Idol Chatter

Every year, there’s a holiday-time song that gets to me (even more than that Folgers commercial where the kid comes home to surprise his parents). It’s about life, loss, regret, and what happens when reality intrudes on your hopes and dreams.Basically, every time I hear it, I burst into tears and start questioning the choices I’ve made in my life, wondering if it’s too late to change my life before the snow and all of its magic turns to rain. Some of you likely feel the same way about the remarkably affecting “Same Auld Lang Syne,” a ballad by Dan Fogelberg about a cab driver who encounters an old girlfriend; they discuss how their lives have gone since they were young and had dreams of being something amazing, and discovered that each had made compromises when it came to their dreams. Depressing, but resonant, this feeling of regret and “should-have-been,” especially during the holiday season that’s notorious (if somewhat erroneously) for its highest rate of suicide. It’s so sentimental that it borders on cheesy, but it touches something so universal and does such a remarkable job of storytelling that the cheesiness is somehow forgivable. And now this year there’s another reason to be depressed about this song. Singer Dan Fogelberg died this Sunday after a long bout with prostate cancer. He was 56, an age when he should have just been beginning to wonder about regret. Instead, thanks to his song, we have an imprint of his pre-emptive regret, all too appropriate for a man who died too soon.

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