Sunday, November 12, 2006


The transition of summer into fall into winter is not my favorite time.
I am not sure why this is so.
I suspect the answer is complex (shorter days, changing leaves, colder temperatures, etc.)
Interestingly, it is during autumn that I recall two old sentimental love songs, both of which use the fading brightness of summer to provoke sad feelings.

I am not really “sad”, but I do miss the longer periods of daylight and the warm temperatures.
They are presented here primarily to demonstrate how two poets paint an emotional picture with such an economy of words.


By Johnny Mercer

The falling leaves drift by the window.
The autumn leaves of red and gold.
I see your lips, the summer kisses,
The sun-burned hands I used to hold

Since you went away the days grow long,
And soon I’ll hear old Winter’s song.
But I miss you most of all, my darling,
When autumn leaves start to fall.

“Autumn Leaves” is an adaptation of a song written by a French composer in 1945. Mr. Mercer wrote his words in 1949, and the song has become an American standard since then, recorded by many people.


Kurt Weill/Maxwell Anderson

When I was a young man courting the girls,
I played me a waiting game.
If a maid refused me with tossing curls,
I’d let the old earth take a couple of twirls.
(And I’d ply her with tears instead of pearls)
And as time came around, she came my way,
As time came around, she came.

But its a long, long while from May to December.
And the days grow short when you reach September.
The autumn weather turns the leaves to flame,
And I haven’t got the time for the waiting game.

Oh, the days dwindle down to precious few;
September, November.
And these few precious days I’ll spend with you.
These precious days I’ll spend with you.

"September Song" is an American pop standard composed by Kurt Weill, with lyrics by Maxwell Anderson. It was introduced by Walter Huston in the 1938 Broadway musical “Knickerbocker Holiday”, and has since been recorded by numerous singers and musicians.

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