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'Auld Lang' What? What Does it Mean?

Here are the actual lyrics. Now you can stop mumbling through the New Year's Eve song.

Midnight strikes on New Year's Eve. Someone, inevitably, starts belting the first few words of "Auld Lang Syne." Why?

It's tradition. Get a little nostalgic on New Year's Eve. The song, attributed to Scottish poet Robert Burns in 1788, is about reminiscing. "Auld Lang Syne" literally translates to "Old Long Since." More roughly, it means "long, long ago" or "days gone by."

The custom began in Scotland to sing the poem on the last evening of the year, and the trend soon spread around to the British Isles. British immigrants then brought "Auld Lang Syne" to other parts of the world, including America.

A more modern variation on the tradition is to mumble through the forgotten words. But if you'd like to step back in time as you move into 2013 and honor a centuries-old song, here are the full lyrics, translated into English, of the "Auld Lang Syne" New Year's Eve song.

Auld Lang Syne lyrics (English translation)

Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind?
Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and old lang syne?

For auld lang syne, my dear,
for auld lang syne,
we'll take a cup of kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.
And surely you'll buy your pint cup!
and surely I'll buy mine!
And we'll take a cup o' kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

We two have run about the slopes,
and picked the daisies fine;
But we've wandered many a weary foot,
since auld lang syne.

We two have paddled in the stream,
from morning sun till dine;
But seas between us broad have roared
since auld lang syne.

This story originated on Concord Patch.

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