In 2007 artist Dan Fogelberg passed away due to prostate cancer. He was a great musician and I enjoy his work. So I hope none of his die-hard fans who come across this think I’m harping on the guy. He was a great talent and if fate has any taste his music will live for generations.
However, there is one song, “Same Old Lang Syne” that I have to take issue with. Is it a bad song? Generally no, although I don’t care for it personally. However, as I have stated before it’s NOT a Christmas song.
Apparently Sony wants to be a pain in the buttocks so you’ll have to go to YouTube posting yourself as of this writing. [11/16/2011: And as of this edit I had to change videos since the other one went down.] The Christmas scenery in that video may or may not be further confusing, but it’s the more readable of the ones I found so I went with that. Now is it a bad song? No, it succeeds at what it wants to do, without the drag of some other “slice of life moments” songs. (Well, there is the part about ringing up and bagging the groceries but that’s nitpicking.) Have I softened my perspective from the “Christmas Songs That Aren’t” post when I said I hated the song? Well, I still hate it, but knowing the behind the scenes makes it easier to deal with.
According to Wikipedia, the song is based on a true story. While some of the facts were changed (the woman doesn’t have blue eyes and while she won’t discuss the marriage, although she did get divorced, he got his job wrong as well), possibly for the sake of musical flow, it actually did happen to Fogelberg, so this isn’t just a character. This is an actual account from the singer himself, who is also the songwriter.
Still, it is a song about two married people who used to be involved getting drunk in her car (remember the “DWI” line to be a joke, as I didn’t know at the time that this was autobiographical–I DO take back the part about questioning if talking was all they did, though, out of respect) while she complained about a loveless marriage and he complained about touring. I only know the “backstage” part now because I did research for this article. Otherwise, that doesn’t sound very uplifting.
Which in my opinion a Christmas song should be, or at least heartwarming or sending a message looking to the Christmas spirit to motivate people to do good. (And no, I don’t mean “Feed the World”, we’ve already discussed why that song fails.) The only thing “Christmas” about this song is that they met on Christmas Eve (he to get whipping cream, she to get eggnog, according to Wiki) and that’s it. So why does it get played in Christmas rotations? Just put it into regular music rotation.
It won’t make me like any more, but at least it won’t be a downer on my Christmas. 🙂