A few months back, I made a playlist for springtime with a selection of spring-y songs. I would have liked to have done another one for summer, but that never happened since I was dealing with three condensed-for-the-short-semester college courses that were occupying all of my brain space, but that’s okay because AUTUMN IS HERE NOW and IT IS MY FAVORITE SEASON. Like I said back in April, certain songs and musical genres associate themselves with a particular season in my head. If spring is the season of the crooners and summer is the season of Santana and Jimmy Buffett, fall is the season of harmonies from the ’60s and ’70s. Fall also brings us Halloween, so I’ll be honest with you: it is VERY tempting to just list “I Put a Spell On You” as performed by the Sanderson sisters in Hocus Pocus ten times, but that would be cheating.
1. California Dreaming – The Mamas and the Papas
The song mentions a “winter’s day,” but the time of year when all the leaves are brown is, in fact, autumn. In winter, all the leaves are gone. The overlapping lyrics make this song a fun challenge to sing by yourself.
2. Turn, Turn, Turn – The Byrds
There are a bunch of versions of this song, but this is the one I like the best. I think fall is when you notice the changing seasons the most. It’s probably because of the leaves. On the verge of summer, you don’t really say things like, “Look at how prettily the leaves are growing into themselves!”
3. In My Life – The Beatles
In My Life is reflective, contemplative, nostalgic, transitional…I often find myself feeling all of those adjectives during the autumn months.
4. Heart of Gold – Neil Young
Harmonicas are fall-ish. I don’t know why. They just are. Also, this song is on an album entitled “Harvest.” It doesn’t get much more autumnal than that.
5. Windy – The Association
Fall is windy, right? Maybe it’s not particularly windy, maybe that’s just an association (ha!) that I have.
6. Witchy Woman – The Eagles
Halloween is my favorite holiday, so I’d be remiss if I didn’t include at least one sort of Halloweeny song.
7. Forever Autumn – The Moody Blues
As much as I love fall, I think all seasons have their place, so I wouldn’t necessarily want it to be autumn forever. Maybe we could do, like, one month each of summer and winter, two of spring, and the other eight of fall?
8. Suite: Judy Blue Eyes – Crosby, Stills, and Nash
The explanation for including this one might be a bit of a stretch, so bear with me. In my head, the harmonizing in this song is the aural equivalent of the colors of the autumn leaves blending together. Someone out there must know what I mean, right?
9. Don’t Carry It All – The Decemberists
I’m jumping forward a few decades with this one, but it has very similar vibes to the others. Go ahead and raise a glass to the turnings of the season.
10. I Put a Spell On You – Bette Midler as Winifred Sanderson
Including this ten times would have been cheating. Including it once is perfectly acceptable.