The melody of Auld Lang Syne is very well-known in Japan as it is used for the students' song Hotaru no Hikari (Fireflies' Glow). It has nothing to do with New Year, but it always signifies the end of something; its four verses are sung at graduation ceremonies, and the melody is played in many stores to signal closing time - if you hear it in a shop, you are about to be thrown out. The words are a series of images of hardships that the industrious student endures in his quest for knowledge, starting with the firefly’s glow, which the student uses to keep studying when he has no other light.
Light of fireflies, snow on the window,
Many suns and moons spent reading
Years have gone by without our noticing
Day has dawned; this morning we part...
Click on header for Japanese words, romaji, translation and score sheet.