An 18th-century Scottish poem credited to Robert Burns has gone on to become perhaps the most revered folk song in the English-speaking world. Every New Year's Eve and Day Auld Lang Syne can be heard in almost any setting, asking whether old times should be forgotten, then suggesting that they are best not only remembered, but treasured for the company kept and memories which remain. While Burns is credited with the lyrics, the poet aknowledged that the work had many ancient and unknown contributors along the way.
Translated literally to "old long since" as in long, long ago, it was sometimes used as a similar intro to Scottish fairy tales. The term in the song is often thought to mean for the sake of old times. According to Burns in a letter to the Scots Musical Museum, "The following song, an old song, of the olden times, and which has never been in print, nor even in manuscript until I took it down from an old man." It's generally believed that there was an ancient folk song with some of the chorus, and that Burns likely authored the rest by himself.
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