I know you have one. At least one.
You know all of the lyrics, but will not admit that you like it, right? But how can you not like it when just the sound of it launches you back to that carefree time of childhood, teen-hood, co-ed-hood? That song of summer...
School's out for summer : School's out forever : School's been blown to pieces
No more pencils : No more looks : No more teachers' dirty looks
Well we got no class : And we got no principles : And we got no innocence
We can't even think of a word that rhymes
Out for summer : Out til' fall : We might not go back at all
School's out forever : School's out for summer : School's out with fever
School's out completely
Simple Songs of Summer. In Dr. Scholls and cutoffs, bare feet and bell bottoms, tank tops and hip huggers, we drove seatbelt-less in a Pontiac convertible at an 85 mph speed limit. A triangle bandanna tied our hair back, large hoop earrings from our ears, P.O.W. bracelet, frosty pink lipstick and tanned, no worries of sun on our face, it wasn't dangerous back then. We sometimes brought liquor in the car to drink on the way to the concert, and upon arrival at the stadium, staked our place on the 50 yard line by laying out our blanket. We layed back, looking at the sky, waiting for the opening band. We hoped our friends would find us, GPS wasn't invented yet. The scene was... the scene, not a screen. We had no phone in our hand, our eyes looked up and out, not down. We talked to each other, laughed, pointed, flirted. A rock concert in the 70s, how authentic it was.
Sunny Songs of Summer. For hours we baked. The backyard chaise was a BBQ of a different kind. For tanning. 30 minutes on one side, then flip. With each flip you sprayed more Sun-In on the hair to get that natural yellow color. To hurry the process we slathered on the thickest suntan oil from face to toe, careful not to get it on the new string bikini just purchased with hard earned babysitting money at 50 cents an hour. A mirror to reflect the sun brighter worked well too. You laid there thinking about all the other things you should be doing, but this "healthy" look took time, so you succumbed. You stayed even if the gawking neighbor kid was mowing his lawn, or if it was hot and muggy. I usually went inside when blisters started to appear. With every visit to my dermo now, I point to my mom and ask, "why did you let me lay in the sun like that?!"
Sexy Songs of Summer. Sleepovers were the social platform. Girls only of course. And there were many when school was out. Our social networking involved rotary dial cord phones, the grapevine, and hoping beyond all hope that you'd run into each other at the mall or at the pool. During summer it was a bit harder, but absolutely imperative that clues about sleepovers were strategically given to the boys we had crushes on. You never called a boy on the phone, you just hoped that they A) got the clues B) were smart enough to decode our message: please stop by. We'd hang out on the front steps of our friend's house, writing on the sidewalk with stones, drawing hearts & writing names in the middle, braiding each other's hair. Our versions of truth or dare were confessed to each other, and true excitement hit when we saw the guys' cars turn the corner. Never indoors, the yard was the party place. We didn't think anyone could see us, it was dark. A first kiss, teen crushes, social interaction complete with arguments and jealousies -- teen love at its best --practice for the real thing someday.
Secret Songs of Summer. Someone always had a great idea. "Let's double pierce our own ears," "Let's tie dye shirts in the kitchen," "Let's drive past Fred Davis' house again," "Let's cut each other's hair," "Let's try..." But our risky behavior was so... safe. Yes, I called my mom hysterical one night at 1am because I bleached my hair and it got too white and started to break off. "I look like a grandmother!!" I wailed. My mom lost sleep that night, worried sick about me. Next day I loved my hair. And there was that night during senior week when my parents met me at the door after I had thrown up in Dave K's father's Corvette. My punishment was, I had to work in my dad's office the next day, 8-5, still green. Somehow when you're a teen even the risky things seem not scary. When you come out alive, you say, see?
"The 100 Greatest Summer Songs of All Time!
If you have a minute on this holiday weekend, grab a beer or cup of tea and click on this for a walk down memory lane. A 1996 article by Entertainment Weekly's David Browne, including a great list of summer songs. The list is based on this criteria:
- The songs had to have been released as singles
- The singles had to peak during summer months (ruling out "Good Vibrations" - a classic which peaked in the dead of winter)
- Each had to capture the breezy, loopy, head-spinning quintessence of summer
My Most Memorable Songs of Summer from childhood to teen years 60's - 70's:
"Sunshine Superman" by Donovan ('66), "Wild Thing" by The Troggs ('66), "Windy" by The Association "(67), "Born to Be Wild" by Steppenwolf ('68), "In the Year 2525" by Zager & Evans ('69), "Close to You" by The Carpenters ('70), "Spill the Wine"
by Eric Burdon & War ('70), "It's Too Late" by Carole King ('71), "Maggie May" by Rod Stewart ('71), "Black & White" by Three Dog Night ('72), "Brandy"(You're a Fine Girl)" by Looking Glass ('72), "Saturday In the Park" by Chicago ('72), "Rocky Mountain High" by John Denver ('72), "Will It Go Round in Circles" by Billy Preston ('73), "Live and Let Die" by Paul McCartney & Wings ('73), "We're An American Band" by Grand Funk ('73), "Tell Me Something Good" by Rufus ('74), "Rikki Don't Lose That Number" by Steely Dan ('74), "Feel Like Makin' Love" by Roberta Flack ('74), "I'm Not in Love" by 10CC ('75), "Love Will Keep Us Together" by Captain & Tennille ('75), "Afternoon Delight" by Starland Vocal Band ('76), "Don't Go Breaking My Heart" by Elton John & Kiki Dee ('76), "I Just Want to Be Your Everything" by Andy Gibb ('77), "Hot Blooded"
by Foreigner ('78). So what were your favorite songs of summer?
* * *
NEW SONGS OF SUMMER 2013!
"Lose Yourself to Dance"
THE GOO GOO DOLLS
Read Val's weekly post on New York Times
Subscribe to Val's Blog Read Older Posts Like us on Facebook