The Songs We Love: ‘Autumn Leaves’

Before Autumn is gone and the white of winter gnaws at our feet, I like to share a song for us. It’s a tune written almost 80 years ago and which remains today as a classic. “Autumn Leaves” was a sentimental song composed in 1945 by the Hungarian-French songwriter, Joseph Komar, with lyrics by French poet Jacques Prévert. The French original was called Les Feuilles Mortes which translates rather darkly to “Still (or Dry) Leaves”, in reference to the wistful sentiments of this season. The song became a hit after it was translated to English by the American lyricist and songwriter, Johnny Mercer. Over the decades, scores of singers have performed Autumn Leaves, including Doris Day, Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Eva Cassidy, though the French version sung by Yves Montand always struck me as darker and sadder. Below are two renditions of this evergreen song. The first is an instrumental by Korean guitarist Yenne Lee. The second is a vocal rendition by the “king of jazz crooners”, Nat King Cole.

Yenne Lee plays ‘Autumn Leaves’

Autumn Leaves’ – Nat King Cole

Leave a Reply