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Songwriter of Earth, Wind & Fire shares why she chose the date September 21 in 'September'

Songwriter of Earth, Wind & Fire shares why she chose the date September 21 in 'September'

Ba-dee-ya, dancin' in September
22 September 2022 10:57AM

The catchy disco hit 'September' by Earth, Wind & Fire opens up with "Do you remember the 21st of September". But why 21st September? If you've always wondered about it then we've got the answer!

Apparently, the date has no such significance and it was just a date that sounded best with the flow of the song. 

"We went through all the dates" the late Allee Willis told NPR in 2004. 

"Do you remember the first, the second, the third, the fourth... " and the one that just felt the best was the 21st" she added.

"I constantly have people coming up to me and they get so excited to know what the significance was. And there is no significance beyond it just sang better than any of the other dates," Alle said.

"So ... sorry!"

The iconic 'Ba-dee-ya' from the chorus was written by Maurice White who passed away in 2016. 

'Ba-dee-ya' was the late singer's go-to phrase that he used in every song when writing. 

"So right from the beginning he was singing, 'Ba-dee-ya, say, do you remember / Ba-dee-ya, dancing in September," Allee said. 

Allee however did not imagine the words would stay.

"I said, 'We are going to change 'ba-dee-ya' to real words, right?" she recalled asking him to change the lyrics till the end until she gave in at their last vocal session.

 "Finally, when it was so obvious that he was not going to do it, I just said, 'What the **** does 'ba-dee-ya' mean?'" she said.

 "He essentially said, 'Who the  **** cares?'" she added.

Allee admitted to learning her greatest songwriting lesson from Maurice.

"I learned my greatest lesson ever in songwriting from him, which was never let the lyric get in the way of the groove," the songwriter said, 

"I think the song's just eternally uplifting".

Yes, it indeed is!