"Auld Lang Syne" — Eng: “old long since” — might be better translated as
“old long ago”, “times gone by”, or “days gone by” is a poem by Robert Burns, and one of the best known songs in English-speaking
countries. Yet, perhaps because it was originally written in the Scots language, often people can recall the melody easily but know only a fraction of the words.
usually sung each year on New Year's Eve (Hogmanay in Scotland) in the United Kingdom, The Republic of Ireland, the United States, Australia, and English speaking Canada
at midnight and signifies the start of a new year. Also, in many Burns Clubs, it is sung to end the Burns supper. It is used as a graduation song and a funeral song in Taiwan,
symbolizing an end or a goodbye. The latter almost certainly originates in Japan in the Japanese song Hotaru no Hikari (Firefly’s Light) which was explicitly created by
the Meiji regime as a graduation song (from which the other uses flowed). In the Philippines, it is well known and sung at celebrations like graduations, New Year and
Christmas Day. In Japan, many stores play it to usher customers out at the end of a business day, and the tune is sung at graduations. In the United Kingdom, it is played at
the close of the annual Congress (conference) of the Trades Union Congress. Before the composition of Aegukga, the lyrics of Korea’s national anthem was sung to the tune
of this song. Also, before 1972, it was the tune for the Gaumii salaam anthem of The Maldives (with the current words). The University of Virginia’s fight song (The Good
Old Song) also carries the same tune. In Portugal, Spain and Germany this song is used to mark a farewell, especially in the Boy Scout movement.
It has also been used
on other occasions as a farewell. One occasion that falls in this category was in October 2000, when the body of former Canadian prime minister Pierre Trudeau left Parliament
Hill in Ottawa for the last time, going to Montreal for the state funeral.