5 August 2014

The story behind Autumn Song by Tove Jansson

Tove playing the harmonica

Not everyone knows this but Tove Jansson also wrote songs, and one of the most famous ones is Autumn Song or Höstvisa in Swedish. It also goes by the official name “Hurry My Loved One”. The song tells about the urgency to love while you still have the chance and perhaps finding love that was once lost.

Tove’s long time collaborator Erna Tauro wrote the music to Tove’s words and it was first performed at a radio song competition in 1965, where it got to third place. It has since become a classic.

The lyrics, (courtesy of Monica Anderson):

My journey home was long and slow through autumn leaves and frost
The days are growing shorter and colder
Come comfort me a little for I am so sad and lost
and suddenly I’m feeling much older
And never have I seen how the nighttime wins the day
I start thinking of my life and my mission
So many plans I had and so much I had to say
and so little did I bring to fruitition

Hurry, my darling, come hurry to love me
Waste not a moment of the darkening day
Light our candles it’s close to the evening
Last days of summer are slipping ‘way

I’m looking for that feeling we once had that we have lost
A feeling you could help me to regain
The summer is too short and all too soon will come the frost
All too soon will come the cold and the rain
And maybe you’ll come by ‘ere the twilight turns to blue
to make everything the way it was before
And maybe we will think of some things for us to do
To make our gardens blossom once more

Hurry, my darling, come hurry to love me
Waste not a moment of the darkening day
Light our candles it’s close to the evening
Last days of summer are slipping ‘way

The storm is blowing harder and I have to shut the door
I’m still thinking of you in this evening hour
I may be loving less than I used to love before
but you don’t really know half my power
Staring at the beacons along the windy coast
Where ships endure the whitecaps and the weather
Now caring and sharing are things that matter most
In getting through these hard times together

Hurry, my darling, come hurry to love me
Waste not a moment of darkening day
Light our candles it’s close to the evening
Last days of summer are slipping ‘way

Many have interpreted Autumn Song including Cumulus, Bo Andersson, Vikingarna, and Zarah Leander.