Do you remember the 21st night of September?
It’s impossible not to instantly be in a better mood when you hear that opening line of Earth, Wind & Fire’s 1978 hit, “September.” It’s one of the all-time feel-good songs. Even the government thinks so. In 2018, “September” was added to the Library of Congress’ National Recording Registry list of sound recordings that are “culturally, historically, or aesthetically important.”
“September” was written by Earth, Wind & Fire’s Maurice White and Al McKay, along with songwriter Allee Willis. It was one of two new tracks included on the group’s greatest hits album, The Best of Earth, Wind & Fire, Vol. 1. The song was a hit all over the world and has even inspired couples to get married on September 21st.
So why was that date chosen for the lyrics? There have been many theories, and even one of the song’s co-writers, Allee Willis, didn’t know until three decades after “September” was released. Here’s the story according to Songfacts: Maurice White passed away in 2016. A couple of years later, Allee Willis had lunch with his widow. Marilyn White explained to Allee that September 21st had been the due date for their son, Kahbran, and that Maurice put the date into the song as a secret message. However, baby Kahbran arrived early on August 1st. “Do you remember the 1st night of August” doesn’t have the same ring to it.