by Claude Chaney
I guess in order for you to really appreciate the song "When October Goes" you have to live in a place where you have four seasons.....and each season does what God intended for it to do: The summers are hot, the winters are cold, while spring and fall are the in between allergy seasons with moderate weather. The two places where I have lived most of my life New York and New Jersey fit that description. I can remember a zero degree winter day and a 100 degree summer day. Although the fall is a beautiful season it does bring to
mind a degree of change and sadness. This is why Kool and The Gang recorded "Summer Madness" and "Winter Sadness"
Johnny Mercer was one of the great songwriters (The Summer Wind. That Old Black Magic, Moon River , Days of Wine and Roses an many more) who died in 1976. Immediately after his passing Mrs. Mercer came across some lyrics that Mercer had left behind, then she decided to give them to Barry Manilow. After spending a considerable amount of time with Mercer's lyrics Manilow came up with a melody. He did not keep this song to himself. He shared it with other prominent singers. The song became a top ten Adult contemporary hit connected to Rosemary Clooney, Megon McDonough and Nancy Wilson, among others.
I have posted either the lyrics or the song itself on the internet every year since I heard it first on the
"Talk Back with Hugh Hamilton" radio show on WBAI. Although I like the interpretations of all the singers mentioned earlier, the Nancy Wilson version is my favorite. It has a somewhat haunting quality that makes it unforgettable. If we are lucky we will be able to experience all four seasons of life. For most people I would
say autumn is the most reflective, a time when you assess where you've been and plan where you're going with the ever decreasing time you have left.