The 10 Best Autumn Songs

Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel
Columbia Records/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel of the folk rock duo Simon & Garfunkel in a Columbia Records publicity still circa 1967 in New York. 

Sure, you can argue that it gets its share of spooky tunes around Halloween, but winter has the market cornered on essential holiday music. And yeah, fall has its pumpkin spice latte craze, but is anyone asking what the song of the autumn will be? No, summer gets all that glory.

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But that doesn’t mean there aren’t some seriously great fall-themed tracks to listen to as the leaves start to change and you finally get to break out your favorite festive scarves. (We realize this statement does not apply to Lenny Kravitz or Steven Tyler.)

In honor of the musically overlooked season, these are 10 of the best songs to listen to in the fall.

“Autumn in New York” by Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong
If this doesn’t magically transport you to a crisp, romantic fall afternoon in Central Park, then we can’t help you. No one can.

“Wake Me Up When September Ends” by Green Day
It doesn’t feel like a sorrowful song about hoping September comes and goes quickly should be a perfect autumn track, but it’s as melancholy and contemplative as the very month in the title.

“Pale September” by Fiona Apple
“The autumn days swung soft around me/ Like cotton on my skin/ But as the embers of the summer lost their breath and disappeared/ My heart went cold and only hollow rhythms resounded from within.” Hail Fiona, our Autumnal Queen.

“Autumn Sweater” by Yo La Tengo
Listening to Yo La Tengo is already the musical equivalent of being wrapped up in your favorite cozy sweater, and this song all but amplifies that.

“Gone Till November” by Wyclef Jean
It should be acknowledged that this song is perfect year-round, but it should absolutely be listened to in November. We don’t make the rules.

“Autumn Almanac” by The Kinks
Songs about the fall can be major-league bummers (those dead leaves sure make for some depressing metaphors), but “Autumn Almanac” is the upbeat tune for all fall enthusiasts who look forward to the same things as the Kinks: good food, good friends and football. (OK, the other football.)

“Harvest Moon” by Neil Young
Considering harvest moon is one of the absolute best things about the fall, there’s an unforgivable lack of songs about the autumnal full moon. But even if there were more odes to a harvest moon, they probably wouldn’t be as perfect as this one.

“Leaves That Are Green” by Simon & Garfunkel
“Leaves that are green turn to brown” kinda says it all, no?

“Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground” by The White Stripes
Because kicking those dead, fallen leaves under your feet on a dreary autumn day deserves a kick-ass song too. 

“November Rain” by Guns N’ Roses
Autumn leaves get plenty of love in songs, but only Guns N’ Roses had the intuition to write about the cooooooldddd Noveeeemberrrr raaaaaaaaain.