Another Autumn, A Harvest of Song: When the air grows crisp and days shorter, change is in the air. It is an exciting time of gathering in and thanksgiving. Even the stars of heaven grace our harvest tables when adorned with asters and chrysanthemum.
This is my favorite time of year, when the spirit is rising toward the climactic celebration of Samhain, more popularly known as Halloween. For me it is a time of apple picking, watching football and feasting with friends and lovers. When it comes to something to sing about, only Christmas is more musical in my book.
The fall program kicks off with a joyous celebration of apples and what you can do with them in the Disney gem “The Apple Song”. “September Song” by Kurt Weill orients us in time and place and invokes sharing. The old-time favorite, “When the Frost is On the Pumpkin” is in a new setting by Chicago composer Ted Jacobs.
Victor Herbert wrote a tone poem called “Indian Summer” which was later given lyrics by Al Dubin and made a jazz standard by Tommy Dorsey. To me it evokes one of the most moving aspects of the season. “Colors of the Wind” reminds us of the debt we owe to our first nations and their earth based insights.
“Another Autumn” is a beautiful ballad from Lerner and Lowe’s Paint Your Wagon which starred my exemplar Burl Ives back in the 1950’s: in a most autumnal mood as he yearns for lost love. Folk perennial “Barbara Allen” is presented in the Dark of the Moon version adapted for the season.
We celebrate Halloween with a delightfully ghostly “Deep Purple” which segues to “It’s Halloween” the spectacularly spooky evocation of the event by the faerie tale minstrel, Alexander James Adams and this is topped by a Rock and Roll alien invasion.
We close with songs of thanksgiving for the bounty of the earth and the beauty of the season.