On 1 March, 1980, “September Morn” by Neil Diamond peaked at #4.
Am I the only one who finds Neil Diamond creepy? Sometimes I think so, because, inexplicably, his songs skyrocket up the charts despite often being skin-crawlingly worrisome. The first song Neil cranked out that made me feel this way was “Girl, You’ll Be a Woman Soon” which, I know from the lyrics, isn’t actually a song about pedophilia, but that’s what the title sounds like, at least when sung in that achy urgent tone that Neil does so nasally. And then we have “September Morn“, which is the other way around — it doesn’t sound creepy until you pay attention to the lyrics; I mean really pay attention to them.
It’s hard to tell from the first verse what the relationship is between the singer and the girl in this song. She’s there, he hasn’t seen her in a while, and he asks her to stay so he can absorb how she — and he — actually, have changed. But then, the second verse gets weirder: he recalls hearing her crying in her room as a child, and notes how much she’s grown up. This wouldn’t be too weird if they were, say, siblings, or father and daughter… but the chorus is him recalling dancing together all night, like two lovers in a romantic play. And that’s… icky. Really icky. Too icky for me to ignore it over the swooping violins and jingly cymbal. If someone out there has an explanation for what this song is about that doesn’t involve incest, please (PLEASE!) let me know.