Auld Lang Syne, the Original Words and Tune

English: Ellisland Farm Robert Burns,(1759-96)...

Ellisland Farm. Robert Burns,(1759-96) farmed here from 1788 until 1791 where he composed, “Auld Lang Syne.”(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

How is this for a Flashback Friday? Happy 2016, my friends. If you sang this song just after midnight last night, my guess is that you didn’t sing all the original words (though if you did, I want to know–that’s fantastic!), nor did you sing them to the original tune.

I’m not sure about the details of how and when this changed, and I am too busy relaxing today to look it up. If you care to do the research, please give me some sources in the comments. I’d love to read more about it (later).

But this lazy first day of 2016, in which I rest with coffee, leftovers, notebooks, and music, I wanted to share this lovely version, sung by Paolo Nutini. I love the harmony, and the multiple instruments involved. I’m not sure if the video was made to look old  or if it was just poor picture quality (something else I am too lazy to look into just now), because Nutini is rather a new-ish voice, since he was born about the time I graduated high school.

By all accounts this is the original tune that Robert Burns used when he turned this old poem into the beautiful song lyrics we sing each year. Scottland.org has a nice write-up including the original words, and Grammarly features a pretty fair modern translation.

It’s been a hard year, and a good one both, each for many a reason. But here’s to making 2016 a year of peace, of joy, and of achieving our dreams. Let’s get to work, shall we?

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12 thoughts on “Auld Lang Syne, the Original Words and Tune

    • Yes, I agree. If I were to do some sort of hybrid translation, “my jo” is part of what I would keep. I like that–closer to my mate (in the friend sense) and it just has that feel of endearment. I am not sure I would change gowans to daisies though, but for the audience’s sake I might say, “plucked the wild flow’rs fine.” 🙂 In any case, I do adore this version.

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