September is a month where change feels inevitable—you can smell the shift from summer to fall in the air. And when that happens, it only makes sense to crank up the volume on memorable songs about September! So in this article, I’m going to provide you with my favorite songs about this great month—a month when leaves begin to change color, kids go back to school, and football season is off and running.
Songs About September You’ll Love
Let’s begin with perhaps the most famous song about September by Earth, Wind & Fire.
1) September by Earth, Wind & Fire
No list of songs about September would be complete without this upbeat disco bop. There’s always something special about the month when you met the person that you love, and this song perfectly celebrates that feeling. It gestures to their specific anniversary—the 21st of September—but the whole month seems to occupy a special place in this couple’s hearts.
The lyrics talk about September as a time for dancing, clear skies, joy, and the sweetest kind of nostalgia. Even though the song’s catchy chorus is part of what made it so famous, the nonsense phrase “ba-dee-yah” was almost cut from the song. Luckily, the song was released as originally written, “ba-dee-yah” intact—something we should be grateful for every time September rolls around.
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2) dark until september. by will hyde
From his debut EP with u in mind, this song is about Hyde’s decision to continue making music even though the path to success in the music industry is an arduous one. It’s about the feeling of everything in your life falling apart, and about finding all of the relationships that feel most important to you to be in an unstable place.
His claim that things will be “dark until September” is in tension with how seasons change in the natural world: September contains the fall equinox, marking the official transition from summer into fall, and the shift toward longer nights and shorter days. This puts the song’s central claim (that things will be less dark after September) into question, which perfectly captures the way depression feels.
If you’re looking for a song about September that deals with depression and uncertainty, this song might fill your needs.
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3) Wake Me Up When September Ends by Green Day
If you associate the month of September with losing someone you love, and with experiencing that loss over and over again every time the month of September rolls around, this song is sure to strike a chord with you.
The lead singer, Billy Joe Armstrong, wrote this song about losing his father. Every time September rolls around, the grief feels fresh again, which is shown in the way the lyrics talk about time: first, he says “seven years has gone so fast,” but as the song draws to a close, it changes to “twenty years.” Although this song must be painful for Armstrong to perform, it means the world to so many listeners dealing with losses of their own.
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4) September by Daughtry
This song uses the months and seasons changing to speak to a couple’s relationship changing seemingly against their will. There reaches a point in a relationship where it stops being just a fling, but you’re not actually sure if it’s started to be anything else, and Daughtry uses the month of September to describe this feeling.
If summer represents a carefree, uncomplicated, and passionate relationship, then September must represent something else. Yet, the lyrics show the couple in September still trying to act the same as they did in the summer. Throughout the song’s lyrics, however, they slowly realize that they have to decide if they’re going to break up or pursue a serious relationship, because the summertime of their time together has passed.
5) September Morn by Neil Diamond
This passionate ballad came from a collaboration between Neil Diamond and French composer Gilbert Bécaud. It’s about one particular September night where a Diamond and his lover danced until the morning came. As the song goes on, however, it comes out that there’s been some complication in the relationship, and that now that the relationship is over, all that he can do is hold onto that one specific memory.
It turns out, however, that their relationship was too special to let go of, and they get back together. When the song ends, the repeating line “September morning still can make me feel that way” refers to the new September mornings they will make together, not just the initial one that inspired the song.
6) Make It Stop (September’s Children) by Rise Against
This song is about a series of tragic events that happened in September: the deaths of Tyler Clementi, Seth Walsh, Asher Brown, Billy Lucas, and Raymond Chase, all LGBTQ teenagers who committed suicide after they were bullied for being gay. All of these teenagers lost to homophobia are referred to as “September’s Children.”
A collaboration with the It Gets Better campaign, this song encourages LGBTQ+ teens who might be feeling suicidal to stay in the world. Tim McIlrath’s smooth but assertive vocals make it clear that he is on their side when he sings “Too much blood has flown from the wrists / Of the children shamed for those they chose to kiss.” For the loved ones of September’s Children, and for LGBTQ+ people everywhere, the month of September will always feel heavy with their memory.
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7) September 16 by Russ
Anniversaries of big events hold unique power over us, and this song is about a particularly impactful anniversary for Russ. This slow, sad R&B song is about his parents—their complicated relationship, and his grappling with that complexity after his father’s death. September 16th is the date of his parents’ marriage, and he locates that as the beginning of everything going both right and wrong between them.
He writes from the perspectives of his mother, his father, and himself in different verses of the song. He repeats throughout that “it”—whatever that is—“all comes back to love.” If the month of September brings up particular feelings about your family’s dynamics, this song might speak to you.
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8) Six Years Come September by American Aquarium
This song is also about the anniversary of a big event in September, but while Russ wrote about his parents’ anniversary, this song is about the sobriety of American Aquarium’s founder, BJ Barham. Part of sobriety is realizing all the time that you lost to addiction and all of the bad decisions you made while under the influence, and this song perfectly captures this feeling.
Yet, while there’s regret, the song insistently looks to the future: that the sobriety date is defined as “six years come September” implies that he has every intention of maintaining his sobriety until September and beyond. If the month of September holds unique weight for you in relation to addiction, this song might capture what you’re feeling.
9) September In The Rain by Dinah Washington
Though this song was originally written in 1937, it’s been rerecorded many times, with one of the most popular recordings being by Dinah Washington. Her rich, crooning vocals perfectly capture the nostalgia implied by both the lyrics and the rich, string-based instrumental.
This song is about being so immersed in the memory of someone that the seasons seem to literally change around you. The romance that the song references took place on a rainy September day, which makes it easier to pretend like a Spring day is actually that same rainy September day when they fell in love.
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10) September Grass by James Taylor
Summer romance is out, and September romance has arrived. In this song, James Taylor paints a beautiful and vivid picture of laying in a patch of grass with the person he loves on a lovely September day. The longer they lay there, the more it seems like they become part of the natural world around them. He talks about them existing in harmony with the ants in the grass, as he realizes that they’re closer in size to those ants than they are to the world as a whole.
This sudden realization of their smallness adds a bittersweet element to the song: it also reminds him of his mortality, and of the relative insignificance of the love they feel for each other. His solution, though, is to just keep laying there in the summer grass with the girl that he loves, cementing that day in both of their memories.
September is an unusually poetic month; it’s a time when seasons are changing and people are reevaluating their lives. Much ink has been spilled (and instruments played) about the different feelings that this month brings up in people. Regardless of what your relationship with the month is, one of these songs about September is sure to capture something of the way you’re feeling.