Early AutumnWords & 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.