Oh, it’s a long, long while
From May to December,
And the days grow short
When you reach September….
Well, here we are again. Almost at the autumnal equinox (which happens this year on September 22), that time of year when the the Sun hangs directly above the equator and day and night (which have been getting–respectively–shorter and longer since June’s solstice day) are of equal length.
It’s all downhill from here. We’ll have fewer and fewer hours of daylight, and more and more darkness, until the third week of December, and then–light will come again.
Pretty much like life. And death. And life. And an observation that’s been made by many others waxing poetical over the years.
September Song was the product of a successful collaboration between Maxwell Anderson (who wrote the lyrics) and Kurt Weill (who wrote the music), and first appeared in the Broadway musical Knickerbocker Holiday in 1938. The play is an adaptation of Washington Irving’s Knickerbocker’s History of New York, and has a strong anti-fascist political message which was considerable toned down in the subsequent movie starring Nelson Eddy. The play’s star, Walter Huston–who had a background in vaudeville–had agreed to accept the role only on the condition that he would be performing a romantic number, and September Song was the hurried result of Anderson’s and Weill’s efforts to accommodate Huston’s limited vocal abilities.
The song proved the most popular part of the play, took on a life of its own, and has since been covered by artists of all generations and genres.
Here, starting with Walter Huston’s own version, are a few of them:
There are a great many songs about September. Do you have a favorite?