Put together your autumn playlist with songs that celebrate the fall season, with contemplative lyrics that paint warm autumn images and remind us that everything changes. Perfect for bonfires, pumpkin carving, and warm, toasty weekends.
Autumn in New York is a popular jazz standard composed by Vernon Duke in the summer of 1934. Many singers have covered it over the years, but this duet by Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong perfectly captures the spirit of the fall season.
Autumn Leaves is a jazz standard, composed by Joseph Kosma in 1945 with original lyrics by Jacques Prévert in French (original French title: "Les Feuilles mortes"). This English version by Nat King Cole was recorded in 1955, and is simply splendid.
As a jazz standard, Autumn Leaves has accumulated more than a thousand commercial recordings. This emotive, haunting version by Eva Cassidy is transcendent; so filled with emotion it may very well bring you to tears.
California Dreamin, written by John Phillips and Michelle Phillips and best known as a signature song of the Mamas and the Papas, expresses a longing for the warmth of Los Angeles while walking through the cold streets on a winter's day in New York City.
Nostalgic and sentimental, Joni Mitchell's poetic Circle Game (with background vocals by James Taylor and Jackson Browne) is an anthem for a generation. With lyrics like "We're captive on the carousel of time," it reminds us of the passage of time and the grace and beauty of human experience.
Emotionally devastating, Forever Autumn haunts listeners, reminding them to treasure every moment. Recorded by Justin Hayward of the Moody Blues, it can be found on the album Jeff Wayne's War of the Worlds (1978).
Leaves That Are Green, written by Paul Simon and recorded by Simon & Garfunkel in 1965, still holds up today; though, like many of their songs, there is a dark melancholy underwritten in the seemingly upbeat melody.
In September Grass, James Taylor asks a woman to lie down with him, reflecting on the changing season and their place in the universe, comparing them to ants dancing on a blade of grass. "We're so small and the world's so vast, we found each other down in the grass."
September Song reminds us to treasure the years left in the autumn of your life, and caring for the one you love. An American standard composed by Kurt Weill, with lyrics by Maxwell Anderson, was first introduced in 1938. This version by Wille Nelson is both heartbreaking and hopeful.
Listening to Harry Belefonte never get old, and this simple, beautiful rendition of Try to Remember emphasizes the pure tones of this amazing singer. This song was released as a single in 1962, with Michael Row the Boat Ashore was on the B-Side.
The lyrics for Turn! Turn! Turn! come from the third chapter of Ecclesiastes, but Pete Seeger gets the credit for turning them into musical gold. The Byrds went on to record it in 1965 and turn it into one of the most iconic songs about change to come out of the 1960's.
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