September can be a bittersweet month. Summer ends, both officially with the autumnal equinox, and unofficially with Labor Day weekend. It’s a time for remembering the summer gone by and preparing for the long winter ahead. More philosophically September can be seen to represent the never-ending march of time as our lives grow closer to fall and ultimately winter as we age.
It’s fitting that this month has a hit song named for it. Originally the song was written, performed and recorded by the funk band Earth, Wind & Fire in 1978. It came out as a single that year and was included on the 1978 “The Best of Earth, Wind & Fire, Vol. 1.” That version of the song was about a love that was cooling as September ultimately gave way to December and a call to remember and perhaps return to those time.
Kirk Franklin covered the song for the 2007 tribute album “Interpretations: Celebrating the Music of Earth, Wind & Fire.” But Kirk rewrote the lyrics significantly making it a call to remember the initial joy of salvation, again using the symbols of the months of the year to represent seasons in life. And in Kirk’s version there is not only a looking back but also a looking ahead, as in the line, “So no matter what season you’re in right not, after winter comes spring, so if you love my Jesus help me sing.”
Musically the two versions of the song are nearly identical. I’ve shared video versions of each below.
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