Thex Star


Dan Fogelberg - Same Old Lang Syne (1980)




The Story behind the Song (I copied this from YouTube just in case you didn't go there)

"Same Old Lang Syne" is a song sung by Dan Fogelberg released as a single in 1980. It was also included on his 1981 album The Innocent Age. The song is a narrative ballad told in the first person and tells the story of two long-ago lovers meeting by chance in a supermarket on Christmas Eve. The melody phrase at the beginning of each verse is taken by Fogelberg from Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture. It is now frequently played during the holiday season and is integrated with traditional Christmas songs. The song ends with a soprano saxophone solo by Michael Brecker based on the melody from the original "Auld Lang Syne".

As Fogelberg stated on his official website, the song was autobiographical. He was visiting family back home in Peoria, Illinois in the mid-'70s when he ran into an old girlfriend at a convenience store.

After Fogelberg's death from prostate cancer in 2007, the woman about whom he wrote the song came forward with her story. Her name is Jill Greulich, and she and Fogelberg dated in high school when she was Jill Anderson. As she explained to the Peoria Journal Star in a December 22, 2007 article, they were part of the Woodruff High School class of 1969, but went to different colleges. After college, Jill got married and moved to Chicago, and Dan went to Colorado to pursue music. On December 24, 1976, they were each back in Peoria with their families for Christmas when Jill went out for eggnog and Dan was dispatched to find whipping cream for Irish coffee. The only place open was a convenience store at the top of Abington Hill where they had their encounter, located at 1302 East Frye Avenue. Today, the store is still in business and is now called Short Stop Food Mart. They bought a six pack of beer and drank it in her car for two hours while they talked.

Five years later, Jill heard "Same Old Lang Syne" on the radio while driving to work, but she kept quiet about it, as Fogelberg also refused to reveal her identity. Her main concern was that coming forward would disrupt Fogelberg's marriage.

Looking at the lyrics, Jill says there are two inaccuracies: She has green eyes, not blue, and her husband was not an architect - he was a physical education teacher, and it is unlikely Fogelberg knew his profession anyway. Regarding the line, "She would have liked to say she loved the man, but she didn't like to lie," Jill will not talk about it, but she had divorced her husband by the time the song was released.