“Bring over some of your old Motown records, We’ll put the speakers in the window and we’ll go, On the roof and listen to the miracles, Echo to the alley down below.”
Those are the opening lyrics to the 1991 summer tune by Rod Stewart “The Motown Song”. That Top Ten song perfectly reflects how music moves us during the warm summer months and takes us back to seemingly simpler times. The sounds of summer are the songs that we want to turn up to full volume. They are the type of songs we want to roll the car windows down and have a sing-along with our friends. They are the songs that make us put the speakers in the window and have the neighbor lady yell at us. Summer songs are the sounds of our childhood. It’s the music of our teenage years and it’s the music that becomes a favorite album on the soundtrack to our lives.
Songs like “Blurred Lines” or “Happy” are more recent examples of what makes a great summer song. Recorded just a few years ago, they immediately make the toes tap and put a little more spring in our step. But if you go back through your mental music library, you are almost always going to come up with a great summer song. Take for instance, The Emotions “Best of My Love”; that’s a number one hit from the Summer of 1977 (for seven weeks if you want to know). Or how about “Silly Love Songs” by the great Paul McCartney? That’s a another number one tune from the Summer of 1976. And the thing that these two songs have in common besides their summer chart status, is the fact they are both great sing along songs that you know all the words to.
Paula Sangeleer from Cool 101.3 says the perfect summer song has to be upbeat. “A great summer song should make you feel like you’re on vacation. It should make you feel the like there is sunshine on your face.” Sangeleer sites Van Halen’s 1979 song “Beautiful Girls” as her perfect summer song. She says “It just rocks!”
The warmer weather, the longer days and the more opportunities to enjoy the nightlife are just a few variables that make a good summer song. According to Dana McDonald from Cool 101.3, Kid Rock’s 2007 hit “All Summer Long” is the perfect party anthem for the season. McDonald says “It’s the kind of song that makes you want roll down the car windows, turn it up real loud and drive a few miles over the speed limit…if you know what I mean”.
No one can really define what makes a great summer song. A good definition for the song of the summer would be the most commercially successful track between the months of June and September. But most people would probably say it has to do more with the attitude of the song. Petch from Petch & Amy on Eagle 97.7 thinks a great song of the summer should remind you of your childhood and younger years. Pitch says, “My favorite summer songs make me think of hanging with my friends and playing the dance versions of the current hits. And no matter what, they are all songs that make you want to move”.
The one thing most people seem to agree upon, is that a great summer song, is a song that you will hear and suddenly remember exactly where you were and what you were doing during when you first heard it. It can be a song you heard on the radio while you were on your way to the beach. It could be a song you heard at the ballpark before the game started. It could be the song you heard when you got that very first summer kiss. No matter what, a great song of the summer takes you back to those warm days of years gone by and for a brief few minutes reminds you of maybe a slightly better time.
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