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Exhibitions | Past

Robert Burns and "Auld Lang Syne"
December 9, 2011, through February 5, 2012

Robert Burns (1759–1796). "Auld Lang Syne." (detail) Autograph manuscript written within a letter, dated [September 1793], to George Thomson. MA 47.27.

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Every December 31, tens of millions of people raise their voices with friends and family in a chorus of "Auld Lang Syne," bidding farewell to the past year and looking forward to a promising new one. But how did a traditional Scots folk song—with lyrics that many people scarcely understand—emerge as one of the world's most enduring popular songs? With manuscripts and letters of the great Scottish poet Robert Burns (1759–1796), rare printed editions, and audio selections, this highly focused exhibition explores the origins of a song that began as an old Scots poem and air and evolved into a globally shared expression of friendship and longing.

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This exhibition was made possible by a generous gift in honor of Mr. Thomas Burns Reid and Mrs. Mary Theresa Reid.

Related Programs:

Gallery Talk
Robert Burns and "Auld Lang Syne"
Friday, December 16, 2011, 7 p.m.

Days of Auld Lang Syne: Euan Morton Sings Songs of Scotland
Tuesday, January 24, 2012, 7:30 p.m.

« See all past exhibitions

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The programs of The Morgan Library & Museum are made possible with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Background images: Photography by Todd Eberle unless otherwise noted. © 2006 Todd Eberle.