Early Autumn

Words & Music by Ralph Burns, Johnny Mercer & Woody Herman, 1949
Recorded by Jo Stafford, 1952*

 A  Fdim E7/9  Gdim Cm7(IV) Dm6       AM7
When an   ear - ly  autumn walks the land 

A9  Cdim        G#7
And chills the breeze

Cdim(IV)  GM7       CM7      Bm   F#7    Cdim(IV)     F#7 
  And    touch - es with her hand     the  sum - mer trees,

Fdim  FM7        Cdim         FM7  E7 
Per - haps you'll un - der - stand    

Fdim Gdim Fdim  E7 Edim AM7  Dm7(V)  Dm6   AM7
What  mem - o - ries I  own.

  A    Fdim E7/9  Gdim Cm7(IV)      Dm6    AM7
There's a  dance   pa -   vi - lion in the rain 

A9  Cdim        G#7
All shut - tered down,

Cdim(IV)  GM7       CM7        Bm   F#7    Cdim(IV)     F#7 
  A      wind - ing coun - try lane    all   rus - set brown,

Fdim  FM7       Cdim      FM7  E7 Fdim Gdim Fdim  E7  E7/6   D9    A
  A   fros - ty win - dow pane    shows me    a  town grown lone - ly.

D9   Bm7-5     E7/6 Fdim AM7         C#m7-5       F#m7/9
That spring of ours that star - ted so A - pril - heart - ed,

D9    Bm7-5     E7/6  Cdim     AM7
Seemed made for just a boy and girl.

A        Am7     Em7 D7
I never dreamed, did you, 

Am7  G         B7      E7  Cdim AM7  F#m  Dm6  Fdim
Any fall could come in view so  ear - ly, ear - ly.

Cm7(IV)     Dm6      AM7   A9    Cdim     G#7
  Dar - ling if you care, please, let me know,

Cdim(IV)  GM7    CM7        Bm   F#7  Cdim(IV)   F#7 
  I'll   meet you an - y - where,    I  miss you so.

Fdim  FM7      Cdim     FM7  E7 Fdim Gdim  Fdim  E7  E7/6 D9    A
Let's nev - er have to share     an - oth - er  ear - ly  au - tumn.

*When I posted this chart in April of 2007 or thereabouts, I listed this comment:

Information I've seen suggests this was the flip side of Stafford's version of "Jambalaya." Other information suggests it might have been recorded in 1949, the same year in which it was written. I'd be interested in finding conclusive evidence either way, if you happen to have it.

In true dyed-in-the-wool-guitarguy.com-visitor fashion, a recent visitor (who certainly deserves to be idenified, but declined) not only answered my questions but provided a wealth of backstory on this one:

"The music for Early Autumn was originally recorded by Columbia in 1946 (a few say 1947) by the Woody Herman band. It is the 4th movement of the Ralph Burns composition "Summer Sequence." Mercer copyrighted the lyrics in 1952, the same year Jo Stafford recorded the song."

There's much more to the story, actually, and my visitor forwarded this link: http://jazzinchicago.org/educates/journal/reviews/why-cant-they-get-it-right

It's one of the clearest examples I've seen where attribution for both music composition and lyric writing get inadvertantly obscured, even by those who ought to know better. It's also why I go to the effort I do to provide that very information for every chart I put up here -- because the people who created this beauty are every bit as deserving of remembrance and recognition as the people who actually record the songs.

The lyric and guitar chord transcriptions on this site are the work of The Guitarguy and are intended for private study, research, or educational purposes only. Individual transcriptions are inspired by and and based upon the recorded versions cited, but are not necessarily exact replications of those recorded versions.