Wednesday, December 29, 2021

The Back Story on a Story Song

Dan Fogelberg’s “Same Old Lang Syne” was a true story about his running into his high school girlfriend several years later at a convenience store while back home visiting his family at Christmas.

This style of song is not really my thing, but the back story is somewhat interesting. 

Back in the day I liked Fogelberg’s earlier songs like “Part of the Plan” … 

… plus a few others. Later when he became hugely popular his singing and the general pop style of his songs did nothing for me. 

But upon hearing “Hard To Say” a few years ago and turning it up loud in the car — maybe hearing it for the first time, or listening closely for the first time, I don’t really know — it instantly became my favorite tune of his. By far.

This is just a great piece of music, especially the production, arrangement and band. Fogelberg’s vocals are far more relaxed and in control, but the band and arrangement, especially the guitar fills, carry the song.

He grew up in Peoria and both his parents were musicians — his hit “Leader of the Band” was a tribute to his father who was band director and music teacher at Peoria Woodruff High School, Pekin High School, and Bradley University. 

He died way too young, of cancer at just 56 years of age, in 2007.