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Autumn Leaves

Updated: Dec 10, 2021

Songs & Music of Red & Gold

Painting: An autumn scene by Russian painter Victor Nizovtsev,

born in Central Siberia in 1965 / Credit: Viktor Nizovtsev

As the summer cools and the leaves fall settle back with these musical swirls of red and gold to welcome in the shorter, colder days. You can listen to Autumn Leaves, a multi-zone playlist - Rock & Pop; Dance Floor; Chill Zone; Classical; Ballads - by clicking on the link below.


Rock & Pop

YouTube video: Green Day - Wake Me Up When September Ends

Green Day - Wake Me Up When September Ends

Summer has come and passed

The innocent can never last

Wake me up when September ends...

Songwriters: Michael Pritchard / Frank E. / Iii Wright / Billie Joe Armstrong

Wake Me Up When September Ends lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc

Rock & Pop: Green Day Wake Me Up When September Ends to Autumnsong, Manic Street Preachers. Our autumn playlist starts at the end of September with perennial US punk rockers Green Day. Wake Me Up When September Ends was written by frontman Billie Joe Armstrong about his father, who died from oesophageal cancer in September 1982 when Armstrong was 10 years old. Armstrong dubbed the song the most autobiographical he had written, calling it "therapeutic" but "difficult to perform". It was released on June 13, 2005, as Green Day's fourth single from their 2004 seventh studio album, American Idiot.

U2 - October


And the trees are stripped bare

Of all they wear

What do I care?...

Songwriters: Clayton Adam / Evans David / Mullen Laurence / Hewson Paul David

October lyrics © Polygram Int. Music Publishing B.v.

Irish rock band U2 continue the months of the year theme with October, the second single on side two of October, their second studio album. It was released on 12 October 1981 by Island Records and produced by Steve Lillywhite. The album was lyrically inspired by Bono, the Edge and Larry Mullen Jr. being members of Christian group Shalom Fellowship, and contains spiritual and religious themes. Their involvement with Shalom Fellowship led the band members to question the relationship between their Christian faith and a "rock and roll" lifestyle, threatening to break up the band.

Lead singer Bono explained the inspiration for the October title in band bio U2 by U2: "It was the idea that we were born in the '60s, a time when materialism was in full bloom. We had fridges and cars, we sent people to the moon and everybody thought how great mankind was. But the '80s was a colder time, materialism without any idealism, the sun without any heat, winter. It was after the fall, after the harvest."


Dance Floor

YouTube video: Earth, Wind & Fire - September

Dance Floor: Chris Brown Autumn Leaves (featuring Kendrick Lamar) to September, Earth Wind & Fire. Think dance floor and autumnal sounds and classic disco song September, the title track of Earth, Wind & Fire's 1978 album by ARC/Columbia Records, will come to mind.

Earth, Wind & Fire - September

Do you remember, 21st night of September?

Love was changing the mind of pretenders

While chasing the clouds away

Our hearts were ringing

In the key that our souls were singing

As we danced in the night


How the stars stole the night away, oh yeah...

Songwriters: White Maurice / Willis Alta Sherral / Mc Kay Albert Phillip

September lyrics © Emi April Music Inc., Steel Chest Music, Irving Music Inc.

Initially included as a track on The Best of Earth, Wind & Fire Vol. 1, September reached No. 1 on the US Billboard Hot R&B Songs chart, No. 8 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and No. 3 on the UK Singles Chart. The song has been sampled, covered, remixed, and re-recorded numerous times. In 2018, it was added to the Library of Congress' National Recording Registry list of sound recordings that "are culturally, historically, or aesthetically important".

In a guest post, Rickey Vincent, a noted educator, radio host and commentator on popular music and culture, and author of Funk: The Music, the People and the Rhythm of The One., commented:

Why does this song continue to captivate listeners? Jeffrey Peretz, a professor of music theory at New York University, said that the magic has a lot to do with how the music unfolds. “The song's very structure is an endless cycle that keeps us dancing and wanting more,” he told NPR’s Dan Charnas. “There's four chords in the chorus that just keep moving forward and never seem to land anywhere--much like the four seasons.” Like memories that are familiar yet change every time, we cannot hold them, but we find a joy in revisiting them nonetheless.


Chill Zone

YouTube video: Autumn Leaves - Chet Baker & Paul Desmond

Chill Zone: Lil Garage bando Autumn to Autumn Winds, Nature Collective. Chesney Henry "Chet" Baker Jr. (December 23, 1929 – May 13, 1988) was an American jazz trumpeter and vocalist. He is known for major innovations within the cool jazz subgenre leading him to be nicknamed the "prince of cool".

Baker earned much attention and critical praise through the 1950s, particularly for albums featuring his vocals Chet Baker Sings (1954), It Could Happen To You (1958). Jazz historian Dave Gelly described the promise of Baker's early career as "James Dean, Sinatra, and Bix, rolled into one". His well-publicized drug habit also drove his notoriety and fame. Baker was in and out of jail frequently before enjoying a career resurgence in the late 1970s and 1980s.

Baker's instrumental version with Paul Desmond of Autumn Leaves, is one of several versions of the composition across the playlist. A popular song and jazz standard, Autumn Leaves "the most important non-American standard" according to jazz historian Philippe Baudoin, was composed by Joseph Kosma in 1945 with original lyrics "Les Feuilles mortes" (The Dead Leaves) by Jacques Prévert.

Yves Montand and Édith Piaf, among others, recorded a version of Les Feuilles Mortes. The original French lyrics pack a sadder punch than the pared-down English alternative.

Autumn Leaves

The falling leaves drift by my window The autumn leaves of red and gold I see your lips, the summer kisses The sunburned 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

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 Yes I miss you most of all, my darling

When autumn leaves start to fall

Songwriters: Kosma Joseph / Prevert Jacques Andre Marie / Mercer John H Autumn Leaves lyrics © Enoch And Cie, Morley Music Co Inc

Painting of Autumn Leaves - Feuilles Mortes by Stanislav Brusilov /


Les Feuilles Mortes Oh, je voudrais tant que tu te souviennes Des jours heureux où nous étions amis En ce temps-là la vie étais plus belle Et le soleil plus brûlant qu'aujourd'hui

Les feuilles mortes se ramassent à la pelle Tu vois, je n'ai pas oublié Les feuilles mortes se ramassent à la pelle Les souvenirs et les regrets aussi

Et le vent du Nord les emporte Dans la nuit froide de l'oubli Tu vois, je n'ai pas oublié La chanson que tu me chantais

C'est une chanson qui nous ressemble Toi tu m'aimais, et je t'aimais Nous vivions tous les deux ensemble Toi qui m'aimais, moi qui t'aimais

Mais la vie sépare ceux qui s'aiment Tout doucement, sans faire de bruit Et la mer efface sur le sable Les pas des amants désunis Mais la vie sépare ceux qui s'aiment Tout doucement, sans faire de bruit Et la mer efface sur le sable Les pas des amants désunis Songwriters: Jacques Prévert / Joseph Kosma Les feuilles mortes lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC



YouTube video: Recomposed by Max Richter - Vivaldi's Four Seasons

Daniel Hope : conductor/violin - Max Richter : keyboards/electronic sound

L'Arte Del Mondo Orchestra (Rostock, 2013)

Classical: Recomposed by Max Richter: Vivaldi's Four Seasons: Autumn (from 22 mins 45 secs in the video) to Autumn Rain Rework, Vivian Roost. Max Richter's recomposition of Antonio Vivaldi's Four Seasons is a favourite of The Hub's private listening, playlists, and radio and Facebook Live broadcasts. Richter's re-working manages the challenging feat of respecting the original while giving it new energy and tonal references.

YouTube video: Introduction by conductor and violinist Daniel Hope at a 2013 performance of the work by the L'Arte Del Mondo Orchestra at the Neptune Hall, Rostock, Germany: "Ladies and Gentlemen, a year and a half ago a compatriot and friend contacted me. His name is Max Richter and he is an incredible composer. He had an unusual project, to recompose Vivaldi's "Four Seasons". I was intrigued and asked him: "Is there something wrong with the original?" He smiled and said: "No, not at all. The original is perfect and I like it a lot. The problem is not the music but the age we live in, in the twenty first century and the difficulty of hearing it fresh. I want to re-appropriate the music and create some distance from the original, to find a new approach to listening to it."

Max Richter explained his approach to recomposing The Four Seasons: "As I studied Vivaldi's work, I saw much in common with electronic music and the minimalist art movement. The music is pattern-based with modular sections that can be sampled digitally, although on the page. That was my point of departure from the original."

Despite discarding 3/4ths of Vivaldi’s original material in his Recomposition of The Four Seasons, Max Richter considered the Italian composer’s musical DNA as omnipresent in the reworking of the material. Recomposed By Max Richter: Vivaldi – The Four Seasons, featuring violinist Daniel Hope and the Konzerthaus Kammerorchester Berlin symphony orchestra conducted by André de Ridder, topped the classical chart in 22 countries.

"this mesmerising album enables listeners to rediscover these amazing works, creating entirely new music with a minimalist Baroque twist.” Classic FM



YouTube video: September - David Sylvian

Ballads: Autumn in New York, Billie Holliday to Forever Autumn, Justin Hayward. David Sylvian's September, a track on "ultimate autumn album Secrets of the Beehive", may be just one minute and fifteen seconds long, but it leaves an impression. Released by Virgin Records on 7th November 1987, the album was "the closing chapter of an incredible run of form for the ex-Japan singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist".

David Sylvian - September

The sun shines high above The sounds of laughter The birds swoop down upon The crosses of old grey churches We say that we're in love While secretly wishing for rain Sipping coke and playing games September's here again September's here again From the Secrets Of The Beehive album, David Sylvian : piano, vocal

Ryuichi Sakamoto : string arrangement.

Blogger Matt P declares: "For my money, Sylvian’s 1984-1987 (album) output (Brilliant Trees, Gone To Earth, Secrets) is the equal of any ‘pop’ triptych. Each song is memorable, with its own specific mood and sound world. Space and melody are the key commodities. Arrangements are kept as simple as possible."

Many thanks to The Hub's regular contributor Cliff Stammers for suggesting September. The song sits well in a strong final Ballads zone of the playlist.


Listen to Autumn Leaves

You can listen to The Hub's Autumn Leaves - Songs & Music of Red & Gold playlist by clicking on the link below.



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