Consistently one of the best blogs on the intertube highway, WFMU wins our love again with an ode to September, in the form of 38 downloads of Kurt Weill’s “September Song.”
September Song was written by Weill (with lyrics by Maxwell Anderson) for the 1938 musical Knickerbocker Holiday. Walter Huston (father of John, Granddad of Angelica) introduced the song when he played Pieter Stuyvesant in the original production, and scored a hit with the 78 version of it while the show was still in its first run. In the play, the peg-legged Stuyvesant sings the song to Tina, the lovely Town Councilor’s daughter, in the hope of rushing her into marriage against her better judgment. Peg-leg Pete uses the shortening days of September and the onset of winter to convince Tina to give herself to him and not to his rival, Brom Broeck. (Tina marries Broek in the end.)
Another irony of the song that’s been lost in it’s many years as an American pop standard is that it’s sung by a villain. In Knickerbocker Holiday, Stuyvesant is a stand-in for Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who the pacifist/anarchist Maxwell Anderson saw as an exponent of American fascism.
Artists include James Brown, Django Reinhardt, Chet Baker, and countless others. Grab ‘em all here.