This songs speaks to me on a very deep, visceral level. The melody says we are at the end of something, and the lyrics tell me that summer is over. I worked at the Island Inn in the early '70's, and it was somewhat of a resort. The images in the song are very familiar to me. The resort season is ending. The guests are leaving. There is an element of melancholy made worse by the fact that it's raining on Labor Day weekend.We were hoping for that one last blast, a farewell to summer, but the weather wouldn't cooperate. When we started the season, we were excited to get the cool new souvenirs, but now the left-overs are another sign that things are ending. They are a reminder of the optimism and anticipation of Memorial Day. The memory of the wedding cake is reminder of summer's celebrations. The Labor Day Parade is also a bittersweet celebration, and the clean-up is depressing in a way, but hanging out with the salt-of -the-earth at the Legion Hall, having one last beer with the folks, is a way of staying connected with your roots. Pulling the moorings up is acknowledging the end of summer and the preparation for fall and winter. As the weather turns to autumn,, that coffee is more comforting than during the dog days of summer, and of course the anticipation of those first sweet apples of Fall. It slows down, but it never stops, but, that change of pace is welcome by this point.
Those first few notes, and of course the lyrics are an intense and immediate emotional trigger for me. I realize that I might be focusing on an aspect of the song that may be different from what the artist intended. But, obviously, his images are perfectly consistent with his message.