“What does the song mean? My whole life, I don’t know what this song means. It means ‘Should old acquaintance be forgot.’ Does that mean that we should forget old acquaintances or does it mean that if we should happen to forget them, we should remember them which is not possible because we already forgot?”
“Well maybe it just means that maybe we should remember that we forgot them or something. Anyway, it’s about old friends.”
Yep. It’s about old friends, and getting drunk with those old friends, but not buying those old friends any beer because, look, do you really know them that well? And can’t they buy their own damn beer? Yeah. They can.
Basically, the song is asking you a rhetorical question: Should you forget your old acquaintances? Never think of them? Never think of the olden days or the days of yore or yesteryear? The answer is a resounding NO! Of course not. You should get drunk with those old acquaintances and talk about the good ol’ days! That’s what you should do!
The full sentiment of the song is lost to many of us, since in these here united states, we only sing the first verse. As a nation of drunk asses on New Year’s Eve, we don’t have time to sing eleventy verses of some Scottish song we don’t understand. There’s drink to be drunk, and some hot guy or gal with whom we want to accidentally make out and then never speak of again.
Anyway, read the lyrics for yourself. I’m fairly certain the song is about getting crunk, Scottish-style, but what do I know? I’m a known crazy person.
|The English Version||The English Version in a Bagpipes Accent|
|Should old acquaintance be forgot,|
and never brought to mind ?
Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and days of old lang syne ?
And surely you’ll buy your pint cup!
We two have run about the slopes,
We two have paddled in the stream,
And there’s a hand my trusty friend !
|Shid ald akwentans bee firgot,|
an nivir brocht ti mynd?
Shid ald akwentans bee firgot,
an ald lang syn*?
An sheerly yil bee yur pynt-staup!
We twa hay rin aboot the braes,
We twa hay pedilt in the burn,
An thers a han, my trustee feer!
The message is pretty clear, isn’t it? Don’t forget your old acquaintances! Don’t forget the old days! Meet up with some old friends; go out and pick some daisies; maybe paddle in a stream, hold hands, and then go to the pub!
Not so fast, though — surely you’re buying your own pint, and surely I’m buying my own pint, and yes, I will stop calling you Shirley, but look — I haven’t seen you in a while, and frankly, I’m not sure if I like you enough to buy you a pint (and dissing my Shirley joke didn’t really help your “buy me a damn pint” cause.) So why don’t you go buy your beer, I’ll buy my beer, and then we can drink our separate respective beers and talk about auld lang syne aka the good old days aka back in the day! And then later when we’re good and sloshed, we’ll hold hands and drink some more! (But I’m still not buying you a beer, so back off already.)
That’s what the lyrics mean! Right?
Upon a reread, I think the song is saying that you should skip all the daisy picking and paddling around because that’s dumb — you should just get drunk with your old friends and talk about what y’all have been up to, and you’ll come to find that everyone is up to the same shit: picking fine daisies, running around the slopes (skiing?? golfing??), wandering many a weary foot, paddling in the stream from morning til dinner (why? For fishing? In a stream? While paddling? Something doesn’t add up. No wonder Scottish people are drunk all the time.) Also, there’s a sea roaring between you. I bet the sea is a metaphor for distance, hence the old acquaintance business.
I think that’s it.
Or is it? I don’t know. I just spent a half hour trying to figure out how to add tables to this post. I’m not exactly an expert on anything. Besides, I’ve never really thought about what the song means. I’m just spit-ballin’ here.
Point is, go out, get drunk (or not) and hang out with friends (or not) and just wait until midnight — if the world doesn’t end, then go to sleep and wake up and curse yourself for having drunk so much the night before (or not).[videos after the jump]