The first year of Mellowmas (2006) was only twelve days long. Six of those days took place at Jeff’s website, which met its demise in the fall of 2007 due to an unscrupulous hosting company.
I haven’t really re-read the 2006 entries that still exist over at my site, but I can’t imagine they brought us more joy than covering “Same Old Lang Syne.” I recently reminded Jeff of one of his always-classic lines, and he said “I remember that being the first Mellowmas chat that made me laugh until I was in pain.” Enjoy the very last of our “Lost” Mellowmas posts (until this website meets its demise due to an unscrupulous hosting company).
Jason: I want to preface our listening with something. There’s a reason I chose this song.
Jeff: It’s horrible, it’s mellow, and it’s about the holidays?
Jason: It is the closest thing to Mellow Gold all Mellowmas, in my opinion – because it’s actually from the era.
Jeff: Ah. That.
Jason: All these other songs we’ve covered this year are late 80s, early 90s, even early 00s. Not Fogelberg.
Jeff: No, he was a man ahead of his time.
Jason: Or, as you’ve taken to calling him, Fogelfuck. I think I will call him that forevermore. Who doesn’t like a little Fogelfuck? My dad LOVED “Windows and Walls” or whatever that song was.
Jeff: Yeah, that was when Fogelberg decided to “rock.” Or whatever that was.
Jason: So with all that being said, this song is an AWFUL Christmas song. It’s suicidally depressing.
Jeff: I will add my own preface.
Jason: Right now?
Jeff: Not long ago, I was in the car with Leah, and this song came on. I think because of that Billboard stuff on the iPod.
Jeff: She asked me — repeatedly — if the person singing the song was serious.
Jason: I have heard that “Same Old Lang Syne” is 100% autobiographical.
Jeff: Now, my wife hates Mellow Gold as much as the next person. Maybe even more. She refers to it as “carsick music.” But “Same Old Lang Syne” inspired a passionate hatred in her the likes of which I have rarely seen outside of old Michael McDonald recordings. At least half a dozen times, she asked me why anybody would make this song.
Jason: I can think of no more fitting introduction. Shall we begin?
Jeff: We shall. That is the textbook definition of a Mellow Gold intro right there.
Jason: Here we go.
Dan Fogelberg — Same Old Lang Syne (download)
From The Innocent Age
Jason:Strings and piano. Very pretty, though.
Jeff: “Met my old lover in the grocery store.” Bahahahahahahahahaha! Touched her sleeve in the frozen foods section!
Jason: This is the only Xmas song to mention frozen foods. It is not the only Xmas song to mention the grocery store. Can you name the other?
Jeff: And she doesn’t even recognize him!
Jason: She eventually did. She was like, “….Fogelfuck?”
Jeff: She spills her purse, and they laugh until they cry, right there in the frozen foods section!
Jason: Why is that funny? Why is it funny enough that they cried? Maybe because they realized they were both in the frozen foods section on Christmas Eve.
Jeff: I think on her part, it was probably nervous laughter. Accompanied by real tears.
Jason: What a story. He took them to the checkout stand. The conversation dragged.
Jeff: Oh shit, now they’re getting drunk in her car.
Jason: You don’t say.
Jeff: I wonder if it was a Chevy van?
Jason: Ha ha ha ha!
Jason: Now, the chorus is pretty nice. I mean, it’s pretty, and it’s so fucking mellow.
Jeff: She married her an architect. He kept her warm and safe and dry. Her eyes were just as blue as they were when he knew her. Was he expecting them to change?
Jason: Good point. He wasn’t sure if he saw doubt or gratitude in her eyes?
Jeff: She claims to have seen him in the record store, and yet she didn’t recognize him face-to-face in the frozen foods aisle?
Jason: Dude, take away his keys.
Jeff: They’re in HER car.
She’s a seductress. Looking for a few cheap thrills, away from her architect husband. “The beer was empty and our tongues were tired.” That’s fucking gross.
Awww…the snow turned into rain. And cue the goddamn sax. Dan Fogelberg is Mellow Gold’s Charlie Brown.
Jason: Their tongues were tired, and they didn’t even kiss? Their tongues were tired from TALKING? THAT’S Mellow Gold, my friend.
Jeff: I have a live version of this song.
Jason: Oh, you do not.
Jeff: It’s even slower.
Jason: Oh God.
Jeff: It’s on right now. I need to find out who’s playing this sax.
Jason: David Sanborn.
Jeff: You think?
Jason: No. But it sounded good, right?
Jeff: He did do that smooth jazz version of “One Hundred Ways”…
Jason: This song ends with the line “the snow turned into rain.” That’s the MOST AWFUL way to end a Christmas song.
Jeff: Yeah. He’s a sad sack. The Charlie Brown of Mellow Gold. You can see him walking to his car, head comically down.
Jason: Here’s what I don’t get: WPLJ, here in NY, plays this all the time around the holidays. I think it’s a holdover from when they used to play his stuff regularly. It’s a terrible holiday song!
Jeff: It sure is.
Jason: It’s worse than “Do They Know It’s Christmas,” “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” and “Frosty the Snowman,” in terms of lyrical content.
Jeff: It’s about a guy who thinks he’s going to get a celebrity fuck from an old flame, but whiffs and goes home alone. In the rain. The lyrics are abysmal.
Jason: And yet, in terms of Mellow quality, it’s perfect. You simply don’t get any Mellower.
Jeff: None more mellow. It’s a sensitive stream-of-consciousness rant about Fogelfuck’s Blueball Christmas.
Jeff: Paul Davis couldn’t make it mellower.
Jason: Paul Davis probably had a very similar Christmas. Maybe Paul Davis was the old lover he ran into.
Jeff: Shit, that probably describes Paul Davis’ BEST Christmas.
Jason: So, can you name the other song that mentions the grocery store?
Jeff: I really don’t think I can.
Jason: “Christmas Wrapping” by the Waitresses.
Jeff: Ah! Part of the 2006 Jefitoblog Holiday Mix!
Jason: She goes into the grocery store and sees the guy she’s been “chasin’ all year.” “But what are you — you mean YOU FORGOT CRANBERRIES TOO?” And they laugh and laugh. But not until they cry. And not in front of Mrs. Paul’s Fish Sticks.
Jeff: Heh. The Gorton Man was laughing at Fogelberg. Giving him a salty finger.
Jason: We all were laughing at Fogelberg. Until we cried.
Jeff: Yarrrr, ya pussy!
Jason: Ha ha ha!
Jeff: Slip her the tongue, why don’tcha?
Jason: ….and scene!