“We Drank a Toast to Innocence”

“We drank a toast to time.” – Dan Fogelberg

Image result for Dan Fogelberg 1981 Same Old Lang Syne

Farewell 2019!  Adios!  Ciao!  For some of you, 2019 was a year of wonder and a year of growth and discovery and will be fondly remembered.  For others, it was a painful, trying, rough 365 days that produced more heartache and frustration than anything.  For many, the year will fall somewhere in between.

For this little blog of mine, this will only be post #14 for the year.  The effort waned.  The daunting thought of banging out another post quelled me.  The motivation diminished.  I guess it’s natural in some ways.  Life events interrupt, and somehow things like this blog drop way down on the priority ladder.  Then, before you know it, a year has passed and you’re barely squeezing in post #14 for the year.  I won’t beat myself up about it though.  Maybe I just didn’t have that much to say in 2019.  Maybe I’ll just try to do better in 2020.

“We took her groceries to the check out stand.  The food was totaled up and bagged.”

Dan Fogelberg had a hit with those lyrics!  Somewhere, deep down inside you have to appreciate that fact that he had a hit song with lyrics about totaling and bagging groceries.  It just goes to show you that if you have talent and you can sing, that you can sing anything and potentially make it into a hit record!  It also shows me that I don’t have to be clever or try to write a Pulitzer with every post.  I can ramble.  I can write about nothing.  I can be nonsensical.  I can write fragments and misspell wurds and put punctuation; in the wrong – places!

Today’s song and video brings to mind times of New Year’s eve past (particularly the beautiful sax solo at the end of the song).  But as I age, I find it harder and harder to recollect New Year’s eves of years gone by.  I recall last year’s spent with good friends and a hilarious game of “Cards Against Humanity.”  I can recall a few random parties while I was single – one with an old high school buddy named Scott somewhere in Oklahoma City.  I can recall spending a few with Dick Clark on the television and mom and dad and grandma in their respective chairs while I was in my teens.  I recall a silly 1984 or 1985 New Year’s eve at my best friend Barry’s house in Norman, Oklahoma drinking sparkling grape juice but acting drunk like silly teenagers might do.  I can recall 1999 (and Prince) in Lexington, Oklahoma at my in-laws’ house hoping the end of the world was not near and computers would not shut down all over the world at the strike of midnight.  I can also recall a few spent snuggled up next to my beautiful wife in bed with heavy eyes struggling to make the midnight hour.

I like to be awake when one year rolls into the next… always have.

“She said she saw me in the record stores, and that I must be doing well.”

Dan Fogelberg was doing well when this song came out, and he was a staple on the adult contemporary charts for many years particularly from about 1979 to 1990.  He also had a few U.S. Billboard top 10 hits in the early 80’s.  From Peoria, Illinois, Fogelberg passed away much too young from prostate cancer in 2007.

Today’s song is actually autobiographical which I had no idea about until I was researching it for this post.  It was not until after Fogelberg’s death that the woman in the song came forward to corroborate this chance encounter while the two were back in Peoria visiting family for Christmas around 1975.

We drank a toast to innocence.  We drank a toast to time.  Reliving, in our eloquence another “Auld Lang Syne.”

Of course, the phrase that today’s song is based off of – “Auld Lang Syne” is an old Scottish poem written by Robert Burns in 1788.  The first two lines of that poem basically ask is it right that old times be forgotten?  So let’s continue to honor Mr. Burns and the late Mr. Fogelberg and not forget the old times, or this song, and let’s remember old friends and family as 2019 comes to a close.  But, let’s also look forward in anticipation to 2020 and all that it has in store (both good and bad) for us.

Image result for same auld lang syne it's a wonderful life

(Who doesn’t think of this scene whenever “Auld Lang Syne” is played?  If you have any affinity at all for this movie, then you (like myself) do.)

With a glimpse back to a chance encounter at a grocery store in Peoria, Illinois sometime around Christmas eve of 1975, let’s listen and remember Dan Fogelberg’s top 10 hit in 1981… “Same Old Lang Syne…”

A toast to you dear reader/friend/family member/random stranger, and a toast to 2019… and bring on 2020!


the 80’s

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