TRIVIAL PURSUITS: What Does ‘Auld Lang Syne’ Mean?

Tonight, at the stroke of midnight, many will start singing “Auld Lang Syne” to start the New Year.

What does “Auld Lang Syne” mean? The song has five verses. The first verse and chorus are as follows:

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and 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.

The most accurate plain English interpretation of “Auld Lang Syne” is “Old long since,” or “For the sake of old times.” The song is basically about two friends catching up over a drink or two. The words were written by Scottish poet Robert Burns in 1788.
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