74% 'make up Auld Lang Syne lyrics'
Published 30/12/2011 | 00:17
Three-quarters of Britons will mime or make up the words to Auld Lang Syne on New Year's Eve, according to a poll.
Research discovered that 37% of people do not know any of the words to the song, penned in 1788 by Robert Burns.
It found that 74% of adults will mime or make up the lyrics, while 60% have no idea of the meaning of the song's title, which, roughly translated, is "times gone by".
Almost 85% are unsure of the song's overall meaning and of the under-25s, 10% think Sir Paul McCartney or Elvis Presley may have written the words.
More than a third (37%) said they hummed loudly when unsure of the lyrics, while 20% used vigorous arm shaking while traditionally linking arms midway through the song.
The survey, to mark the release of Warner Bros comedy New Year's Eve, found 10% said they looked upwards through the duration of the song to avoid being detected and 5% left the room.
The most commonly misinterpreted lyric was "Should auld acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind?", which 22% sang as "should old acquaintance be forgot, and something else that rhymes".
A total of 2,105 adults were surveyed to mark the release of the film, which stars Hilary Swank, Michelle Pfeiffer, Zac Efron and Sarah Jessica Parker.