Tuesday, September 25, 2007

September Song
38 versions of the Kurt Weill song, courtesy of WFMU. Nice one. LINK

"...Nothing beats the James Brown version from his 1970 LP Soul on Top, on which he was backed up by the Louis Bellson Big Band, with arrangements by Oliver Nelson.

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."