What are the lyrics to Auld Lang Syne? Just 3% of Brits are said to know the words

The future of Auld Lang Syne being sung at the turn of the New Year has been thrown into doubt, with just 3% of people in the UK knowing the words, according to a study.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 28th December 2017, 10:03 am
Updated Thursday, 28th December 2017, 10:10 am
Auld Lang Syne is sang after midnight.
Auld Lang Syne is sang after midnight.

Research by Sainsbury's shows the majority can belt out the chorus and first few lines at best, but 42% of millennials do not know a single word.

It also found that more than half do not know Scottish bard Robert Burns wrote the words, with 3% even believing Mariah Carey was the author.

So here are the lyrics Burns' original Scots verse

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,

and never brought to mind?

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,

and auld lang syne?


For auld lang syne, my jo,

for auld lang syne,

we’lltak' a cup o’ kindness yet,

for auld lang syne.

And surely ye’ll be your pint-stoup!

and surely I’ll be mine!

And we’ll tak' a cup o’ kindness yet,

for auld lang syne.


We twa hae run about the braes,

and pou’d the gowans fine;

But we’ve wander’d mony a weary fit,

sin' auld lang syne.

Auld Lang Syne is sung as a way to bid farewell to the old year in many English-speaking countries.

People will usually cross arms to hold hands in circle throughout the song.

In Scotland, the tradition is to hold hands with the person next to you and only cross arms over your breast from the final verse, before rushing inwards when it is over.

When presented with lyrics from the song the majority of younger people had a hard time recognising them, with the study showing 54% failed to identify the chorus, despite it featuring the words Auld Lang Syne.

Further errors included mistakenly believing lyrics from The Beatles (40%), Abba (60%), Taylor Swift (34%) and Little Mix (30%) were lines from the 18th century poem.

Snoop Dogg's lyrics to his song New Year's Eve - "And every time I see you shine. It's like the lights of midnight. On New Year's Eve" - were thought to be part of the song by 45% of respondents.

Scots did not fare much better - just 7% said they knew all the lyrics, while most admitted they knew hardly any.

However, eight out of 10 people north of the border correctly identified Burns as the man who wrote the song.