12-27-2020 - Same Old Lang Syne, The Age of Innocence
Same Old Lang Syne, The Age of Innocence
Its release was in 1980. Worldwide, fans had wondered about the “old lover” referenced in the song. Dan Fogelberg never would say, and only a handful of people knew the ex-girlfriend’s identify. After his death, it was revealed that she was a one-time high school sweetheart. The song is a fictionalized account of an actual Christmas Eve meeting between the two. It’s a beautiful song about a long-ago romantic reunion...
It starts inside a convenience store in Peoria IL on a snowy, night. Dan Fogelberg bumps into a woman Jill Greulich he dated years ago. They were both in high school, only back then, she was known as Jill Anderson. They graduated together in 1969, but broke up when they attended different colleges. By the time both were done with school, Jill had gotten married, and Dan had moved to Colorado. At first she doesn't recognize him, but eventually she does, and when she tries to greet him, she drops her purse, spilling its contents all over the floor of the frozen foods section. They then laugh until they cry.
They had stayed apart for several years until one fateful Christmas Eve, December 24, 1976. Jill was at the store buying eggnog. Dan was at the store buying a carton of whipping cream. Everything that happened in the song happened as the song said it had.
The two of them decided to go out for a drink to catch up on old times, but seeing as how it was Christmas Eve, finding an open bar was a bit of an impossible dream. Instead, they bought a six-pack of beer from the store, and drank them inside her car.
They proposed a toast to the innocence of the past, and talked about what they'd been up to since high school graduation. The two decide to toast again, and soon after, the conversation dries up as quickly as the beer in their cans, and she has to go back home to her family. They exchange pleasantries as well as a kiss before the Dan leaves the car. Watching her drive off down the road, the snow changes to rain, and he is left feeling the same way he felt when the relationship between the two ended all those years ago.
There were just a few inaccuracies. Jill's eyes weren't blue. They were actually green. Her husband wasn't an architect. He was a physical education teacher. Her marriage wasn't going well. She later revealed that by the time the song was released in December 1980, Her marriage had dissolved.
The first time Jill had heard the song, she was on her way to work. The song came on her car radio. Upon listening to the song, Jill knew that the couple being referenced in 'Same Old Lang Syne' were her and Dan. But she didn't come forward for a couple of reasons. Dan had wanted to keep her identity a secret as whenever Dan was asked in interviews about it, he'd change the subject. Jill didn't come forward because at the time, Dan was married himself, and the last thing she wanted to do was disrupt his marriage.
For years though, nobody knew who the song was about. Some people even wondered if the song was based on a real event, or if it was fictional. Dan eventually conceded on his website that the song 'Same Old Lang Syne' was based on a real encounter that he experienced, but never named names, and it was a secret that Dan himsele of Innocencef took with him to the grave. Dan Fogelberg passed away from prostate cancer on December 16th 2007. Jill revealed their story to the Peoria Journal Star in a December 22, 2007 article.