Do you remember
“We went through all the dates: ‘Do you remember the first, the second, the third, the fourth … ‘ and the one that just felt the best was the 21st.”
21st September. But it could have been any date. But that feels right. The astronomical season of autumn begins around this date. We’re at the end of one thing and the cusp of another. And this song seems to capture that, the “Do you remember…” is as much joyful as melancholy, an acknowledgement that one generally resides within the other.
The days are steadily shortening, yet the light is worth the increasing wait each morning, gently illuminating the browning leaves. The lazy afternoons in the sun may be over, but the cozy evenings are about to return.
This is very much the soundtrack of those evenings. At home with the classics station on the radio. In some sort of chain restaurant with the friendly service and the comfort food. The pub with the log fire and dancing middle-aged couples at the bar. The weddings. Parties. Family gatherings. This song appears at them all, is a reminder of them all.
There is more to this than the old quote about the potency of cheap music. There is something very deliberate in the song, a skill to the writing and arrangement that triggers a deep emotional feeling. Well, at least for me.
The opening chords play and I’m back in all the restaurant, the wedding, the gathering, or at least back within the feeling I had in all those places. Each venue, each event, something easy to turn my nose at, or just find insignificant but also the sorts of venues and events where when everything falls right and the right people are there and the right song plays you feel something special. A sense of belonging, a sense of home.
September is all this to me – a shortcut, a hotwiring to some of those feelings. And that is joyful and melancholy. This autumn I may feel that sense of home again. Old places and people to return to, new places and people to discover. But I know that some of those feelings will never come back again. Those venues long gone. Those events no longer possible.