Do you remember the 21st night of September? I bet you just sang those lyrics in your head as you read them.
Even before Maurice has those first few words out of his mouth, I’m moving my arms and doing a chair dance. September is one of those songs that I am absolutely convinced has always existed. It’s brilliant. Nothing shy of brilliant. And it means absolutely nothing. Nothing. It’s just an exhortation to be happy.
Allee Willis, said this of Maurice White: “I learned my greatest lesson ever in songwriting from him, which was never let the lyric get in the way of the groove.” ba-dee-ya.
No one cares that it means nothing. Just as no one ever cared that there was literally no meaning to September 21 either. I’m willing to bet that even after 30 years, you don’t even know all the words. The only reason they matter at all is that it gives us all a chance to hear Maurice sing.
It’s about the vibe. It’s about how it makes you feel. It’s musical ice cream: it makes you happy even if the flavor really isn’t your favorite. I love this song for that reason – it just makes me happy, I feel good listening to it. The way Ice Cream feels in your mouth, there’s nothing in this world better.
Compare this with something like “Snuff” by Slayer: even if Slayer is your go to, the vibe will never make you feel “happy” (unless you’re a psychopath) and yeah, the lyrics matter for that reason:
Pleasing to the eye
To this you can’t deny…”
The world holds so much Snuff, and far too little September. Its far too easy to be angry – that ignorant social media post, something shocking in the news, that unfair decision at work. What’s a little bit harder is being happy – just making the decision to be happy. To ignore that social media outrage, to remember very little in the news is actually news, that work is only one part of your life.
So today, on this 21st day of September, even if there has never been a 21st of September in your life worth singing or dancing about, hit the play button right now and give yourself a gift of 3.5-minutes of happiness. Make the choice to be happy.