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Thursday, December 07, 2017

#19 - Top 25 Christmas Songs (According To Me!)

It's Day #7 in the POP CULTURE ADDICT'S GUIDE TO LIFE ADVENT CALENDAR and we are well on our way to counting down the top 25 Christmas tunes...well, at least what I believe them to be.

We've officially broken out of the twenties and today I will be posting my nineteenth favourite Christmas tune. 

Now before I go ahead and do this, I will state that this song selection that I have chosen for spot #19 was one that I don't believe was intended to be a Christmas tune.  It does mention the words Christmas Eve in the lyrics, but that's really the only reference to Christmas in the song at all.  But yet it is a song that since its release in 1980 has been a bit of a mainstay on the radio during the months of November and December.

It was recorded and released by a man who sadly passed away almost exactly ten years ago.  And would you believe that for the most part, the song was an autobiographical single?

So, what's the song?  And who's the singer?

Well, first we must acknowledge the brilliant singing career of Dan Fogelberg, who was just 56 when he passed away from cancer on December 16, 2007.  For well over three decades, he entertained people with such hits as "Heart Hotels", "Leader of the Band", "Hard to Say", and "Longing".  Some of his singles are still enjoyed on adult contemporary and country music stations ten years after his death.

And in 1980, he recorded the single "Same Old Lang Syne" - an emotional ballad about the time that he reconnected with an old girlfriend of his in the frozen food section of a grocery store on Christmas Eve, and how they talked about the good times they shared over a six-pack of beer in a parked car. 

Now, Christmas is all about reconnecting with old friends and reminiscing about fond memories, and certainly in the song, Dan and his former flame had a great time toasting to innocence and time.  But all good things come to an end, and after catching up on everything, they once again went their separate ways, and the snow changed to rain. 

It truly is a well-crafted song that certainly brings forth a lot of emotion.  Happiness, sadness, melancholy, joy, pain...maybe even perhaps a little bit of intoxication.  Who knows, really?  It might not exactly be a song that is filled with holiday cheer, Santa Claus, reindeer, and mistletoe...but surprisingly it is a tune that definitely seems to fit the mood.  After all, sometimes Christmas can bring forth some bittersweet memories in addition to the wonderful ones. 

Now, as for the subject of the song?  Well, it wasn't until Fogelberg's passing that we learned the truth, but a woman did step forward and admitted that she was the one that Fogelberg sang about.  According to Fogelberg, the chance encounter took place in either 1975 or 1976, and she was reluctant to say anything about it, as both of them were married to other people at the time and she didn't want to disrupt either marriage.  

Have a listen to the song and hear just how wonderful a tune it is.  But there are a couple of inaccuracies in the song according to the woman - the eye colour was incorrect, as well as her then husband's occupation.  I guess Fogelberg changed it just enough to keep it a mystery as long as he was alive.

Oh, and one final footnote.  This is a song that I liked so much that I had it in my Top 750 songs of all time at #667!  Not bad, huh?

Coming up tomorrow, we revisit the Claymation world to talk about one of the most traditional songs associated with the season!

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