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Posts Tagged ‘autumn equinox’

I know this seems like a summer song, but like any good summer song worth its salt, it goes a little deeper and ends up being about more than just sunshine and fluffy clouds.

You may be getting the idea that I’m a huge Sinatra fan. I’m not. I’m pretty ignorant of a lot of his work and of the bands and musicians that backed him. I don’t like a lot of what he did. I do like that he’s called The Chairman of the Board and let’s face it, he has lasting popularity because he had charisma up the wazoo, could really turn a phrase, and was one of the greatest singers of our time (not that we ever have to chose in these contrived “greatest” contests).

With the coming of the autumn equinox, this is perhaps a better song for the week.

You know I’m not for sappy without substance, so I love Ella Fitzgerald doing it, don’t much care for Sinatra, like Sara Vaughan (dozens more people sang it). And Lotte Lenya? She’s in her own category and in my sacrilege opinion, easy to make fun of because of that accent, just like we used to make fun of my mom because she couldn’t say “pants”–it came out sounding more like pents. Any female German torch singer cannot escape a comparison to Lily von Shtupp either. But don’t feel too bad for making fun of Germans. Trust me, we’re allowed to give them their comeuppance for decades to come.

I really love Lou Reed doing this (from the 1990s album Lost in the Stars whose greatest track is probably Tom Waits’ version of “What Keeps Mankind Alive?”).

I apologize to any of the purists among you, but as Hubby just said to me, “Weill was a communist and a Marxist, do you think he stuck to tradition?” I won’t speculate on what artists do and don’t do in reality even if they espouse certain ideas. Not to mention that once you align yourself to any one cause or affiliation, you are rather stuck, ja?

You can see from the lyrics that the song is actually pretty dark. Reed deletes some of the most beautiful lines, adds his own and turns it joyous and poppy.

September Song

lyrics, Maxwell Anderson; music, Kurt Weill

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 make a couple of whirls
While I plied her with tears in lieu of pearls
And as time came around she came my way
As time came around, she came

When you meet with the young girls early in the Spring
You court them in song and rhyme
They answer with words and a clover ring
But if you could examine the goods they bring
They have little to offer but the songs they sing
And the plentiful waste of time of day
A plentiful waste of time

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 the 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

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