Wednesday, January 2, 2008

The Backstory of Dan Fogelberg's "Same Old Lang Syne"

Posted By on Wed, Jan 2, 2008 at 10:56 PM

What a sweet story. After Dan Fogelberg passed away a few weeks ago, it emerged that his signature song, "Same Old Lang Syne" was written about an old girlfriend of his who now lives in St. Louis. The Peoria Journal Star printed a nice article which included an interview with Jill Greulich and her chance encounter with Fogelberg in a grocery store, long after they stopped dating.

After graduating college, Jill relocated to the Chicago area, where she worked as an elementary teacher and flight attendant. Not long after college, she married a man from that area, and her connection to Fogelberg faded to memories.

But on Christmas Eve 1975, Jill and her husband visited her parents, who still lived in the Woodruff district. Also at the home were some friends of the family.

During the gathering, Jill's mother asked her to run out for egg nog. Jill drove off in search of an open store.

Meanwhile, a few blocks away, a similar scenario was playing out at the Fogelberg home, where Dan Fogelberg was visiting family for the holiday. They needed whipping cream to make Irish coffees, so Fogelberg volunteered to go search for some.

By happenstance and because almost every other business on the East Bluff was closed, Jill and Fogelberg both ended up at the Convenient store at the top of Abington Hill, at Frye Avenue and Prospect Road. She got there first, and Fogelberg noticed her shortly after arriving.

They bought a six pack, sipped beer in her car and gabbed away. "We had some laughs," Jill recalls.

Here's a performance of the song from the Fox in 1991.

-- Annie Zaleski

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