This song has a tendency to make people happy when they hear it. Allee Willis, who wrote the song with Maurice White and Al McKay from Earth, Wind & Fire, describes it as "Joyful Music." It was the first song Willis wrote with the band, and quite a learning experience. She <a href="https://www.songfacts.com/blog/interviews/allee-willis-boogie-wonderland-friends-theme" target="_blank">told Songfacts</a>: "Their stuff was very much based on Eastern philosophies, an incredibly positive outlook on life; the lyrical content of their songs was not typical of what would have been in soul music at that time. So when I left the studio that first day, Maurice gave me the name of a book, it was called <a href="https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/055327757X/songfacts02-20" target="_blank"><i>The Greatest Salesman In The World</i></a>, and he sent me to the Bodhi Tree, which is a very spiritual bookstore here in LA. I got that and a bunch of other books that the saleswoman said was the philosophy. And what went from being a very simple experience turned into, for me, an incredibly complex experience. Because I dove into these books. And even the way they were written, the language they were written in, I kind of didn't understand anything. But Maurice told me right from the jump he thought I was a very spiritual person, and I was put here to communicate. And I thought, if Maurice was saying that to me, I need to hang with this. I was pouring through these books for a couple of months. Lyrics started being 25-30 pages long as I'm trying to figure all this stuff out. Reading all that stuff changed me forever. He lead me to a path I've stayed on. "So 'September' was fantastic and thrilling, and they had started the intro of it by the time I had walked into the studio to meet everyone. Just as I opened the door and I heard that little guitar intro, I thought, Oh God, please let this be what they want to work with me on. Because it was so obviously a hit." Willis co-wrote most of the songs on Earth, Wind & Fire's next album <b>I Am</b>, including the hit "<a href="https://www.songfacts.com/facts/earth-wind-fire/boogie-wonderland">Boogie Wonderland</a>."
According to Maurice White, he got the idea for this song in an unlikely place: a hotel room in Washington DC while there was some kind of protest going on below. Said White, "There's all these cats screaming and throwing things and going crazy and this tune just evolved."
There are many theories as to the significance of the "21st night of September" in the opening lyrics, and until 2018, even the song's co-writer, Allee Willis, was in the dark - Maurice White told her it had no real significance and was chosen because it sang well phonetically. White died in 2016; two years later, Willis was <a href="https://www.wsj.com/articles/do-you-remember-the-message-in-earth-wind-fires-september-11567520286" target="_blank">having lunch with his widow, Marilyn</a>, who told her that September 21 was the due date for their son, Kahbran, and that Maurice put that specific date into the song as a secret message. Kahbran ended up being born early on August 1, which definitely wouldn't have the same ring to it as a lyric.
Music data, artist images, album covers, and song previews are provided by Spotify.
volt.fm is not affiliated, associated, authorized, endorsed by, or in any way officially connected with Spotify. Spotify is a trademark of Spotify AB.