Autumn Songs to Warm Your Conkers

Another year, another week, another load of banging on about Autumn. I know, I know. But what is a girl to do? I’m now left with a case of rosé I cannot now drink until next year (you do know it’s so totally not done to drink rosé after the end of August don’t you? If you are caught you can be thrown out of the Wine Society. Check with Debretts. I’m sure I read it in there along with the what to wear, what not to wear and who to talk to on twitter.) 

Anyway, where was I? Oh yes. Autumn. I have done similar things but I see from gazing into my shamefully trivial archives that I have never specifically compiled a list of song that are ‘Autumn’ or ‘Autumn Related’. This seems like a good idea, and when I mentioned it, and my general ideas about blogging something Autumnal, to my Chum Roberta Phelps-Archer (lovely girl, not much occurring between the ears) while at dinner in the nearby super gastro-pub ‘The Giggly Fig’, she mentioned something about Autumn being a time when people start wanting comfort food and hearty red wine and, to quote her “…you know darling, hot toddies and venison stews and other stuff to warm the conkers of your heart”. I am, of course, too polite to explain her faux pas, and I doubt whether she’s ever heard of cockles anyway being brought tup in Kensington, but I did have a quiet snigger behind my napkin.

William The Conker
William The Conker

And talking of conkers. Does anyone do this anymore? My brother and his friends were bonkers about conkers when we were young and I, as he was my big brother, followed on. I remember his absolute horror and unabated red-faced fury when I beat his vinegar soaked and baked (cheat) seven times champion conker with my own, valorous, fierce and appropriately named horse-chestnut warrior (see right…)

He was furious and his friends laughed at him for many a long day. This was mainly because  he was so convinced his own conker would win against his “little sister’s puny effort”, he chose to make the bout public (that meant in our huge back garden with all our friends) It was like the Rumble in the Jungle with conkers.

So…without further ado or, in fact, without any ado at all. Here to warm the conkers of your heart is my Autumn Top Five play list.

1. Forever Autumn Justin Hayward (Written by Jeff Wayne, Gary Osborne and Paul Vigrass) Yes. It’s the annual favourite from the proggy double-album from the seventies, War of the Worlds where, following some narration from a sombre and sober Richard Burton, our hero spends a long time looking for his lost love and trying to dodge alien death-rays. In this song he is reminiscing about his missing sweetheart and the lyric refers to them kicking through a gown of Autumn leaves. What they really needed was a decent leaf blower like the Redback cordless model from Dick’s blog yesterday. Apparently the melody was originally written as a jingle for a lego advert. Doesn’t seem quite so classic and melancholy now does it?

2. September Song  – Frank Sinatra (Witten by Kurt Veill) in this lovely old ballad, written by musical uber-genius, Kurt Veill. Frank mourns the length of time it takes to get from Spring to December and pause on the way to reflect how September – being the Autumn of one’s years –  makes one want to get on with life a bit as it’s running out. Depressing but true and this comparing seasons to the run of a life is  a common theme in poetry and song, including some Shakespeare verse and other songs Frank sang like A ‘Very Good Year’).

3.Ed Sheeran – Autumn Leaves (Written by Jake Gosling & Ed Sheeran) Well, the man with hair the colour of those same leaves just can’t stop having hits and this one is actually from way back in 2011 and is another song that seems to be about loss, death, regret. What is it about Autumn? I find it quite jolly and see it as a season in its own right, but some people seem to see it as the harbinger of doom, the bringer of Winter and all the cold and dark that lies ahead. Cripes. I am going to needing that glass of hearty red pretty damned soon the way things are going.

4. Autumn Almanac – The Kinks (Written by ray Davies) Yes, i know I referenced this last week but that was with regard to my own shoddy doggerel. I couldn’t not put this in. This lovely ode to the season of our trees’ plummeting lateral appendages is just what you need after all the miserable songs have finished. This is the Autumn of colours and warm toast and seasonal delights we have been waiting for. Lovely.

5. Autumn Song Manic Street Preachers (Written by Bradfield/Jones/Moore) Yes, I know. The Manics are not normally known for jollyness, and this one starts off dark enough but there is a (rare) glimmer of hope in this MSP song which those who choose to be maudlin about the season would do well to emulate. 

In fact, we should make that a rule. No sombre faces, no fear of the season, no mournful thoughts of Winter. let’s enjoy thew change. Cahnge is good we are told so let’s embrace it. And remember. We also get Halloween and Fireworks in this seaosn so let’s enjoy it. It’s hot toddies, artisan sausages and baked spuds all round. See Ya.   Holly.

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