Like most kids, summer used to be such a great time of the year for me. School was out, you had all day to spend with your friends, and it was just nice not having to get up and be at a place where a bell signals the passage of time. That first month of summer vacation was amazing! Sleeping in, staying up late, swimming, playing sports, BBQs, and that general feeling that you were free. However, as the months wore on, extreme boredom set in, you were broke, and suddenly going back to school didn’t seem so horrible.
Now that I’m an adult, it’s easy to forget how magical a season it could be. But maybe this mix can capture the spirit of the good, the bad, and the stupid of summer.
“Steal My Sunshine,” Len (download)
At first glance, this really isn’t a song about summer, but the fact that “sunshine” is in the lyrics and the Andrea True Connection loop of “More More More” is the hook has summer written all over it. There are allusions to heat, laying on the lawn, and a relationship that’s gone wrong — so yeah, it’s definitely a summer song.
“Summertime,” DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince (Download)
Even though I’m a California native, I did live in Philadelphia for a couple of years, and living in a city where there are actually four seasons instead of just wet and dry, I never really understood why people would say they loved summer since, well, California has many hot days throughout the year. But if there’s a song that reminds me of summer in Philadelphia, this would be it.
“Summer Girls,” Lyte Funky Ones (Download)
And the award for dumbest summer song goes to LFO. This is the kind of song I would expect Andy Samberg to write for an SNL digital short. To wit: “You love hip-hop and rock ‘n’ roll / Dad took off when you were four years old / There was a good man named Paul Revere / I feel much better, baby, when you’re near.”
What the hell?
“Magic,” the Cars (Download)
Love knows no bounds, but it seems to be popular in the summer, and Ric Ocasek makes the calculated move to include summer in the lyrics of “Magic,” so it’s now part of the summer-song canon. Shrewd move, Mr. Ocasek, shrewd move. But seriously, “Magic” sounds great blasting from the speakers by the pool.
“It Must Be Summer,” Fountains of Wayne (Download)
It’s another song about being forlorn and heartbroken during the summer. Seriously, what is up with that? Now, don’t get me wrong, I love Fountains of Wayne, but what is it about musicians and not being able to be with — if I may obliquely quote a song from Grease — the one that they want? I thought chicks dig guys who are in bands. If I hear another summer songs about girls treating boys bad … well, look what’s coming up next!
“Doin’ Time,” Sublime (Download)
What’s with the pouty face, Bubbie? You got a girl who loves everyone else but has no lovin’ left for you? Then cheer up, ’cause she’s not your girlfriend, okay? Lovin’ is her business, you feelin’ me? Yeah yeah, I know — you’re heartbroken and it’s summer.