September chords



You can learn how to play September by Earth, Wind & Fire!

September is a Disco classic that in many ways has come to define the era of the late 70s as well as the sound of the band that wrote and recorded it, Earth, Wind & Fire.

Released in 1978 it was an instant success, claiming the #1 spot in the U.S, #3 in the U.K, and top 20 in another twelve countries around the world.

Since its release, September has continued to have regular radio play and has always been kept as a secret weapon for DJs and bands at parties.

Sales are perhaps even more impressive with almost 10 million copies sold.

On the famous 500 greatest songs list, it occupies #65.

As a guitarist, you can gain a significant advantage over the competition by getting September’s chords right, let’s have a look at them, with lyrics!


September chords and lyrics


||: Dmaj7 C#m7 Bm7 | C#m7 F#m9 F#m7 :|| x3
| G/A | G/A | Gmaj7/A | Gmaj7/A N.C |

| Dmaj7 C#m7 Bm7 | C#m7 F#m9 F#m7 |
Do you remember, the 21st night of September?
| Dmaj7 C#m7 Bm7 | C#m7 F#m9 F#m7 |
Love was changin’ the minds of pretenders.
| Dmaj7 C#m7 Bm7 | C#7 F#m9 F#m7 | G/A | Gmaj7/A N.C |
While chasin’ the clouds away.

| Dmaj7 C#m7 Bm7 | C#m7 F#m9 F#m7 |
Our hearts were ringin’ in the key that our souls were singin’
| Dmaj7 C#m7 Bm7 | C#m7 F#m9 F#m7 |
As we danced in the night, remember.
| Dmaj7 C#m7 Bm7 | C#7 F#m9 F#m7 | G/A | G/A |
How the stars stole the night away, oh, yeah. Hey, hey, hey.

| Bm9 E7 | C#m7 F#m9 F#m7 |
Ba-dee-ya, say do you remember?
| Bm9 E7 | C#m7 F#m9 F#m7 |
Ba-dee-ya, dancin’ in September.
| Bm9 E7 | C#m7 F#m9 F#m7 | G/A | G/A |
Ba-dee-ya, never was a cloudy day.

| Dmaj7 C#m7 Bm7 | C#m7 F#m7 |
Ba-du-da, ba-du-da, ba-du-da, ba-du.
| Dmaj7 C#m7 Bm7 | C#m7 F#m7 |
Ba-du-da, ba-du, ba-du-da, ba-du.
| Dmaj7 C#m7 Bm7 | C#m7 F#m7 | G/A | Gmaj7/A |
Ba-du-da, ba-du, ba-du-da. Hey.

| Dmaj7 C#m7 Bm7 | C#m7 F#m9 F#m7 |
My thoughts are with you holdin’ hands with your heart to see you. 
| Dmaj7 C#m7 Bm7 | C#m7 F#m9 F#m7 |
Only blue talk and love, remember.
| Dmaj7 C#m7 Bm7 | C#7 F#m9 F#m7 | G/A | G/A |
How we knew love was here to stay.

| Dmaj7 C#m7 Bm7 | C#m7 F#m9 F#m7 |
Now December, found the love that we shared in September.
| Dmaj7 C#m7 Bm7 | C#m7 F#m9 F#m7 |
Only blue talk and love, remember.
| Dmaj7 C#m7 Bm7 | C#7 F#m9 F#m7 | G/A | G/A |
The true love we share today. Hey, hey, hey.

| Bm9 E7 | C#m7 F#m9 F#m7 |
Ba-dee-ya, say do you remember?
| Bm9 E7 | C#m7 F#m9 F#m7 |
Ba-dee-ya, dancin’ in September.
| Bm9 E7 | C#m7 F#m7 | G/A | G/A |
Ba-dee-ya, never was a cloudy day. 

| Bm9 E7 | C#m7 F#m7 |
There was a ba-dee-ya (dee-ya, dee-ya), say, do you remember?
| Bm9 E7 | C#m7 F#m7 |
Ba-dee-ya (dee-ya, dee-ya), dancin’ in September.
| Bm9 E7 | C#m7 F#m7 | G/A | G/A |
Ba-dee-ya (dee-ya, dee-ya), golden dreams were shiny days.

| Dmaj7 C#m7 Bm7 | C#m7 F#m9 F#m7 |
The bell was ringin’, oh, oh.
| Dmaj7 C#m7 Bm7 | C#m7 F#m9 F#m7 |
Our souls were singin’.
| Dmaj7 C#m7 Bm7 | C#7 F#m9 F#m7 | G/A | G/A |
Do you remember, never a cloudy day? Yow.

| Bm9 E7 | C#m7 F#m7 |
There was a ba-dee-ya (dee-ya, dee-ya), say, do you remember?
| Bm9 E7 | C#m7 F#m7 |
Ba-dee-ya (dee-ya, dee-ya), dancin’ in September.
| Bm9 E7 | C#m7 F#m7 | G/A | G/A |
Ba-dee-ya (dee-ya, dee-ya), never was a cloudy day.

| Bm9 E7 | C#m7 F#m7 |
And we’ll say ba-dee-ya (dee-ya, dee-ya), say, do you remember?
| Bm9 E7 | C#m7 F#m7 |
Ba-dee-ya (dee-ya, dee-ya), dancin’ in September.
| Bm9 E7 | C#m7 F#m7 | G/A | G/A |
Ba-dee-ya (dee ya, dee-ya), golden dreams were shiny days.

| Bm9 E7 | C#m7 F#m7 |
Ba-dee-ya, dee-ya, dee-ya
| Bm9 E7 | C#m7 F#m7 |
Ba-dee-ya, dee-ya, dee-ya
| Bm9 E7 | C#m7 F#m7 | G/A | G/A |
Ba-dee-ya, dee-ya, dee-ya, dee-ya!

| Bm9 E7 | C#m7 F#m7 |
Ba-dee-ya, dee-ya, dee-ya
| Bm9 E7 | C#m7 F#m7 |
Ba-dee-ya, dee-ya, dee-ya
| Bm9 E7 | C#m7 F#m7 | G/A | G/A |
Ba-dee-ya, dee-ya, dee-ya, dee-ya!


September chord progression

There are an enormous amount of tiny details among September’s chords that I only found once I sat down and took the chord progression seriously. Turns out I’ve been playing this wrong for years!

The intro, which is similar but not the same as the verse, first goes like this:

||: Dmaj7 C#m7 Bm7 | C#m7 F#m9 F#m7 :||

In the key of A we are moving IV – III – II – III – VI. No harmonic rules are broken here. Play this three times before we go to these chords.

| G/A | G/A | Gmaj7/A | Gmaj7/A N.C |

Normally, I prefer calling a G/A an A11 but since this chord after two bars becomes a Gmaj7/A, it felt more logical to describe it as a G/A. Later on, we don’t always go to the Gmaj7/A.

Harmonic rules are broken here and it’s as if we were not in the key of A, but in D instead. The A11 is chord V. Just like many other tunes in this genre, we are straddling two keys at the same time here.

Let’s look at what’s different in the verse. First, we play the same thing as in the intro twice. The third time it’s a C#7 instead, like this:

| Dmaj7 C#m7 Bm7 | C#7 F#m9 F#m7 | G/A | Gmaj7/A N.C |

I can tell you this for nothing, I’ve never ever heard a band get that C#7 right! if were in the key of A, this is the IIIx.

Here’s the chorus.

| Bm9 E7 | C#m7 F#m9 F#m7 |

If we are in the key of A, this is II – V – III – VI.

What’s so incredibly cool about this is that a Bm9 and Dmaj7 are almost the same thing, and so are C#m7 and E7!

Should you end up playing the chorus instead of a verse, few people will realize!

Another small little detail to point out is the F#m9 which is there, just before the F#m7, but not always.

Play along to the original using the video at the top of this page, using the chords and lyrics above and you’ll soon see how all the details I’ve pointed out, the C#7 and F#m9 really do make a difference.

I for one will from now on get September’s chords right, after 20 years of playing it, it’s about time!


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