When was the last time you listened to a song with lyrics so simple, it seemed like a poem; but at the same time amazed you with the effect those simple words had on the song? I’m guessing you’ll have to recollect songs from the past thirty years and then sort your way through them. I came across this song on the morning of Christmas Eve, whilst I was strolling around in a mall, wondering what I should buy for my family. The moment the song was played, my ears commanded my brain to stop analyzing the discounted goods and listen to the song. I stood still, enjoying the warmth generated as the simple lyrics echoed through my ears. Thankfully, I could muster up some common sense and whip out my smartphone, start the ‘Shazam‘ app (thank God for technology), and identify the song. As soon as the result came up, I breathed a sigh of relief and continued with my not-so-successful shopping venture. The simplicity of the song really got to me, and I was so obsessed with the tune of the song that I drove past my house three times. Go ahead, give it a listen.
History: ‘Same Old Lang Syne‘ is a song composed by Dan Fogelberg. The song was released to the public in 1980 as a single, only to be re-released as a part of his album titled ‘The Innocent Age‘ (1981). The song peaked at Number 9 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts. It is also one of the most frequently played songs on Christmas Eve (keep your ears open in the mall!). The song, as I suspected, is an autobiographical incident. He was visiting home after a long musical tour, when he happened to run into his old lover in the nearby grocery store. As the song suggests, they awkwardly exchanged pleasantries and decided to spend some time catching up. What follows is accurately described in the song. Jill (Dan’s former girlfriend) heard the song, and pointed out two mistakes he made – Her eyes were green, not blue; and the man she married was a teacher, not an architect. The fact being that she didn’t come forward with these inaccuracies, as it would disrupt Dan’s marriage. For the complete story, click here. There is only one version of this song, viz. the 5 Minute 20 Second Album Version.
What the song conveys: It’s painfully simple, really. The song is written in First person, and it starts with a man stumbling upon his former lover in a grocery store. They exchange awkward formalities, and decide to catch up on all the time lost. They go to have drinks in a nearby bar, but find it’s closed. Hence, they get a six-pack from the liquor store and carry on with the conversation in her car. She tells him that she’s married to an architect and, though she’d love to say it, isn’t really happy. She acknowledges his success as a singer, and proceeds to leave by giving him a kiss and driving away to her normal life.
Review: The song starts with a soothing piano note (Fogelberg), and Fogelberg initiates the vocals at 00:19. As you must have already heard, the lyrics are dreadfully simple, and powerful too. This song stands up proudly among many others and proves that it isn’t necessary to have complex words thrown in a song just to make it listenable; and that sometimes, all it takes is a simple poetic approach. The first verse, which describes their meeting, ends at 00:54. A short piano interlude ensues, after which the second verse follows suit at 01:12. Again, the simplicity of the song is the winning formula. This verse describes the transition of their conversation from the grocery store to her car. The chorus follows right after the second stanza has its share of the spotlight (01:48). The chorus features Fogelberg in a slightly higher pitch and tone. The third stanza, however, brings things back to normal (02:04). This part describes the current happenings in the woman’s life (with a nice little double entendre added in there. Tell me what you thought it was in the comments). As the third verse ends at 02:58, the chorus takes over again, and loops a second time (with slight modifications in the last two lines). The song audibly slows down after the second repetition, with the beats fading off, and extra emphasis added to the piano. The last stanza always seems to catch my attention, as the last four lines (for me) are the best lines of the song. They are:
“Just For a Moment I Was Back In School,
And Felt That Old Familiar Pain;
And As I Turned To Make My Way Back Home,
The Snow Turned Into Rain”
Beautiful, isn’t it? The song gradually fades off, ending with the original ‘Auld Lang Syne’ piano piece. If you’ve really liked the song, I’m sure you won’t hesitate hitting the repeat button again! R.I.P Dan Fogelberg!
Lyrics For “Same Old Lang Syne”: http://artists.letssingit.com/dan-fogelberg-lyrics-same-old-lang-syne-hpx5xm1#axzz2k98mbQcV
Download Link For “Same Old Lang Syne”: http://www.dididoo.com/fordid/ddd/SameOldLangSyne.mp3 (Right Click on Link, Click ‘Save Link/Target As’)