Where did the tradition of singing “Auld Lang Syne” at midnight on New Year's Eve come from? How long have we been doing that?

“Auld Lang Syne,” which is public domain, is a poem that was written and combined with a traditional folk song by Robert Burns in 1788. It means 'to bid farewell,' or saying good-bye to the old year. The song is also popular at graduations, funerals as a way of ending something.

There are a few different versions you can sing, but we're showing you the English version. Here's the lyrics:

Should old acquaintance be forgot,

and never brought to mind ?

Should old acquaintance be forgot,

and old lang syne ?

CHORUS:

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.

CHORUS

We two have run about the slopes,

and picked the daisies fine ;

But we’ve wandered many a weary foot,

since auld lang syne.

CHORUS

We two have paddled in the stream,

from morning sun till dine† ;

But seas between us broad have roared

since auld lang syne.

CHORUS

And there’s a hand my trusty friend !

And give us a hand o’ thine !

And we’ll take a right good-will draught,

for auld lang syne.

CHORUS”

Get more lyrics and details on this song from Wikipedia.