Blog 122 Ode to September

Blog 122 Ode to September

Another September is almost gone. Before it disappears for twelve more months, I am compelled to offer a paean to a memorable song– September Song. It is so descriptive of where we are on the timeline of our life.

I will give two versions to sample (click on the sites below) and then I will offer some comments about the song and its history. I hope you listen to both versions as you read this.

Willie Nelson https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S9nSgMwtkK0

Walter Huston https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E3mAT-4FdP4

Hauntingly sad but beautiful when life is close to the end. I think of us in our class when I hear this…it’s a long, long way from May to December. We graduated in May and are in the late autumn of our life, headed to our December in not too many years. Yet the memories of happiness and enduring love still linger.

The Willie Nelson version is from an album entitled “Stardust.” His voice is perfect for this masterpiece. His album includes other great classic hits. Google and listen to all of them.

Walter Huston sang the song on Broadway in Knickerbocker Holiday. Knickerbocker Holiday is a 1938 musical written by Kurt Weill (music) and Maxwell Anderson (book and lyrics); based loosely on Washington Irving’s Father Knickerbocker’s Stories about life in 17th-century New Netherland (old New York). “September Song wasspecifically for Walter Huston.

Incidentally, Walter Huston was the father of John Huston, the noted movie director.

As the song says we feel the days grow shorter the longer we live. As a boy a day was long and summers lasted forever, Now when night comes I have wondered how could the day be so short.  At 83, I appreciate this song so much more. I liked it when I was young but did not grasp its full meaning.

 

Here are the words. There are a couple of lead in verses not included but are on the Walter Huston version.

 

Oh, it’s a long long while
From May to December
But the days grow short
When you reach September

When the autumn weather
Turns leaves to flame
One hasn’t got time
For the waiting game

Oh, the days dwindle down
To a precious few
September, November

And these few precious days
I’ll spend with you
These precious days
I’ll spend with you

Oh, the days dwindle down
To a precious few
September, November

And these few precious days
I’ll spend with you
These precious days
I’ll spend with you
These precious days
I’ll spend with you

Kurt Weill was German and probably best known for his song, Mack the Knife and for Threepenny Opera. He was married to Lotte Lenya, also German. I found a version of her singing the song as well if you become enamored with the song. She played the Russian agent in James Bond’s “From Russia with Love.”

Lotte Lenya: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rdc4oBnu_fw

And here is another Willie Nelson with brilliant autumn colors. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OXXKP-Ip4z8

Many others have recorded the song—Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Peter/Paul/&Mary, etc.

October is coming up. It is a glorious month, the most perfect of the year weatherwise, here in San Antonio.

Next time we will talk about the girl with green hair.

 


 

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