Songs of Summer

"Hot fun in the - Sum-sum summertime...and the livin's easy."

There are a ton of songs with the word summer in them. I sat thinking of a few for this blog and about 50 came to mind, ranging from Janes Addiction screaming out the word SUMMER to Grease's "Summer Lovin".

But this is not just about a song with summer in it. It's that magic intermingling... when you hear a song and it instantly takes you to another time or place. That's what's so cool about music (and smells too, but that's another story). I especially love when a song makes you think of a summer past. These are the true summer songs.

But what is it that makes it stick?

Having seen the band play that song at some outdoor festival?

The association of being in a pool or lake when the song was on the radio over and over (Like Adele's "Rolling in the Deep" last summer).

Remembering stolen kisses back in high school with a certain song in the background?

Drinking a cold one outside with friends and singing along to the song on the MP3 while roasting marshmallows?

Driving while blasting the perfect song and feeling the sun and wind on your face?

Or just that carefree knowledge that it is summer and you are outdoors and listening to some good tunes?

What will be the song that reminds you of summer this year?

Billboard Magazine compiled this list of the all-time top 30 songs of summer here. It's pretty comprehensive, from Beach Boys to Alice Cooper's "School's Out for Summer"- hell yeah! That song still gets me all giddy.

I do love that every year there's always a song of the summer for us.

A few summers ago the music industry touted that horrid -my opinion- "Umbrella-ella-ella" song that was to be the IT summer song. We happened to hear a lot of Peter Bjorn & John's whistling song "Young Folks" and that was the one to remind me & my kids of summer.

The song of summer should be decided AFTER summer, when you have made memories to a certain song and then associate that song with that summer. That's what makes it so special.

The list I found online of 2012's 'songs of summer' are hilarious (to me, music snob). It's just anyone releasing a song in the next month or so, and they list bands like DJ Fresh and Dizzee Rascal, Rudimental, Rihanna, and D'Banj. None of the bands I listen to. Hhhmmmm.

Let's see if any of these make the cut once summer's over.

What's your favorite song of summers past? I asked that of my Facebook family. Here are their replies of both the memories and the songs:

Keri G: Well, if we get to pick specific songs for specific times Mathew Sweet "Girlfriend" and anything off the Singles soundtrack reminds me of my last truly carefree summer. Oh, and "Sunshine Daydream" (Grateful Dead)- 'nuff said.

My Hubby Scott: In the summer of 1988 I wore many hats -- camp counselor, sailing instructor, and short bus driver.  I don't mean that last one euphemistically -- a small bus was needed to transport the campers and sailboats to the lake.  There were morning and afternoon sails, so four bus trips per day.  The outskirts of Reading PA was hardly a bustling metropolis, and pop music ruled the FM dial.  The lake trips seemed to perfectly coincide with the pop station's narrow rotation, resulting in the same song often being heard four times a day.  The top hits during those two months were clearly:"Mercedes Boy"-Pebbles, "Hand to Heaven"- Breathe, "Monkey"-George Michael & "Sign Your Name Across My Heart"-Terrence Trent D'Arby. 

To this day if I hear any of those songs I instantly associate any them with that summer.

Laura L: Cheap Trick: The Flame! Reminds me of moving one of my bff's home from EIU after part of a summer semester in July, non-air conditioned car, thunderstorm...right after we each broke up with our long-term boyfriends...

Tom F: Itsy bitsy, teeny weenie, yellow polka dot bikini...Brian Hyland

Lisa H:  Electric Avenue, Eddie Grant--reminds me of riding my bike, jamming to the boom box and loving summer!!

Vince M:  Summer Song ~ Lucero "Clouds in the summer sky don't do shit for the heat", Summertime Thing=Chuck Prophet: hang with friends/listening to music/party , Summer Song= no A/C, so f'n HOT!! Nothing to do expect sing, sweat, and shout. There's nothing to do but wait it out

Lorraine B: Jack and Dianne.... John Meloncamp... And hurt so good by him...summer going into 7th grade I think.! Also summer of 69, Brian Adams."...

Kathleen G: Summer Breeze - Seals & Croft....takes me back to my twenties.

Matthew S: the psychedelic oeuvre evokes summer for me. i think it's supposed to... a sort of continuous simmering celebration of liberties, notwithstanding the diseases, vagrancy, denial of reality, poor sanitation & hygeine, etc. Donovan, Airplane, Hendrix, Traffic, Beatles "White."

Joe G: to add a little country feel to your blog: 1)Its 5 O'clock somewhere by Alan Jackson with Jimmy Buffet...2) Two Pina Coladas by Garth Brooks...3) Toes by The Zak Brown Band

Joe M: Boys of Summer - Don Henley..."I can see you- your brown skin shinin' in the sun, you got that hair slicked back and those Wayfarers on, baby"...who knows why....

Iliana Y: James Brown - "I Feel Good", roll down the window, blast the speakers, enjoy the breeze and just sing ..... " I feel good like I knew that I wouldn't
I feel good, baby like I knew that I wouldn't...So good SO good...

Julia N: For me there are 2. Cruel Summer by Bananarama and Everybody wants to rule the world by Tears for Fears.

Heather L: (who totally gets it!) ok schools out by Alice Cooper is a good starting point!,  love shack B-52's, Sly and the family Stone Hot fun in the summertime, Blue Cheer or the Who summertime blues, Summer time Sublime and OK, sorry in advance but this should be included. you didnt hear it from me: Summertime - DJ Jazzy Jeff & Fresh Prince

Denise L: Alice Cooper "Schools Out"! Always started humming that song every May!

Jay B: Walkin' on Sunshine- Katrina & the Waves. Y'all know you turn this song up, just won't admit it ;-)

There were lots more great songs- From "In the Summertime" to Van Halen. I believe we all just had a nice stroll through some fun summer memories.

Here's to making many more!

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