Maybe we can coax fall along with another seasonal tune and this week I picked the overlooked Autumn Nocturne, written in 1942 by Hollywood composer Josef Myrow (whose name is not well-known but who wrote You Make Me Feel So Young and also received two original song Oscars, one for Wabash Avenue in 1950 and another for Mother Wore Tights in 1947).
Autumn Nocturne is one of those songs that lays well on the piano. It was recorded by Claude Thornhill, a respected bandleader known for his sophisticated arrangements. Thornhill’s band disbanded (so to speak) when the war broke out and Wikipedia says that for awhile in the 1950’s Thornhill became Tony Bennett’s musical director. This may explain why Bennett revived the beautiful “Snowfall” which was a Thornhill instrumental hit. (My high school band used to open all of its winter concerts with Thornhill’s arrangement of Snowfall, so I’ve always liked it.)
But back to Autumn Nocturne, it’s a lovely tune with some nice blues-y touches and an interesting bridge. More trivia, the tune was used in the 1942 film drama Busses Roar. I suspect the melody may sound familiar to you, even if you wouldn’t know the title. Click on the red title to hear it. The lyrics, by Kim Gannon, are below. (Purists will I hope forgive my taking an extra bar before the bridge. It's not the first extra bar... well, never mind.)
When autumn sings her lullaby
And green leaves turn to gold
Then I remember last September you and I
Said good bye
Whispering that we would
Be returning when
Autumn came again
Now autumn roams the hills once more
But you forgot your vow
And here I am alone with only memories
Only lonely memories
When leaves are turning
I get a hungry yearning for your arms.
When heart is sober
It shadows bright October’s golden charms.
The flaming moon reminds me of
The night of love that we once knew.
Each tiny star is but a prayer that
When it’s fall again
Love will call again
And you’ll be
To make my autumn dreams come true.