Music Monday: Same Old Lang Syne by the late Dan Fogelberg

Posted By on January 2, 2023

There are songs that when you hear them trigger memories of times, people and places in life. Dan Fogelberg’s “Same Old Lang Syne” does that for me … although thankfully not as depressing as the lyrics. (I’m thinking about the “bigger than life trips” during my college Christmas/New Year breaks).


Over the Christmas and New Year break from college, a friend and I drove to Florida each year and in 1980 and 1981 we would often hear this somber song on the radio while sitting at the campground or in the car in the evening.

  Dan Fogelberg – “Same Old Lang Syne” | 1980

"Same Old Lang Syne" is frequently played on radio stations during the North American holiday season. The song’s opening lyrics reveal that the narrative takes place on a snowy Christmas Eve and they end with a second acknowledgment of snow. Since the song’s release, these references and the musical quote of "Auld Lang Syne", a song traditionally sung on New Year’s Eve, have increased the song’s popularity during the month of December. (Wikipedia link)

The first year I traveled to Florida was with my high school friend Charles Matthews (Kamikaze) in his VW Beetle in 1977 (no radio as I recall), and eventually with Dallas (photo above) … and my Founders Hall and ONU college apartment roommates. Although our Florida exploration trips took different paths, our endpoint was always the same, Collier Seminole State Park for camping and days on minimally developed north end of Marco Island. We enjoyed the primitive privacy, walking or sleeping on white untouched sand beaches and laying down on the long stretches of warm slack tide sandbarsDanFogelbergHeadshotwhich was probably why we ended up there each year … even if we did have to use plywood sheets to drive across the soft sand back trails to get to the beach.

Back to the first Music Monday song for 2023: The song “Same Old Lang Syne” was autobiographical and Dan Fogelberg (mentioned in 2018) talks about running into an old girlfriend in Peoria, Illinois when visiting his parents over Christmas in 1975. After Fogelberg’s death in 2007, Jill Anderson Greulich came forward after keeping it private and filled in the “actual” details – there was a bit of poetic license to the song.

After Fogelberg’s death from prostate cancer in 2007, the woman in the song, Jill Anderson Greulich, came forward with her story. Greulich told of how she and Fogelberg dated in high school. As she explained to the Peoria Journal Star in an article dated December 22, 2007, the pair knew each other in Peoria, Illinois as part of the Woodruff High School class of 1969. After graduation, each attended different colleges. Following college, Greulich married and moved to Chicago, while Fogelberg moved to Colorado to pursue a music career. While back in Peoria visiting their respective families for Christmas in 1975, Fogelberg and Greulich ran into each other on Christmas Eve at a convenience store located at 1302 East Frye Avenue in the Abington Hill district. Greulich confirmed that they bought a six-pack of beer and drank it in her car for two hours while they talked. Five years later, after the song was released, Greulich heard the song on the radio for the first time while driving to work, but kept quiet about it, as Fogelberg had not disclosed her identity. She stated that her reason for remaining quiet about her involvement in the song’s narrative was that coming forward might have disrupted Fogelberg’s marriage. — LINK

Including a live performance video below …


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