry T

Having enjoyed the Barra MacNeils perform the old version on their recent Celtic Christmas television special and anticipating a rising interest in the next few days, I thought it would be timely to refresh this thread.

27 Dec 00 - 02:03 PM (#364058)
Subject: RE: Auld Lang Syne
From: Murray MacLeod

Glad you did Barry, if only to correct the mistaken opinion of Matt R (the artist formerly known as Mbo) that the version by the Cast is definitive. It is ruined for me by Dave Francis pronouncing "Syne" as "Zyne". Middle class Scots should always take the time to research how the Scots language is actually spoken by the people who speak it. I still shudder at one recording I have of the "Freedom Come all Ye", where the singer pronounces "geans" as "jeans"

Yours pedantically


27 Dec 00 - 11:34 PM (#364356)
Subject: RE: Auld Lang Syne
From: GUEST,Fred Burns

Thanks, Barry, for reviving the thread, and also for the midi file of the older tune.

28 Dec 00 - 03:00 AM (#364428)
Subject: RE: Auld Lang Syne
From: pict

I read somewhere that the tune of Auld lang syne actually came from Corsica but I haven't heard of that anywhere else so who knows.The tune could easily have been brought to Scotland by Corsicans serving in the French army.

28 Dec 00 - 04:24 PM (#364739)
Subject: RE: Auld Lang Syne
From: GUEST,Bruce O.

I don't know which "Auld Lang Syne" the above post refers to, but I greatly doubt it in either case.

Someone posted the lyrics that Robert Burns sent to George Thompson in a letter of Sept., 1793, on a news group recently. In the heading Burns said the song was the original that he had gotten from the singing of an old man. Except for minor spelling and punctuation changes that's the one Thompson published with the tune currently used for "Auld Lang Syne". The text in Burns' handwriting in the interleaved 'Scots Musical Museum' and in the 'Scots Musical Museum', #413 (where the tune is a version of old "Auld Lang Syne") differ only in the placement of one verse. So by Burns' own statement not a word of the song is by him.

02 Jan 01 - 10:25 PM (#367490)
Subject: RE: Auld Lang Syne
From: Haruo

But Burns was famous for denying authorship of those of his poems he most desired to have taken seriously, and acknowledging only those he wasn't particularly proud of.

Anyhow, I've got my new Auld Lang Syne in Esperanto page up and running now, with the original tune (my own MIDI) as background as well as links to three MIDIs of the now customary tune. I would like to collect translations of the text (preferably singable to one or both tunes) in as many other languages as possible, so feel free to submit versions (including a singable English [as opposed to Scots] translation, if such exists) as well as parodies (I have links to "It pays to advertise" and "On mules we find"; others may be added).


02 Jan 01 - 11:12 PM (#367504)
Subject: RE: Auld Lang Syne
From: GUEST,Bruce O.

I never heard that about Burns, and I don't believe it.

03 Jan 01 - 12:06 AM (#367518)
Subject: RE: Auld Lang Syne
From: Haruo

The latest place I've run into that is in the Penguin Robert Burns : Selected Poems, but I've read it elsewhere in the past. Which doesn't make it true, but does make it other than my personal invention. My understanding is that when he was first a sensation and was brought to Edinburgh to be gawked at by the gentry, RB was thoroughly disgusted with the public attitude (which he tried to ignore by drinking at it), and in subsequent years he adopted a number of devices — which he asked Johnson to observe — (including the "signatures" B, R, X and Z in Scots Musical Museum submissions as well as the making up of anecdotes about the folk antecedents of songs/poems that were preponderantly his own). In the case of Auld Lang Syne he gave it the "signature" Z (code for traditional material somewhat altered), which seems to me likely to be true.


PS In The Cyber Hymnal the Fanny Crosby hymn text How Sweet the Hour is set to the now customary ALS tune. Anybody know any other hymns sung to it? Also, in Theodore Raph's 1964 book he said that prior to 1900 the tune was used for the Princeton University alma mater, Old Nassau (but a page on the Princeton site says the "effort to sing it to Auld Lang Syne failed" — I can't see why!), as well as for the Vassar College song The Rose and Silver Gray.

03 Jan 01 - 01:32 AM (#367571)
Subject: RE: Auld Lang Syne
From: GUEST,Bruce O.

Burns seems to me to have been quite liberal in supplying copies of his songs and poems to others. I didn't copy down the name of the society it was dedicated to, but NLS MS 6302 (which I glanced at on a microfilm copy) is a big collection that Burns sent them. Burns scholars don't seem to know about MS copies of his pieces in the Douce collection at the Bodleian Library at Oxford. Captain Grosse got them from Burns and carried them to London and gave them to Francis Douce.

I've also seen it said that Burns took little interest in folk songs and ballads, which is complete nonsense as far as I'm concerned. We got the first full version of "Tam Lin" from him, as well as "The was a pretty may" (a version of "Dabbling in the Dew" that's on my website) and "A Waukrife Minnie" (17 come Sunday), SMM #288, that he collected from a Martha Crosbie.

I see no reason to believe he lied when he said "Auld Lang Syne" was the original song, and he got it from an old man's singing.

03 Jan 01 - 01:45 AM (#367577)
Subject: RE: Auld Lang Syne
From: Haruo

I see no reason to disagree with you on that, but my impression is that a lot of Burns scholars do, and have their reasons (which may not mean diddly to you or me). I find it hard, though, to credit the notion that "Burns scholars" in general would be ignorant of significant collections of Burns MS in publicly accessible libraries in the British Isles. They've had a couple hundred years to notice them, after all, and lots of theses to write.


03 Jan 01 - 08:45 PM (#368130)
Subject: RE: Auld Lang Syne
From: Tattie Bogle

Rod Paterson also does a very good version of the "old tune". 'Tis rumoured that a Geordie wrote the more well-known tune!

03 Jan 01 - 09:05 PM (#368140)
Subject: RE: Auld Lang Syne
From: pict

Most Geordies can't even write their own name ;P

04 Jan 01 - 08:04 AM (#368315)
Subject: RE: Auld Lang Syne
From: Snuffy


Change Geordies to Negores or Irishmen. Still think it's funny?

04 Jan 01 - 02:15 PM (#368533)
Subject: RE: Auld Lang Syne
From: mousethief

What's a Geordie?


04 Jan 01 - 03:50 PM (#368553)
Subject: RE: Auld Lang Syne
From: GUEST,Bruce O.

Liland, good catalogs of individual songs and poems in manuscripts is a relatively recent developement in National libraries. Oxford started earlier, but only published theirs in 1969. I heard about 3 years ago from the keeper of manuscripts in the Folger Shakespeare Library that the British Library had finished theirs, but I haven't see any publication yet. Folger has a good 'in house' one as a first line indexed card file, but no published one. Before that it depended on how good the librarian was at remembering the material they had. And they sometimes missed the boat. NLS MS 6299 is described by in the NLS catalog as a collection of Scots songs copied from Ramsay's 'Tea Table Miscellany' and Herd's 'Scots Songs'. Many songs are in TTM, but they don't have the same titles, and some are a bit different. It takes little study of the manuscript to discover that it was finished about 20 years before Herd's 1st book (1769) appeared.

Where did that "Geordie" come from? The more modern "Auld Lang Syne" tune was in the overture to Wm. Shield's 'Rossina' in 1783. Early commentators who knew not the history of the tune took it as Shield's composition. Shield was from Northumberland. He is apparently the 'Geordie'. At any rate a close variant appeared earlier as "The Miller's Wedding" in Angus Cumming's 'Strathspeys', 1780, and as "The Miller's Daughter" in McGlashan's 'Strathspey Reels', c 1778. This is in turn a variant of "The Miller's Wedding- Strathspey" in Bremner's 'Reels', p. 41, 1758. According to James Dick it was Burns who contributed "O can you labour lee" to 'The Scots Musical Museum', #394, where the tune may be found. "Coming through the rye" SMM #417 (song by Burns), and #418 (older set of verses) are two more variants of the tune. Niel Gow gave the "Auld Lang Syne" tune as "Sir Alexr. Don's Strathspey" in bk. 1 of 'Strathspey Reels', 1784.

John Glen in 'Early Scottish Melodies' p. 189, gave the tunes from Cummings/McGlashan, 'Rossina', "Sir Alex. Don's Strathspey", and that given by Thomson with Burns' "Auld Lang Syne" in 1799. [ABCs of most of these are in file S2.HTM on my website.]

Incidently, James Johnson in the Preface to vol. 5 of SMM, where Burns' "Auld Lang Syne" appeared to the old tune as #413, made a statement that the 'Z' would not appear in the index to vol. 5. 'Z' meant an old song with corrections or additions. However, in that volume the 'Z' at the end appears in addition on SMM #467, "As I came o'er the Cairney mount" (Burns' polite and drastically revised version of a song in 'The Merry Muses', with nothing but the 1st two lines, and the 1st line of the chorus left from the 'Merry Muses' song) and on SMM #478. The latter is "Kind Robin loves me" and except for a word added in one line (to fit the meter of the tune) and full chorus spelled out, it's the same as in Herd's 'Scots Songs', I, p. 311, 1776. 'Z' here obviously means a very slight correction. [See 17th century broadside ballad 'original' as "Scotch Moggy's Misfortune" in Scarce Songs 1 on my website. It's undoubtably based on a Scots song no longer extant, and not truly the 'original'. There's more than one polite imitation under the same title.] That 'Z' doesn't appear at all in vol. VI of SMM. Interpreting the 'Z' as always indicating that an old song was substantially altered, or added to, is a mistake. In addition to the above 'Z' appears on SMM #140, #156a and b, #227, #277, #292, and #321.

04 Jan 01 - 04:29 PM (#368574)
Subject: RE: Auld Lang Syne
From: Hollowfox

I've heard that the new version was popularized in the Big Band era by Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians, who used it as a signature tune. My stepfather still loves it, because that band toured for the troops during World War II, and that concert was about the only happy memory he had of his whole stint in the war.

09 Aug 01 - 10:05 PM (#524825)
Subject: RE: Auld Lang Syne
From: GUEST,masato sakurai

Liland, I have a copy of Carmina Princetonia: The Princeton Song Book, 21st ed., edited by A University Committee (G. Schirmer, 1927). Two versions of the song (one for mixed voices, the other for glee club arrangement) are included there (pp. 2-3). Words were written by H.P. Peck in 1862. Seemingly, it was inspired by the "Auld Lang Syne" tune, but the "Old Nassau" one is said to be "music by Karl A. Langlotz" and is quite different in melody and rhythm. Interestingly, in the same songbook (p. 46), there is another song, entitled "Come, Senior, Come" (also by H.P. Peck, '62), whose tune is definitely "Auld Lang Syne," and the familiar Auld Lang Syne words are also given with it. I quote the first verse: Come, Seniors, come, and fill your pipes, Your richest incense raise; Let's take a smoke, a parting smoke, For good old bygone days! (Chorus) For dear old Nassau Hall we'll smoke, And good old bygone days! We'll take a smoke, a parting smoke, For good old bygone days! The writer of the information you've got is apparently misled by the two different Princeton songs. Incidentally, "Old Nassau" is also included in The Most Popular College Songs (Hinds, Noble & Eldredge, 1904, 1905, p. 100).

13 Aug 01 - 07:49 PM (#527189)
Subject: RE: Auld Lang Syne
From: Burke

This is in reply to Liland's request for other uses of the tune commonly used for Auld Lang Syne.

There's an arrangement that can be found in both Southern Harmony and Sacred Harp. It' called Plenary and use's Watt's words "Hark from the tomb, the doleful sound." It's a good arrangement, but the word fit is odd to say the least.

28 Dec 01 - 08:03 PM (#617859)
Subject: RE: Auld Lang Syne
From: Banjer

Rather than have someone start a new thread I thought we could revive this one to answer all the regular asked questions this year!! Happy New Year!!!

28 Dec 01 - 09:32 PM (#617882)
Subject: RE: Auld Lang Syne
From: Genie

Click hereto link to related Auld Lang Syne thread.


28 Dec 01 - 09:39 PM (#617885)
Subject: RE: Auld Lang Syne
From: Genie

Another thread about some of Burns's lyrics: What Is A Gowan?

29 Dec 01 - 12:06 PM (#618091)
Subject: RE: Auld Lang Syne
From: Uncle_DaveO

The URL given early in this thread for a MIDI of the original tune doesn't work any more. Does anyone have a URL for another MIDI of that tune?

Dave Oesterreich

29 Dec 01 - 12:30 PM (#618103)
Subject: RE: Auld Lang Syne
From: masato sakurai

This site England lays claim to 'Auld Lang Syne' discusses origings of the song, with MIDIs of related tunes.

29 Dec 01 - 12:36 PM (#618106)
Subject: RE: Auld Lang Syne
From: Susan of DT

Dave- If you check out [Auld Lang Syne] on Digitrad, you'll find several versions. AULDLANG3 has the original melody.

05 Oct 07 - 01:58 PM (#2164581)
Subject: RE: Auld Lang Syne
From: GUEST,Sarah

My favorite Burns work... whether his contribution was whole or part. The lyrics are a timeless classic, as is the melody.
I found this list of the best Auld Lang Syne downloads:

A cup of kindness to all of our old long agos!


06 Oct 07 - 06:19 PM (#2165460)
Subject: RE: Auld Lang Syne
From: Jack Campin

Burns writing to Thomson, September 1793:

One song more and I have done- "Auld langsyne". The air is but mediocre; but the following song, the 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's singing, is enough to recommend any air.

So much for the idea that Burns was in any way attached to the older tune. With that assessment to go on, Thomson had all the authority he could possibly want to find a replacement.