Earth, Wind & Fire – September (Lyrics Review and Song Meaning)

Among the songs that never age and disappear is “September” by Earth, Wind & Fire. This song is the band’s most successful hit, both commercially and in chart placings. The song released on November 18, 1978, is a classic R&B track that we can still shake to in a dance floor.

“September” became Earth, Wind & Fire’s most successful single to-date and is from their ninth studio album titled ‘I Am.’ Due to its success, the song was also included in Earth, Wind & Fire’s ‘best of’ compilation album. The song has sold over 2 million digital copies and over 1.5 million physical copies worldwide as of 2017 according to Nielsen SoundScan. The single also rose to #1 on Billboard Hot Soul Singles chart and #8 on Billboard Hot 100 chart.

The song is essentially a throwback to a month of September filled with fond memories for the singer. Several lyrics in the song suggest that it might even has been the singer’s wedding in this period.

Listen to “September” by Earth, Wind & Fire


Download “September” Single on Apple Music and Amazon
Buy ‘Essential Earth, Wind & Fire’ Album on Apple Music and Amazon

In the first verse of “September,” the singer specifies a date in the month of September as his point of a throwback. The 21st of September made so much significance in his life, that made him spin out an entire song about it. The song has a romantic undertone in which the singer talks about being in love and finding everything around them in par with their emotions. Ths starry night, smooth breeze, clear sky and two hearts tightly knit in love and affection. The couple danced the night away in such a surrounding.

In the chorus, we hear some unfamiliar words being sung–“Ba-dee ya.” One of the lyricists of the song, Allee Willis, explained what it means in an interview with NPR; “…And I said, ‘We are going to change ‘ba-dee-ya’ to real words, right?‘ And finally, when it was so obvious that he was not going to do it, I just said, ‘What the f*** does ‘ba-dee-ya’ mean?‘ And he essentially said, ‘Who the f*** cares?’ I learned my greatest lesson ever in songwriting from him, which was never let the lyric get in the way of the groove.”

In the second verse, the singer reveals that currently it is the month of December, and he knows that the love they shared in September is real and here to stay.

The second bridge of the song says that there was a bell ringing while they shared this epitome of joy in their lives. One could imagine that the singer could be referring to his wedding date in this song.

Significance of 21st of September to Earth, Wind & Fire?

In the interview with NPR, Allee Willis explained how she and Maurice White, the leader of Earth, Wind & Fire, landed on 21st; “We went through all the dates: ‘Do you remember the first, the second, the third, the fourth … ‘ and the one that just felt the best was the 21st. I constantly have people coming up to me and they get so excited to know what the significance was. And there is no significance beyond it just sang better than any of the other dates. So … sorry!”

Significance or not, the song has been hallmarked as one of the best dance track in the history of music and has been an essential part of pop culture as well.

Let us hear your fond memories of “September” by Earth, Wind & Fire and what you think this song means in the comments below.

Adam McDonald

Hi! I am the founder and lead author and editor of Justrandomthings music community. A vast range of personal interests from Hip-Hop to Country to Hard Rock and Punk music will keep you entertained.

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