Pale September, I wore the time like a dress that year
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
But then he rose, brilliant as the moon in full
And sank in the burrows of my keep
And all my armor falling down, in a pile at my feet
And my winter giving way to warm, as I'm singing him to sleep
He goes along just as a water lily
Gentle on the surface of his thoughts his body floats
Unweighted down by passion or intensity
Yet unaware of the depth upon which he coasts
And he finds a home in me
For what misfortune sows, he knows my touch will reap
And all my armor failing down, in a pile at my feet
And my winter giving way to warm, as I'm singing him to sleep
All my armor falling down, in a pile at my feet
And my winter giving way to warm, as I'm singing him to sleep

Lyrics submitted by SNYder

Pale September song meanings
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  • +5
    General CommentPale September could be a place in time where she refers to her innocence and puriety. Some tragedy may have occurred that tainted her spirit and stole away her hope. The experience could have been so traumatic that her soul became bitter. As a result she built an emotional wall in order to protect herself from being hurt so deeply again. She then met a man who almost seemed to have magically awakened her to become what she once was. He was able to melt down her guard. The special irony is that it was his innocence and naiveness that helped her to recover what she thought she had lost. His carefree nature inspires her because he's not pretentious. He doesn't even understand how to be. The way that he lives is life is so beautiful and intriguing..but he doesn't even realize it because it's equivalent to breathing for him.
    ophelia219on March 04, 2003   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis is the only song that can make me cry at any given moment for no particular reason.
    Virrrrgoon August 02, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General Commentmy abstract analysis: i think that she is talking about how she was carefree and apathetic at one time and then her winter, or her loneliness, goes away as she finds this man who is so amazing to her, more than he knows. and he needs her. also, she let's go of her guard or the wall she's built against everyone.
    sullenginiaon June 28, 2003   Link
  • +1
    General CommentIt's about that feeling of truly being able to release and care about being with someone. It's about thet point where it's not just sex, it becomes something else. It becomes the joining of two souls for a breif moment.
    Eggos=yumon October 17, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI always think of Pale September as the dying of the colors of summer, kind of like sinking into depression. It's like she's falling into a soft and subtle depression where everything is just subtley changing bc that's usually how depression works... slowly and surely until everything is just kind of gray... then I think maybe her love for this person brings her warmth throughout it all. Maybe it's just that's my take (probably) but I think it fits. It's a beautiful, poetic and somber song.
    letterstonoelleon January 13, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentFiona wrote the song for an ex-boyfriend of hers. Formerly, the guy dated Fiona's sister's best friend and lost his virginity in Fiona's bed to this girl. He didn't pay much attention to Fiona until much later.
    Fiona wrote this after they had broken up. Later, she spoke to him and told him about the song. Fiona has said that since this conversation, "everything [was] nice," and that she felt "so good," in part for "helping" him.
    kmk_natashaon March 24, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General Commentthis is quite possibly my favorite fiona song, even if I don't really understand it.
    fitzon August 27, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentPale september, I wore the time like a dress that year... life was a burden for her. This boy was a relief for her, yet at the same time, she was resentful because he experienced life so much lighter than she did.. "unaware of the depth upon which he coasts." yet the chorus is peaceful, she is finally at peace with herself when her armor is falling down, and she can finally give up the burden, and let herself be vulnerable, because she gets lost in her innocence... and he is lost within it all as well.
    cloudgirlon November 01, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song is so beautiful, it's just poetic.
    quietroadon January 12, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI know Fiona Apple said this song was about how she moved from New York to California, and went to a public school, and she had no friends. She was alone and sad but there a guy who befriended her, and she said they used to lie out on blankets and watch the moon. He asked her to sing to him, and she sang, and she says, "I could literally feel the coldness of me melting away," because she had made a true friend.
    stuckonyouon September 18, 2008   Link

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