When Autumn Leaves…

  • Susan Ford
  • November 24, 2017
  • In 1959 I was in the fifth grade at Swansboro Elementary School, which sat high above the White Oak shore in coastal North Carolina.  That year, in our little school choir, we learned Autumn Leaves.  I can still remember singing the lyrics and feeling so very sad for the person who wrote the song, and sensing the pain of missing the home and family, I had known for the last five years.  It was, I felt, the first “grown-up” song I had ever learned!  The song originally was written and made popular in French eventually made its way to the US where Nat King Cole would make it a hit song.  That year when playing in the leaves, all I could remember was the song and the sadness of the one who composed the lyrics, one Jacques Prévert and Joseph Kosma who composed the musicIt was the music and the lyrics together that melted the meaning into hearts.  I understand how sad the autumn can sometimes make people feel.

    The falling leaves drift by my window
    The falling leaves of red and gold
    I see your lips the summer kisses
    The sunburned hands I used to hold

    Since you went away, the days grow long
    And soon I’ll hear old winter’s song
    But I miss you most of all my darling
    When autumn leaves start to fall

    I miss you most of all my darling
    When autumn leaves start to fall