Scouting Through History

Auld Lang Syne:

The Lowland Scots verses of the above title have became an international song used at rallies and at closing ceremonies; it may therefore be of interest to give the usually accepted wording of the verses and chorus.

The song is very ancient, the first printed version having been made by Sir Robert Ayton of Fife in the early seventeen century. Robert Burns, in the next century, used the old lines as the basis of one of his poems. The following is the version in common use:


Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to min` ?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot?
And days oŽ lang syne?


For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We'll takŽ a cup oŽ kindeness yet,
For auld lang syne.


And here's a hand, my trusty frienŽ,
And gieŽs a hand oŽ thine,
WeŽll takŽ a cup oŽ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

Chorus repeated.

Those who are acquainted with Standard English only may glad a few explanations.

The title may be translated " Old long since", meaning, " Old times long past". The letters gieŽs stand for " give us", while a cup of "kindness" may be interpreted according to personal tastes.

Contributed by: Carlos Rodriguez, Wood Badge Scouter, Venezuela

The course director for the Wood Badge Course that Carlos attended was William "Green Bar Bill" Hillcourt.

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