I must confess that this is my favourite season of the year. Summer is all very well, but in Ireland it’s usually disappointing. And even when (like this year) summer lives up to its name, I feel out of place, too pale and wobbly to be a summer girl. But autumn — “season of mists and mellow fruitfulness” as Keats put it — season of crunchy leaves, blackberry and apple, big boots and snuggly sweaters, children dressed as ghosts and pirates — that’s my season. I can identify with the words of Louis MacNeice in Autumn Journal:
September has come, it is hers
Whose vitality leaps in the autumn,
Whose nature prefers
Trees without leaves and a fire in the fireplace.
But you were expecting music, not a poetry recital. So here comes my soundtrack for the autumn:
September – Earth, Wind, and Fire
Harvest Moon – Neil Young
Moondance – Van Morrison “Neath the cover of October skies”
Forever Autumn – Justin Hayward
Autumn Sweater – Yo La Tengo
Halloween – Phantom Dog Beneath The Moon **
These do seem rather melancholy, especially compared to the exuberance of the summer songs. But that’s okay. It’s time to slow down, taste the fruit, smell the fires. Although if you see a big pile of leaves, it’s time to jump and kick!
*”Fall” is the older word, brought by settlers from England to America. “Fall” fell out of favour in the old country and was replaced by the more francophone “autumn”, but word was slow to spread across the Atlantic.
**On this track, one of my brothers sings and another brother plays the drums. We are a talented family.