Editor Letter: Songs of September

Here from our Editor, Michele Walker, about her thoughts on September in Orlando.
Michele Walker, Orlando Magazine Editor, Photo By Roberto Gonzalez

Michele Walker, Orlando magazine editor (ROBERTO GONZALEZ)

“Oh, it’s a long, long while from May to December. But the days grow short when you reach September.” Kurt Weill, Maxwell Anderson’s “September Song.”

Why are there so many songs that mention the month of September? There’s Carole King’s “It Might as Well Rain Until September,” “September Morn” by Neil Diamond, “Maybe September” by Tony Bennett, and my favorite and funky “September” by Earth, Wind, and Fire. The month seems to inspire the musical muse.

That muse is alive and well in the 2022 Orlando art scene. In Michael McCloud’s annual arts preview, you can read all about the rebirth of the arts in a story he calls “A Renaissance, for Real.” It’s a fascinating exploration of an exciting season that is a welcome relief after the challenges faced by the pandemic closures. We also have our annual Pet Guide, where we explore the critical work of animal rescue, tips, guidance for adopting a pet, and an insightful story on emotional support animals. Our September issue is chock full of fascinating stories from a focus on local farms to food hall and restaurant reviews.

But back to my original question; why do so many songs mention September? I Googled the question, and the answers range from the fact that autumn begins in September which ushers in the rain, the change of seasons, falling leaves, longer nights, and a certain sense of melancholy. While we don’t feel those immediate seasonal changes in Florida, they’re still deep within our DNA. September is often used as a metaphor, comparing a person’s life span to the months of the year, birth to death, September marking the beginning of the end.

In Ted Kennedy’s memoir, he tells the touching story about his brother Jack. Ted wrote that few people knew that Jack had a lovely singing voice, and that he enjoyed performing his favorite song at gatherings with close family and friends, often accompanied by his mother, Rose Kennedy. That song was “September Song,” a haunted, melancholy piece. Jack’s close aide, Dave Powers, later recalled that Jack sang “September Song” after dinner at the family Palm Beach mansion on the Saturday before he flew to Dallas. Family members remembered that while Jack would usually joke around and do amusing impressions while he sang, this particular Saturday performance, his last, was quiet and poignant. Powers later said that Jack sang it “better than usual” that evening.
The song ends with these fateful words.

“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.”

T. Michele Walker

michele.walker@orlandomagazine.com

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