Welcome to THIS IS AMERICA in VOA Special English. I'm Steve Ember. And I'm Barbara Klein. It is autumn in the northern part of the world. So it is time to play some of our favorite songs about this season.
People have written and recorded hundreds of songs about autumn. Many of these songs express sadness that summer is over. The days are shorter. It is getting darker earlier each day. The weather is cooler. The skies are gray. Birds fly south because they know winter is coming. The leaves turn colors of red and gold and then die, falling to the ground. Some songs about autumn also express the sadness of lost love.
Mary Dawson, in her Internet Writing Journal, writes that this season influenced songwriters to write some of the greatest songs of all time. Here are some of our favorite songs about autumn.
"September Song" by Kurt Weill is one of the most well known, and saddest, songs about the season. It was introduced back in nineteen thirty-eight in the Broadway musical "Knickerbocker Holiday." Many people have recorded this song. Probably the most famous version is sung by Frank Sinatra.
Another famous song about this season is "Autumn Leaves." This song also expresses sad emotions. It was first introduced in a French movie in nineteen forty-six. Later, the famous American songwriter Johnny Mercer was asked to write English words to the music. Since then, many artists have recorded it. Here is a lovely version by Eva Cassidy from her album "Songbird."
The Moody Blues are a British rock band that first became famous in the nineteen sixties. They also recorded a song about fallen leaves, darker days and lost love. It is called "Forever Autumn."
Here is another sad song about things that happen in autumn. "Wake Me Up When September Ends" is by the band Green Day from their album "American Idiot." The song is about the death of a father.
The rock group the White Stripes has a song called "Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground," from their album "White Blood Cells." Jack White sings about a woman who did not wait for him while he was away.
But not all the songs about autumn are sad. Here is a more hopeful song, James Taylor's "October Road" from his album by the same name. The song is about leaving the big city for the countryside, going home again after a long time away.
For people who live in New York City, autumn is an exciting time of the year. New plays open in theaters on Broadway. The season also brings the promise of new love. Vernon Duke wrote the song "Autumn in New York" in nineteen thirty-four. Many famous artists have recorded it. We leave you with Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong singing this famous song.
Our program was written by Shelley Gollust and produced by Caty Weaver. I'm Barbara Klein. And I'm Steve Ember. You can hear other American songs on our Web site, voaspecialenglish.com. You can also find transcripts and audio archives of our programs. Join us again next week for THIS IS AMERICA in VOA Special English.