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Men Only: Wake me up when September starts

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Wake me up when September starts

Sometime back, the editor here wrote about her favourite songs.

There are those songs you love just for the moment, that song you just want to hear played by the DJ on your night out – or those songs that take you back to a place, or someone you were with, oh so long ago.

There are songs that make us happy, others sad; some are mild and leave us indifferent – while others make one feel wild, like you have rainbows in your hair, and a touch of mad sunlight in the mind.

And then, there is The Song, that in certain seasons, summarises all the sense of existence into its lyrics, and can be explained in sentences.

For me, that song is ‘Wake Me Up, When September Ends.’ by American punk rock band Green Day -- but with a slight twist!

You see, for me, August is the dark death month.

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So I always sing it as ‘Wake Me Up, when September starts.’

Allow me to share ‘my’ September song with you, dear reader, on this first day of the month.

Lyrics – summer has come and passed, the innocent can never last, wake me up, when September (starts)

This first part makes me think of childhood – which if old age be the ‘winter’ of our lives, then childhood is its summer.

Childhood is the only space in time that you will ever share with your siblings, in that strange age of innocence.

This past June, I met up with my kid sister, who lives in America (and whom I hadn’t seen in five years) in Spain, and all we talked about was the past – the childhood of our non-adult years.

This month also marked the fifth anniversary of the passing of my kid brother, who was an innocent in the real sense of the word; and, oh, how it cost him, in the end.

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Lyrics – Like our fathers gone to dust, thirteen years have gone so fast, wake me up, when September starts.

Of course our parents form the basic tapestry of our existence.

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It is like they will be there forever.

Then, one night, your mom is suddenly gone; and ten years later, a father follows, but in slo-mo. What happens after that?


Life goes on.

And one day, like the character in the song, you look at the calendar, and realise your Dad has been dead for 20 years; since that seventh of August in 1998.

Lyrics – Here comes the rain again, falling from the stars

Drenched in my pain, again, becoming who we are …

But then comes a day, maybe a series of anniversaries for our Dear Departed across a row of dark Saturdays.

And the sadness one experiences on those days is like being caught out in a thunderstorm in Kisii, and all you have on are your underpants.

What are you doing in just your underwear, out there, during a thunderstorm in Gusii land?

I donno! Maybe you were ‘entertaining’ the girlfriend of fellow mwalimu Gordon when he showed up unexpectedly, and you didn’t hear him until it was too late, because of the crash of the thunder.

And all you managed to salvage, other than your life, was your underwear (under the bed).

As the saying goes, when Gordon (the husband) closes one door, you escape through the window.

Lyrics - As my memory rests, but never forgets what I lost, wake me up, when September starts.

It is good to lay the ghosts of our Loved Lost Ones to rest in our head.

But to occasionally remember them in words, and small symbolic gestures, from time to time.

(Which is what I, within my power as a writer, have been doing this entire August).

Lyrics – Ring out the bells again, like we did when spring began, wake me up, when September ends.

Well, August is done, and the spring of September is here. What’s your favourite season’s song?


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