- The Legendary Cultural Staple: “September” by Earth, Wind & Fire
- The Resilience and Joy of “September”
- An Enduring Legacy
- You might want to read !
The Legendary Cultural Staple: “September” by Earth, Wind & Fire
September 21st, a date that has lived on in song since November 1978, when Earth, Wind & Fire released “September” as part of their first compilation album, The Best of Earth, Wind & Fire, Vol. 1. This single, along with other timeless tracks like “Got to Get You into My Life” and “Boogie Wonderland,” has transcended the idea of a hit to become a legendary cultural staple. But how did this song come to be? Who wrote it, and what makes it so beloved?
Writing and Composition
“September” began with a chord progression written by Earth, Wind & Fire guitarist Al McKay. The lyrics for the song were then composed by the band’s vocalist, Maurice White, and songwriter Allee Willis, who had previously worked on “Boogie Wonderland” with the group. Maurice White sings the iconic lines, “Do you remember, the 21st night of September? Love was changing the minds of pretenders while chasing the clouds away.” The track went through a month-long process of refinement and collaboration.
Interestingly, during the creation of the song, Willis initially had reservations about the hook, particularly the “ba-dee-ya” part, which she thought sounded like “gibberish.” Despite her initial doubts, the group decided to move forward with the song, and Willis has since described the experience as her “greatest lesson ever in songwriting.”
The Significance of “September 21st”
When it comes to the significance of choosing September 21st as the specific date sung about in the song, there are a few different stories. One theory suggests that Maurice White simply liked the cadence of the date and how it fit into the song. However, Allee Willis has also shared another possible connection to the date. According to her, Maurice White’s wife, Marilyn, revealed that their son, Kahbran, was supposed to be born on September 21st.
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal in 2018, Willis recounted a conversation she had with Marilyn White when they were recognized by a fan in a restaurant. When asked about the significance of the date, Willis replied that there was no particular significance, but Marilyn intervened, sharing the story of Kahbran’s expected birth. Willis expressed surprise, as Maurice had never revealed this detail to her. She humorously added that for decades, she had unintentionally disappointed people whose birthdays or weddings fell on the 21st of September, who were looking for a meaningful connection to the song.
The Resilience and Joy of “September”
Now, let’s delve into the reasons why “September” has become such a beloved and enduring cultural phenomenon. This iconic funk song has resonated with listeners for decades and continues to bring joy and celebration to people’s lives.
Celebration of Music and Life
“September” embodies the joyous spirit of celebration through its infectious rhythm, uplifting lyrics, and vibrant instrumentals. The song’s powerful groove and irresistible energy invite listeners to join in the festivities and embrace the exuberance of life. It serves as a reminder of the power of music to bring people together and create lasting memories.
Timeless Message of Love and Happiness
The lyrics of “September” evoke a sense of nostalgia and warmth, reminding us of the positive and transformative power of love. The line “Love was changing the minds of pretenders” speaks to the ability of love to break down barriers and bring about positive change. The song encourages us to cherish and appreciate the moments of joy and connection that come our way, even if they may seem fleeting.
The Soundtrack of Resilience
Throughout history, music has served as a source of solace and inspiration during challenging times. “September” has become a symbol of resilience and hope, offering a sonic escape into a world of exuberance and celebration. The song reminds us of the importance of finding moments of joy and coming together, even in the face of adversity.
An Enduring Legacy
As we celebrate the legacy of “September” by Earth, Wind & Fire, it is clear that this song has captured the hearts and minds of generations. Its timeless appeal lies in its ability to transport listeners to a place of pure joy and celebration. Whether it’s a wedding, birthday, or simply being in the company of loved ones, “September” continues to be an anthem that brings people together.
Advice for Songwriters and Artists
The story behind “September” offers valuable lessons for aspiring songwriters and artists. Allee Willis, who initially had doubts about the song’s hook, teaches us about the importance of embracing creative exploration and taking risks. Sometimes, the elements that make a song truly special are the ones that might initially seem unconventional or even “gibberish.” It is crucial to trust one’s instincts and be open to collaboration, as the magic of creation often arises from unexpected places.
Furthermore, the enduring popularity of “September” reminds us of the power of creating music that resonates with people on a deep emotional level. It’s not just about catchy melodies or clever lyrics—it’s about capturing the essence of the human experience and evoking genuine emotion. Aspiring artists should strive to create music that touches the hearts and souls of their audience, crafting songs that become a part of the cultural fabric.
In conclusion, “September” by Earth, Wind & Fire holds a special place in our collective hearts as a legendary cultural staple. Its timeless appeal lies in its ability to celebrate the joy, resilience, and unity of the human spirit. As we continue to groove to the infectious rhythm and sing along to the iconic lyrics, let us remember the power of music to bring us together and remind us of the beauty of life.
<< photo by Marcela Laskoski >>
The image is for illustrative purposes only and does not depict the actual situation.
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