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
— September Song, Kurt Weill/ Maxwell Anderson
Ah, the beginning of September. As the songs says, the days grow short and the weather turns the leaves to flame. There’s a refreshing coolness in the air and the busy rhythm of summer eases away and in comes a slower, more relaxed cadence. Recognizing this dwindling of days brings a retrospective air to things, one that makes you realize that you can’t waste moments or wait for them to come to you. I always felt that I was in the September of life and now, being truly there in terms of years, I believe I was right.
Maybe that’s why this song has appealed to me for so many years now. It’s a song I play here every year at the beginning of this month and one that I often find myself humming without thought to myself. It is a gorgeous blend of melody and lyric that communicates on multiple levels.
I’ve played many versions over the years, including some absolutely beautiful versions from Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughan. I have never played the original version from actor Walter Huston in the 1938 Broadway production of Knickerbocker Holiday or a great instrumental version from Chet Baker. I’ll get to them at some point. My favorite is this one from Willie Nelson which seems to have the perfect blend of weariness and age in his voice to transmit the feeling of the song. At least, the feeling that I get from it.
The painting above is a favorite of mine from 2011 called Dissolve. It’s included in my show Icons & Exiles hanging until September 20 at the Octagon Gallery in Westfield, NY. This piece is what I would call a September painting.
Have a good day and, hopefully, a good September.