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Jessica Chesher

Managing Editor

Innovation eReview
December Means

December Means....New Year's Eve!

How many of us have warbled the lyrics to this venerable New Year’s Eve fav (with or without the ingestion of adult beverages) without knowing anything more than the first verse and without really understanding the meaning of the title?  Unless we have some post-doc scholars of Scotland or of Mr. Rabbie Burns himself (Rabbie being the traditional Scot spelling of Robert) amidst our readers, we bet none of you.  Yet we also bet that the rendition of this tune can bring a tear to your eye even without the aid of an orchestra, Times Square, adult beverages, the stroke of midnight and the impending birth of a new year, for somewhere, deep down inside of you, you “get” the meaning.  

But, because we, the Innovation e-Review staffers, are always working – hard – for you, our dear readers, and because we are curious ourselves, we present to you not only the full lyrics of Auld Lang Syne, but the meaning of the Scottish words used in the song.  See, now you can bore your friends and family on New Year’s just like we will!  The translations to English are bolded, italicized and in parentheses, right next to the Scottish phrases.

Auld Lang Syne

Words adapated from a traditional song
by Rabbie Burns (1759-96)

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And auld lang syne (times gone by)

For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We'll tak (take) a cup of kindness yet,
For auld lang syne! 

And surely ye'll be (pay for) your pint-stowp (tankard of adult beverage),
And surely I'll be (pay for) mine,
And we'll tak a cup o kindness yet,
For auld lang syne! 

We twa (two) hae (have) run about the braes (hills),
And pou'd (pulled) the gowans (daisies) fine,
But we've wander'd monie (many) a weary fit (foot),
Sin (in) auld lang syne. 

We twa (two) hae (have) paidl'd (paddled) in the burn (stream)
Frae morning sun (noon) till dine (supper time),
But seas between us braid (broad) hae roar'd
Sin auld lang syne. 

And there's a hand my trusty fiere (friend),
And gie's a hand o thine,
And we'll tak a right guid-willie waught (good will drink of - all together now - an adult beverage),
For auld lang syne

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