Traditional - Auld Lang Syne

First performance: 25/03/1977


Bruce covered the song 2 times and once as a snippet:
A tremendous show and one of the longest known with an astonishing 38 songs. The New Year's Eve celebrations include "In The Midnight Hour" and the last known "Auld Lang Syne". The song was played as an instrumental by Clarence Clemons on saxophone. Standout performances include "Who'll Stop The Rain", Roy Bittan plays pieces of "Once Upon A Time In The West" as a prelude to "The River" and as a bridge between that song and "Badlands". "Cadillac Ranch" includes some lyrics from "No Money Down". The encores also include the second "Twist And Shout" and the penultimate "Raise Your Hand" of the River Tour. Official concert recording available for purchase from Springsteen's official live download site at

1978-12-31 Richfield Coliseum, Richfield, OH 
This is the famous "Firecracker show" where someone threw one on stage which hit Bruce, provoking a rant from Steven Van Zandt. During the next tour Bruce would regularly ask people not to let off firecrackers. The song was played as an instrumental by Clarence Clemons on saxophone.

  • Snippet 
1977-03-25 Music Hall, Boston
Final night of the tour. Rosalita (Come Out Tonight) includes the Miami Horns playing a snippet of "Auld Lang Syne" in the band introductions.


"Auld Lang Syne" is a Scots-language poem written by Robert Burns in 1788 and set to the tune of a traditional folk song . It is well known in many countries, especially in the English-speaking world, its traditional use being to bid farewell to the old year at the stroke of midnight on New Year's Eve. By extension, it is also sung at funerals, graduations, and as a farewell or ending to other occasions. The international Scouting movement in many countries uses it to close jamborees and other functions. The poems's Scots title may be translated into standard English as "old long since" or, more idiomatically, "long long ago", "days gone by", or "old times". Consequently, "For auld lang syne", as it appears in the first line of the chorus, might be loosely translated as "for the sake of old times".  The tune to which "Auld Lang Syne" is commonly sung is a pentatonic Scots folk melody, probably originally a sprightly dance in a much quicker tempo. English composer William Shield seems to quote the "Auld Lang Syne" melody briefly at the end of the overture to his opera Rosina', which may be its first recorded use.

Other cover versions

  • 1939: Guy Lombardo and His Royal Canadians performed it in on New Year's Eve for decades until his death in 1977. Several sources credit Lombardo with "popularising" the use of the song, at least in the United States. Lombardo's version is played in Times Square every New Year's immediately following the dropping of the ball.
  • 1997: On 30 June, the day before Hong Kong was handed over from the UK to China, the tune was played by the silver and pipe bands from the Royal Hong Kong Police Force, at the departure of Hong Kong's 28th and last British Governor, Chris Patten, from his official residence, Government House, Hong Kong
  • 2009: On 30 November – St. Andrew's Day – students and staff at the University of Glasgow sang the song in 41 languages simultaneously
  • 2015: On 25 March, the song was played with a bagpipe on the transfer of Lee Kuan Yew's body from the Istana to the Parliament House
  • As a standard in music, "Auld Lang Syne" has been recorded many times, in every conceivable style, by many artists, both well-known and obscure.

Bruce on the artist


Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind?
Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and old lang syne?

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.

We two have run about the slopes,
and picked the daisies fine;
But we've wandered many a weary foot,
since auld lang syne.

We two have paddled in the stream,
from morning sun till dine†;
But seas between us broad have roared
since auld lang syne.

And there's a hand my trusty friend!
And give me a hand o' thine!
And we'll take a right good-will draught,
for auld lang syne.