"Auld Lang Syne" (Scots pronunciation: [ˈɔːl(d) lɑŋ ˈsəi̯n] ; note [s] rather than [z])  is a popular song, particularly in the English-speaking world. Traditionally, it is sung to bid farewell to the old year at the stroke of midnight on New Year's Eve/Hogmanay. By extension, it is also often heard at funerals, graduations, and as a farewell or ending to other occasions; for instance, many branches of the Scouting movement use it to close jamborees and other functions.  
The text is a Scots-language poem written by Robert Burns in 1788   but based on an older Scottish folk song. In 1799, it was set to a traditional tune, which has since become standard. "Auld Lang Syne" is listed as numbers 6294 and 13892 in the Roud Folk Song Index.
The poem's Scots title may be translated into standard English as "old long since" or, less literally, "long long ago",  "days gone by", "times long past" or "old times". Consequently, "For auld lang syne", as it appears in the first line of the chorus, might be loosely translated as "for the sake of old times".
The phrase "Auld Lang Syne" is also used in similar poems by Robert Ayton (1570–1638), Allan Ramsay (1686–1757), and James Watson (1711), as well as older folk songs predating Burns. 
In modern times, Matthew Fitt uses the phrase "in the days of auld lang syne" as the equivalent of "once upon a time" in his retelling of fairy tales in the Scots language. 
Robert Burns sent a copy of the original song to the Scots Musical Museum in 1788 with the remark, "The following song, an 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." 
Some of the lyrics were indeed "collected" rather than composed by the poet; the ballad "Old Long Syne" printed in 1711 by James Watson shows considerable similarity in the first verse and the chorus to Burns's later poem,  and is almost certainly derived from the same "old song". To quote from the first stanza of the James Watson ballad:
Should Old Acquaintance be forgot,
and never thought upon;
The flames of Love extinguished,
and fully past and gone:
Is thy sweet Heart now grown so cold,
that loving Breast of thine;
That thou canst never once reflect
On old long syne.
On old long syne my Jo,
On old long syne,
That thou canst never once reflect,
On old long syne.
It is a fair supposition to attribute the rest of the poem to Burns himself. 
The song originally had another melody, which can be traced to around 1700 and was deemed "mediocre" by Robert Burns. The first documented use of the melody commonly used today was in 1799, in the second volume of George Thomson's Select Songs of Scotland. The tune is a pentatonic Scots folk melody, which was probably originally a sprightly dance with a much quicker tempo.  There is some doubt as to whether this melody is the one Burns originally intended his version of the song to be sung to.  
Singing the song on Hogmanay or New Year's Eve very quickly became a Scots custom that soon spread to other parts of the British Isles. As Scots (not to mention English, Welsh and Irish people) emigrated around the world, they took the song with them.[ citation needed ]
Versions of "Auld Lang Syne" which use other lyrics and melodies have survived as folk songs in isolated Scottish communities. The American folk song collector James Madison Carpenter collected a version of the song from a man named William Still of Cuminestown, Aberdeenshire in the early 1930s, who can be heard singing the song on the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library website. 
The song begins by posing a rhetorical question: Is it right that old times be forgotten? The answer is generally interpreted as a call to remember long-standing friendships.  Alternatively, "Should" may be understood to mean "if" (expressing the conditional mood) referring to a possible event or situation.
George Thomson's Select Songs of Scotland was published in 1799 in which the second verse about greeting and toasting was moved to its present position at the end. 
Most common usage of the song involves only the first verse and the chorus. The last lines of both of these are often sung with the extra words "For the sake of" or "And days of", rather than Burns's simpler lines. This makes the song strictly syllabic, with just one note per syllable.
|Burns's original Scots verse ||Standard English version|
|Scots pronunciation guide|
(as Scots speakers would sound)
| IPA pronunciation guide|
(Burns's own Ayrshire dialect) 
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
Should old acquaintance be forgot,
Shid ald akwentans bee firgot,
ʃɪd o̜ːld ə.kwɛn.təns bi fər.ɡot
English composer William Shield seems to quote the "Auld Lang Syne" melody briefly at the end of the overture to his opera Rosina (1782), which may be its first recorded use. The contention that Burns borrowed the melody from Shield is for various reasons highly unlikely, although they may very well both have taken it from a common source, possibly a strathspey called "The Miller's Wedding" or "The Miller's Daughter".  The problem is that tunes based on the same set of dance steps necessarily have a similar rhythm, and even a superficial resemblance in melodic shape may cause a very strong apparent similarity in the tune as a whole. For instance, Burns' poem "Comin' Thro' the Rye" is sung to a tune that might also be based on the "Miller's Wedding". The origin of the tune of "God Save the King" presents a very similar problem and for just the same reason, as it is also based on a dance measure.  (See the note in the William Shield article on this subject.)
In 1792, the Austrian composer Joseph Haydn arranged Auld Lang Syne as one of over 400 Scottish folk song arrangements commissioned by George Thomson and the publishers William Napier and William Whyte;  his arrangement may have helped popularise the song.  Ludwig van Beethoven also wrote an arrangement of Auld Lang Syne (WoO 156/11) published as part of his 12 Scottish Folksongs (1814). Both of these classical versions use the original brisk strathspey rhythm.
In 1855, different words were written for the Auld Lang Syne tune by Albert Laighton and titled, "Song of the Old Folks". This song was included in the tunebook, Father Kemp's Old Folks Concert Tunes published in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1860.  For many years it was the tradition of the Stoughton Musical Society to sing this version in memory of those who had died that year.
Songwriter George M. Cohan quotes the first line of the "Auld Lang Syne" melody in the second to last line of the chorus of “You're a Grand Old Flag”. It is plain from the lyrics that this is deliberate; the melody is identical except the first syllable of the word "forgot".
John Philip Sousa quotes the melody in the Trio section of his 1924 march "Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company".
English composer of light music Ernest Tomlinson wrote a Fantasia on Auld Lang Syne (1976), which in its 20 minutes weaves in 152 quotations from pieces by other popular and classical composers. 
In the Sacred Harp choral tradition, an arrangement of it exists under the name "Plenary". The lyrics are a memento mori and begin with the words "Hark! from the tomb a doleful sound". Another Christian setting, using the name "Fair Haven" for the same tune, uses the text "Hail! Sweetest, Dearest Tie That Binds" by Amos Sutton.  In a similar vein, in 1999 Cliff Richard released a setting of the Lord's prayer (as "The Millennium Prayer") to the melody. 
British soldiers in World War I trenches sang "We're Here Because We're Here" to the tune of "Auld Lang Syne". 
"Auld Lang Syne" is traditionally sung at the conclusion of New Year gatherings in Scotland and around the world, especially in English-speaking countries.
At Hogmanay in Scotland, it is common practice that everyone joins hands with the person next to them to form a great circle around the dance floor. At the beginning of the last verse (And there's a hand, my trusty fiere!/and gie's a hand o' thine!), everyone crosses their arms across their breast, so that the right hand reaches out to the neighbour on the left and vice versa.   When the tune ends, everyone rushes to the middle, while still holding hands. When the circle is re-established, everyone turns under the arms to end up facing outwards with hands still joined. The tradition of singing the song when parting, with crossed hands linked, arose in the mid-19th century among Freemasons and other fraternal organisations.  
Outside Scotland the hands are often crossed from the beginning of the song, at variance with Scottish custom. The Scottish practice was demonstrated by Queen Elizabeth II at the Millennium Dome celebrations for the year 2000. Some press outlets berated her for not "properly" crossing her arms, unaware that she was correctly following the Scottish tradition.  
As well as celebrating the New Year, "Auld Lang Syne" is very widely used to symbolise other "endings/new beginnings" – including farewells, funerals (and other memorials of the dead), graduations, the end of a (non-New Year) party, jamborees of the Scout Movement, the election of a new government, the last lowering of the Union Jack as a British colony achieves independence  and even as a signal that a retail store is about to close for the day. The melody is also widely used for other words, especially hymns, the songs of sporting and other clubs, and even national anthems (South Korea in the 1940s, and the Maldives until 1972). In Scotland and other parts of Britain, in particular, it is associated with celebrations and memorials of Robert Burns. The following list of specific uses is far from comprehensive.   
"Auld Lang Syne" has been translated into many languages, and the song is widely sung all over the world. The song's pentatonic scale matches scales used in Korea, Japan, India, China and other Asian countries, which has facilitated its adoption in the East. The following list of particular examples details things that are special or unusual about the use of the song in a particular country, and is (necessarily) not comprehensive.
The strong and obvious associations of the song and its melody have made it a common staple for film soundtracks from the very early days of "talking" pictures to the present—a large number of films and television series' episodes having used it for background, generally but by no means exclusively to evoke the New Year.
The first recording of the song was made on wax cylinder in 1898 by the Englishmen Charles Samuel Myers and Alfred Cort Hadden, who sang it in a demonstration of the new technology whilst on an expedition to record Aboriginal Australian music with figures including Charles Seligman, W. H. R Rivers and Sidney Herbert Ray. The original 1898 recording can be heard online via the British Library Sound Archive website. 
As a standard in music, "Auld Lang Syne" has since been recorded many times, in every conceivable style, by many artists, both well-known and obscure. The first commercial recording was probably that of Frank C Stanley, who recorded the song in 1910 (which can be heard above). In late 1999, an instrumental rendition by American saxophonist Kenny G reached No. 7 on the Billboard Hot 100 upon release as a single. At the time of charting it was the oldest-written song to make the Hot 100 charts. 
"Scotland the Brave" is a Scottish patriotic song, one of three often considered an unofficial Scottish national anthem.
William Shield was an English composer, violinist and violist. His music earned the respect of Haydn and Beethoven.
"Aegukga", often translated as "The Patriotic Song", is the national anthem of the Republic of Korea. It was adopted in 1948, the year the country was founded. Its music was composed in the 1930s and arranged most recently in 2018; its lyrics date back to the 1890s. The lyrics of "Aegukga" were originally set to the music of the Scottish song "Auld Lang Syne" before Ahn Eak-tai composed a unique melody specifically for it in 1936. Before the founding of South Korea, the song, set to the music of "Auld Lang Syne", was sung, as well as during Korea under Japanese rule by dissidents. The version set to the melody composed by Ahn Eak-tai was adopted as the national anthem of the Korean exile government, which existed during Korea's occupation by Japan from the early 1910s to the mid-1940s.
"Aegukka", officially translated as "Patriotic Song", is the national anthem of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, more commonly known as North Korea. It was composed in 1945 as a patriotic song celebrating independence from Japanese occupation and was adopted as the state anthem in 1947.
The Scots Musical Museum was an influential collection of traditional folk music of Scotland published from 1787 to 1803. While it was not the first collection of Scottish folk songs and music, the six volumes with 100 songs in each collected many pieces, introduced new songs, and brought many of them into the classical music repertoire.
"Qaumee Salaam" is the national anthem of the Maldives. The lyrics were written by Muhammad Jameel Didi in 1948, and the melody was composed by Sri Lankan maestro Pandit Amaradeva in 1972.
"Scots Wha Hae" is a patriotic song of Scotland written using both words of the Scots language and English, which served for centuries as an unofficial national anthem of the country, but has lately been largely supplanted by "Scotland the Brave" and "Flower of Scotland".
"A Red, Red Rose" is a 1794 song in Scots by Robert Burns based on traditional sources. The song is also referred to by the title "(Oh) My Love is Like a Red, Red Rose" and is often published as a poem. Many composers have set Burns' lyric to music, but it gained worldwide popularity set to the traditional tune "Low Down in the Broom"
"The Parting Glass" is a Scottish traditional song, often sung at the end of a gathering of friends. It has also long been sung in Ireland, enjoying considerable popularity to this day and strongly influencing the style in which it is often now sung. It was purportedly the most popular parting song sung in Scotland before Robert Burns wrote "Auld Lang Syne".
As Scotland is part of the United Kingdom, the British national anthem "God Save the King" is used in Scotland on royal occasions, for example, or when Scottish athletes participate at the Olympics. However, in other situations, other songs are used as de facto Scottish anthems, most notably "Flower of Scotland" and "Scotland the Brave". There have been calls for Scotland to have its own official national anthem.
In vocal music, contrafactum is "the substitution of one text for another without substantial change to the music". The earliest known examples of this procedure date back to the 9th century used in connection with Gregorian chant.
Hotaru no Hikari is a Japanese song incorporating the tune of Scottish folk song Auld Lang Syne with completely different lyrics by Chikai Inagaki, first introduced in a collection of singing songs for elementary school students in 1881. The swapping of lyrics without substantial change to the music is known as contrafactum. The words describe a series of images of hardships that the industrious student endures in his relentless quest for knowledge, starting with the firefly’s light, which the student uses to keep studying when he has no other light sources. It is commonly heard during graduation ceremonies and at the end of the school day. Many stores and restaurants play it to usher customers out at the end of a business day. On the very popular Japanese New Year's Eve TV show, NHK's Kōhaku Uta Gassen, it has become a tradition for all the performers to sing Hotaru no Hikari as the last song. Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo Disney Sea here is Tokyo Disney Resort for Countdown Party's from New Year's Eve Park show, "New Day, New Dream". Another song from the same period and used at graduation ceremonies thought to be based on a Scottish folk song is "Aogeba Tōtoshi".
"Comin' Thro' the Rye" is a poem written in 1782 by Robert Burns (1759–1796). The words are put to the melody of the Scottish Minstrel "Common' Frae The Town". This is a variant of the tune to which "Auld Lang Syne" is usually sung—the melodic shape is almost identical, the difference lying in the tempo and rhythm.
Robert Burns, also known familiarly as Rabbie Burns, was a Scottish poet and lyricist. He is widely regarded as the national poet of Scotland and is celebrated worldwide. He is the best known of the poets who have written in the Scots language, although much of his writing is in a "light Scots dialect" of English, accessible to an audience beyond Scotland. He also wrote in standard English, and in these writings his political or civil commentary is often at its bluntest.
Melody is a 1953 American animated short film produced by Walt Disney Productions and directed by Ward Kimball and Charles A. Nichols. Originally released on May 28, 1953, this film was the first in a proposed series of animated cartoon shorts teaching the principles of music, called Adventures in Music. However, only one other entry in the series was produced, Toot, Whistle, Plunk and Boom, which was released later that same year, winning an Academy Award for Best Short Subject (Cartoons) the following year.
Mairi Campbell is a Scottish folk singer and musician. Campbell's songs and music have a rooted and powerful quality that range from the everyday to the universal, both in sound and subject matter.
"Bonnie Charlie", also commonly known as "Will ye no come back again?", is a Scots poem by Carolina Oliphant, set to a traditional Scottish folk tune. As in several of the author's poems, its theme is the aftermath of the Jacobite Rising of 1745, which ended at the Battle of Culloden. Written well after the events it commemorates, it is not a genuine Jacobite song, like many other songs that were "composed in the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, but ... passed off as contemporary products of the Jacobite risings."
"Auld Lang Syne" is a poem by Robert Burns and set to the tune of a traditional folk song.
"Auld Lang Syne (The New Year's Anthem)" is a song by American singer and songwriter Mariah Carey from her second Christmas album/thirteenth studio album, Merry Christmas II You (2010). The second single from the album, an extended play consisting of nine remixes was released by Island on December 14, 2010. Using the public domain poem "Auld Lang Syne" by Robert Burns, Carey along with Randy Jackson and Johnny "Sev" Severin (of RedOne) composed a new arrangement, added lyrics and re-titled it. The track garnered a negative response from critics, all of whom disliked how Carey had re-composed the poem into a house song. An accompanying music video was released featuring a pregnant Carey singing in front of a background of exploding fireworks. "Auld Lang Syne (The New Year's Anthem)" charted on the lower regions of the South Korean international singles charts and at number nine on the US Holiday Digital Songs chart.
"Old Nassau" has been Princeton University's alma mater since 1859. Harlan Page Peck was the lyricist and Carl A. Langlotz was the composer. The lyrics were changed in 1987 to address sexism at the newly co-educational institution. For a brief time the song was sung to the melody of "Auld Lang Syne" before Langlotz wrote the music on demand. The lyrics were the result of a songwriting contest by the Nassau Literary Review.