Whatever activity you’ll be taking next summer, it’s essential to have a great soundtrack to accompany it. Here are the top ten songs about summer.
Number Ten: “Looking for the Summer” by Chris Rea. “Looking for the Summer” is a song by Chris Rea, off of his 1991 album, Auberge. The song begins, “look deep into the April face / a change has clearly taken place / looking for the summer / the eyes take on a certain gaze / and leave behind the springtime days / go looking for the summer.” The song ends with, “remember, love, how it was the same / we scratched and hurt each other’s growing pains / we were looking for the summer / and still I stand this very day / with a burning wish to fly away / I’m still looking / looking for the summer.” Essentially this song seems to parallel the season of summer with freedom in all areas of life. This song has a very chill, almost sinister vibe to it. It’s perfect night-driving music.
Number Nine: “Blood Red Summer” by Coheed and Cambria. “Blood Red Summer” is a song by Coheed and Cambria, off of their 2003 release, In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3. Lyrics include, “in a pain that buckles out your knees / could you stop this if I plead / you got it / so destined I am to walk among the dark / a child in keeping secrets from / will they know what I’ve done in the after / in the sought for matter when the words blame you / in a blood red summer I’ll give you / I don’t want it.” The chorus goes, “and when the answer that you want / is in the question that you state / come what may.” It’s hard to say what this song is about, other than it’s most likely part of the “trilogy” of albums of by the band that carries a sci-fi theme. Nonetheless, it’s a very catchy tune to jam along to.
Number Eight: “Summer of Drugs” by Soul Asylum. “Summer of Drugs” is a song by Soul Asylum, off of the 1993 tribute album, Sweet Relief: A Benefit for Victoria Williams. The song was originally done by Victoria Williams, off of her 1990 album, Swing the Statue. The song begins, “my sister got bit by a copperhead snake / in the woods behind the house / nobody was home so I grabbed her foot / and I sucked that poison out.” The song continues, “and we were too young to be hippies / missed out on the love / we turned to a teen in the late 70s / in the summer of drugs / mama and daddy could never understand / their life was never dull / their idea of a rollickin time / was a kitchen tap appall / acid grass downs and speed / junk those days were made of / how could they suspect those kids / where the monsters meet their makers.” Whatever your take on this track, it’s a great cover by the highly underrated Williams, not to mention it’s a great summer song.
Number Seven: “You’re So Last Summer” by Taking Back Sunday. “You’re So Last Summer” is a song by Taking Back Sunday, off of their 2002 debut album, Tell All Your Friends. The song begins with the lyrics, “she said don’t / don’t let it go to your head / boys like you are a dime a dozen / she said / you’re a touch overrated / you’re a lush and I hate it / but these grass stains on my knees they won’t mean a thing.” The chorus is. “and all I need to know / is that I’m something you’ll be missing / maybe I should hate you for this / never really did ever quite get that part.” However, the best lyrics in the song are, “if I’m just bad news, then you’re a liar” and “the truth / is you could slit my throat / and with my one last gasping breath I’d apologize for bleeding on your shirt.” It was between this track and “180 By Summer” or “Summer Stars,” however I felt this track best embodied the feeling of bitterness one has after a summer romance has ended. I recommend listening to this one loud.
Number Six: “One Summer Dream” by ELO. “One Summer Dream” is a song by ELO, off of their 1975 album, Face the Music. Lyrics include, “deep waters flow, out to the sea / they never needed you or me / one summer dream, one summer dream / blue mountains high and valley low / I don’t know which way I should go / one summer dream, one summer dream.” The song continues, “warm summer breeze blows endlessly / touching the hearts of those who feel / one summer dream, one summer dream / bird on wing goes floating by / but there’s a teardrop in his eye / one summer dream, one summer dream.” Supposedly the band has said this is an anti-war song, and perhaps the last lyric about a bird with a teardrop is a reference to the war aircrafts used to fight; however, it could also be about lost youth- yearning for more summers to come and longing to get innocence back. There’s also the possibility that this track is simply about a “dream,” as it says both in the song and title, while in addition, the song definitely has a magical, dream-like quality to it.
Number Five: “Summer of Love” by 311. “Summer of Love” is a song by 311, off of their 1990 album, Dammit. The song begins with, “the truth is cutting like a knife / gonna use it to cut away my strife / the grass is green and the sky is blue / my head is clear and my thoughts are true / callin’ out young and old / we got a thing that can’t be sold, yeah / the time that takes to rise above / in the summer of love.” The second verse goes, “I wake up each day to the sun / and it’s hard to chose what to do for fun (and man that’s a drag) / a blissful world surrounds me / and my brothers and sisters, love is always free / oh, don’t you know that I’ve waited my whole life just to show / what’s inside, and let my love flow, yeah / that’s what I’m saying.” This is an underrated song by one of the best summer bands in existence.
Number Four: “Summer Romance (Anti-Gravity Love Song)” by Incubus. “Summer Romance (Anti-Gravity Love Song)” is a song by Incubus, off of their 1997 album, S.C.I.E.N.C.E. Lyrics include, “I’m home alone tonight / full moon illuminates my room, and sends my mind aflight / I think I was dreaming up some thoughts that were seemingly possible…with you” and “simply choose your destination from the diamond canopy, and we’ll be there.” The best part of the song, however, is when Brandon Boyd sings, “I think I’ve found a way for you and I to finally fly free / when we get there, we’re gonna fly so far away / making sure to laugh, while we experience anti-gravity.” This is an awesome summer love song to groove along to.
Number Three: “Oslo in the Summertime” by Of Montreal. “Oslo in the Summertime” is a song by Of Montreal, off of their 2005 album, The Sunlandic Twins. The song begins, “Oslo in the summertime / nobody can fall asleep, staring out the window from my bed / at 4 AM, the sun is up / look, the sky is peppered with sea birds and with crows all cackling.” The song ends with, “Oslo in the summertime / Pakistani children play locked inside of the courtyard all day / pretty people everywhere, sun-lamp tans and flaxen hair / just tell the American not to stare.” On one hand, this song could be about the isolation one feels from culture shock, but on the other, it could be about an “American” who is enjoying the carefree lifestyle of people in a foreign land (Oslo is a city in Norway.) Either way, the melody of this song could be seen as eerily upbeat, making this a great summer song to listen to- especially if you’re on vacation in another country.
Number Two: “Summertime Blues” by The Who. “Summertime Blues” is a song originally done by Eddie Cochran in 1958, and since has been covered by many artists, including Blue Cheer and Alan Jackson. I personally prefer the cover version by The Who. The song is featured on The Who’s first live album, 1970’s Live at Leeds. Lyrics include, “gonna take two weeks / gonna have a fine vacation / gonna take my problems / to the united nations / well I went to my congressman / he said, quote: ‘I’d like to help you son / but you’re too young to vote’ / sometimes I wonder what I’m a’gonna do / cause there ain’t no cure for the summertime blues.” This latter lyric is so true: when you get down in the summer, your emotions seem to hit you harder for some reason. This song is for anyone who’s ever struggled with keeping a job or pleasing authority figures, while also juggling what they what to do the most in summertime- have fun.
Number One: “Boys of Summer” by Don Henley. “Boys of Summer” is a song by Don Henley, off of his 1984 album, Building the Perfect Beast. Lyrics include, “nobody on the road / nobody on the beach / I feel it in the air / the summer’s out of reach / empty lake, empty streets / the sun goes down alone / I’m driving by your house / though I know you’re not home” and “out on the road today, I saw a Deadhead sticker on a Cadillac / a little voice inside my head said ‘don’t look back, you can never look back’ / I thought I knew what love was / what did I know / those days are gone forever / I should just let them go but…” And of course, the memorable chorus, which changes every time, goes, “I can see you / your brown skin shinin’ in the sun / you got that top pulled down and that radio on, baby / and I can tell you my love for you will still be strong / after the boys of summer have gone.” This is the perfect summer song as you can literally feel the sweat and taste the salty ocean air in this track (in my opinion.)