A while back, I mentioned a song I particularly love to listen to at this time of year (see Ain’t It the Fall). Thinking of the song reminded me of the importance of music in our home, and brought to mind a similar seasonal playlist I offered last year (see Soundtrack of the “Homestead”: Halloween). That got a pretty good reader response, so why not do it again occasionally?
George Winston’s Autumn (check your local independent music store) forms the mainstay of our autumn repertoire. You’ll read some scathing reviews of this album on line, but I don’t care. To me, this music evokes every late afternoon in autumn I’ve ever experienced, from the sun soaked, apple redolent Yakima valley region of Washington to companionable rambles through fields of head high, seed-fluffed fireweed spears in Sitka, to the edges of the redwood forests of northern California, to the heat drenched Llano Estacado of the Texas panhandle, to almost any fair afternoon on our “homestead” from August 1st to October 31st. To me, this CD sounds like apple cider tastes.
It doesn’t seem to make much sense to associate music that nominally encompasses all four seasons with just one, but Gabriel Lee’s Seasons always evokes late autumn for me, simply because I first heard it in Sitka when we went there for Alaska Day one year. Many may find this variation on a theme CD too repetitive, but I like it.
After these albums, individual songs make up our autumnal playlist. I wondered recently why I hadn’t written about these before, but then I realized that I have already mentioned many of them in other essays at this season in years past.
Justin Hayward, Forever Autumn. This song comes from Jeff Wayne’s War of the Worlds project from the late 1970s, a musical retelling of the H.G. Wells science fiction classic. You can also find it on The Best Of The Moody Blues. (see Forever Autumn.)
Longest Night Ensemble, Ballad of the Princess Sophia from their CD Not Too Dark. This is a heartbreaking song about the sinking of the Princess Sophia about 50 or so sea miles south of our homestead, told from the point of view of a young victim (see Perhaps an Angel Flies Over These Waters).
The Zac Brown Band, Colder Weather. For me, this song may qualify as a “crush tune.” I never seem to grow tired of it. I look for excuses to play it autumn through winter, and sometimes listen to it in the summer as well, just because I like it so much! (see Colder Weather).
But, the list goes on. Here are some other examples:
Judy Collins, Who Knows Where The Times Goes? This song captures our mood at this season, and the next, turning inward, sitting closer to the fire, contemplating the passage of time, seasons, and friends. Eva Cassidy also recorded a lovely version of this song, but at this time of year I prefer her soulful rendition of the old standard, Autumn Leaves.
Jackopierce, “Summer’s Gone”. This, and Don Henley’s The Boys Of Summer mourn the passing of summer as autumn encroaches. The bittersweet transition from summer to autumn really appeals to me.
These are just a few examples of the songs that complement autumn. I hope you have your own list of meaningful music to brighten your season.