Fun Etymology Tuesday Special – Auld Lang Syne

Happy new year to all of you, my dear followers and friends!

Since it is New Year’s Eve and, more importantly (of course), Tuesday, I thought we should do something special for today’s Fun Etymology!

Today’s special Fun Ety is Auld Lang Syne.

The English version of this song, with which you are no doubt familiar, goes something like this:

It is traditionally sung on New Year’s Eve all around the world (often in the English version), but was created by the Scottish poet Robert Burns in 1788.

Burns sent the song to the Scots Musical Museum, noting that it was an old song that he was putting into writing for the first time. So, although its been around since 1788 in the form we know now it, the lyrics may be significantly older.

It was eventually set to the slowed-down melody of a Scottish folk song (number 6294 in Roud Folk Song Index to be specific), giving us a lovely Scottish tune.

Regardless of whether you listen to the English or Scottish (or any other) version though, Auld Lang Syne is a lovely way of celebrating the past while ringing in the new year as its lyrics celebrate the old while the chiming of the clock will celebrate the new.

Once you’re done with ringing in the new year (and celebrating the beauty of the Scots language), join me as we continue our study of languages, their history and, their development.

Happy New Year!


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