Autumn playlist

When autumn began on Sept. 23, the leaves had not yet commenced to fall, nor had the cold invited itself to chill the air yet. Nevertheless, the nights come earlier and bundling up is more appropriate. All things pumpkin spice appear again in our favorite stores and breweries. These smooth jazzy tunes go perfectly with a blanket and warm fire.

“‘Tis Autumn”

This was originally written in 1941 by songwriter Henry Nemo, but versions include covers by Nat King Cole, Chet Baker, Bill Evans and Ella Fitzgerald, and more recently, Stacy Kent. The lyrics of “‘Tis Autumn” recognize the natural changes of the weather, trees and birds flying south for the winter.

“The Falling Leaves”/“Les Feuilles Mortes”

In 1945, “The Falling Leaves” as we know it now was actually initially inspired by a French song called “Les Feuilles Mortes,” written by poet Jacques Prévert. Other artists have had their own take on it in English, some of which are by Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole and Johnny Mercer. The lyrics in the English version juxtapose the leaves falling to the memory of a lover gone. The French version “Les Feuilles Mortes” translated into English means “dead leaves.” “Les Feuilles” is an extremely beautiful French version of “The Falling Leaves.” A recording exists if you want to listen to it by Yves Montand, it’s worth the listen.

“Pumpkin Waltz”

If you have watched the Charlie Brown short “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!” then you may be familiar with “The Great Pumpkin Waltz” by Vince Guaraldi. Guaraldi wrote all the music for the Charlie Brown shows and short films. “The Great Pumpkin Waltz” has no lyrics and can be described as a poignant work of art that allows for calm.

“Autumn in New York”

This jazz song was created by Vernon Duke in 1934 for a Broadway Musical “Thumbs up!” The melancholic chords and lyrics describe New York in the fall, with vivid imagery and pensive longing for something else.


This song is from the 1981 musical “Cats.” The song evokes feelings of nostalgia for the past, a common emotion for this fall season. However, the song has an element of optimism, which is also a recurring sentiment for people who enjoy this changing of the leaves.

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