A lover's lament, 1667
Ramsay's "Auld Lang Syne", 1724
Ramsay's version, reprinted with music, 1787
A Caledonian country dance, 1760s
William Shield's Rosina, 1783?
The tune of "Auld Lang Syne", 1792
First publication of the Burns verses, 1796
An old song of olden times, 1793
Words and melody, together at last, 1799
A question of authorship, 1817
A 19th century revision, 1856–1860
Kipling's wartime version, 1900
Learn the whole song
More online exhibitions
Exhibitions | Online | Auld Lang Syne: The Story of a Song
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Ramsay's "Auld Lang Syne"
Yet another song beginning Should auld acquaintance be forgot appeared in print before Burns adopted the familiar line. Poet Allan Ramsay, whose passion for Scottish folk tradition inspired Burns, published this version in 1724. While the tone approaches the bittersweet nostalgia we now associate with "Auld Lang Syne," it is not surprising that Burns's graceful rendering outlasted Ramsay's stilted lines: Methinks around us on each bough a thousand Cupids play, whilst thro' the groves I walk with you, each object makes me gay.
Allan Ramsay (1686–1758)
"Auld Lang Syne"
The Hive: A Collection of the Most Celebrated Songs
London: Printed for J[ohn] Walthoe, Jr., 1724
James Fuld Music Collection, 2008