Autumn Leaves (song)

Les feuilles mortes, internationally best- Autumn Leaves, is a song that was composed by Joseph Kosma in 1945 to an existing poem by Jacques Prévert. It was first to Yves Montand in Marcel Carnes movie gates of night to be carried forward (1946 Les Portes de la nuit, ) but developed a life of its own as a chanson. It later became a number -one hit and a jazz standard in the English version.

Structure and theme of the song

The song is held in the form of a song AABC and includes 32 bars. It has a minor characteristic, but finds in the B section briefly to a major parallel. The melody of the B section seems Kosma the Soviet march White Army, Black Baron ( " Белая армия, чёрный барон ", 1920) to have taken, probably in 1927 as the song The workers of Vienna was sung at the so-called July revolt.

In the introductory verses the dead leaves of autumn are described and invoke the memory of an old love story out, the purpose of the chorus is. Two people loved each other and lived together, but separate life those who love each other, quietly and without noise; the sea blurs in the sand the footsteps of the separated lovers.

Chanson interpretations

A first recording to disk took Cora Vaucaire on; shortly after Marianne Oswald played a version which was partly held in German. The first singer who interpreted the song, in 1947 Jacques Douai. Édith Piaf took the piece in 1950 in their repertoire. Other interpretations followed by et al Bernard Lavilliers, Juliette Greco, Dalida, Shiina Ringo, In-Grid, Charles Aznavour, Richard Anthony, Andrea Bocelli, Eduardo Darnauchans, Marcel Mouloudji, Serge Gainsbourg, Françoise Hardy and Iggy Pop. The singer-songwriter Wolf Biermann transferred the song into German ( wilting leaves, published 1985). Hannes Wader also sings on his tours since 2008 a German version of the song, also titled wilting leaves, released on the album Nah Dran (2012 ).

Effective history of the English version

In 1949, Johnny Mercer transferred the lyrics of the song into English, but changed this content by the longing of just Forsaken was portrayed who remembers the face of autumn leaves on the happiness of love of summer. Jo Stafford took it first to record on, for, founded by Mercer Label Capitol Records. Cover versions followed by Bing Crosby, Édith Piaf ( in American concerts she sang both versions ) and Jo Stafford's husband Paul Weston. However, initially remained from a great attention for the song.

In 1955 pianist Roger Williams, who for his Instrumental Hits Near You (1958) and Born Free (1966 ) is known to his version, which became the number - one hit and millions of success and more than six months remained in the charts. Subsequently, further versions of Steve Allen, Mitch Miller, the Ray Charles Singers, Jackie Gleason and Victor Young added that tried to connect to the success came. Followed later versions of Doris Day, Patricia Kaas, Marlene Dietrich, Eva Cassidy, Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand, Jessye Norman and Eric Clapton.

Jazz Standard

Back in the early 1950s was a first jazz interpretation by Artie Shaw; Middle of the decade, followed by Erroll Garner and Oscar Peterson. Only through the interpretation of Cannonball Adderley (1958 on his album Somethin 'Else ) with Miles Davis sideman, who " with his legendary melancholy sound and its deliberately chosen, lonely overcast tones the nerve of the song is true ", but the potential was the songs as jazz Title significantly. 1959 Bill Evans played the song on his album Portrait in Jazz first one (the song was repeatedly taken up by him).

As a result, Autumn Leaves became a popular standard, which was performed in a variety of tempos. It not only experienced numerous vocal interpretations, for example by Mel Tormé, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Tony Bennett, Diana Krall, Bobby McFerrin and ( waiving the text ) Sarah Vaughan; last Götz Alsmann on his 2011 album "Paris" under the title " The veil fell ". Even musicians like Chet Baker, Al Cohn / Zoot Sims, Keith Jarrett, Jeremy Steig / Eddie Gomez, Paul Desmond, Stanley Jordan or Johnny Griffin interpreted the song over and over again.


The song can be heard in the following movies:

  • Les Portes de la nuit (1946, Yves Montand )
  • Parigi è semper Parigi (1951, Yves Montand )
  • Autumn Leaves (1956, Nat King Cole )
  • Hey Boy! Hey Girl! (1959, Keely Smith)
  • Addicted to Love (1997, Stéphane Grappelli )
  • Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil (1997, Paula Cole )
  • The Whole Nine Yards (2000, Stephanie Biddle )
  • Sidewalks of New York (2001, Stan Getz )
  • A better life ( Editorial ) (2011 )
  • My Week with Marilyn (2011, Simon Curtis)

Pictures of Autumn Leaves (song)