Sing Along on the Eighth Day of Christmas

John Masey Wright and John Rogers’ illustration of the poem, c.‚ÄČ1841

Happy New Year! The Eighth Day of Christmas is New Year’s Day. You can already guess today’s song, but chances are you’ve never sung the whole thing.

Wikipedia suggests that “‘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.” Usually we only hear the first verse of this song, which makes it seem both more sentimental and less substantial than it actually is. The Scots dialect of the original Robert Burns poem is nearly incomprehensible to us today, but today we’ll sing a pretty nice English version.

The stereotype of Scots is that they are supposed to be thrifty. You’ll notice that in the second stanza, the speaker never offers to actually buy the drink for his “trusty friend.” Nor does he expect his companion to buy for him. They’ll each buy their own, thank you. That “cup o’ kindness” only goes so far.

Should old acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind?
Should old acquaintance be forgot, and auld lang syne?

     For auld lang syne, my dear, for auld lang syne,
     we'll take a cup of kindness yet, for auld lang syne.

And surely you'll buy your pint cup! And surely I'll buy mine!
And we'll take a cup o' kindness yet, for auld lang syne.


We two have run about the hills, and picked the daisies fine;
But we've wandered many a weary foot, since auld lang syne.


We two have paddled in the stream, from morning sun till dine;
But seas between us broad have roared since auld lang syne.


And there's a hand my trusty friend! And give me a hand o' thine!
And we'll take a right good-will draught, for auld lang syne.


Click here for the recording.

Not sure what this is about? Click here!

Join us at on each of the Twelve Days of Christmas to join in this virtual sing-along. Care to be a serial singer? Here you go:

Author: StgCoach

Retired teacher and public education leader. Pastoral musician, community activist, parliamentarian, and photographer.