On an unbearable summer day, try a set of summer songs that can simmer you down a little bit! Here are world’s most recognizable summer songs for you…
Mungo Jerry / Shaggy – In the Summer Time
Mungo Jerry’s 1970 original is the world’s most-played radio song and the most successful summer song ever. Reggae artist Shaggy covered this in 1995. His version also did great on music charts. This is the perfect summer song even 40 years later.
“In the summer time when the weather is hot / You can stretch right up and touch the sky / When the weather’s fine / Sing along with us / Dee dee dee-dee dee / Dah dah dah-dah dah/ Yeah we’re hap-happy”
Alice Cooper – School’s Out!
It’s an anthem for summer vacation. In this song, they sing the children’s rhyme “no more pencils, no more books, no more teachers’ dirty looks.” This was released in the summer of 1972, when school really was out!
“School’s out for summer / School’s out forever / School’s been blown to pieces / No more pencils/ No more books / No more teacher’s dirty looks”
Kokomo – the Beach Boys
The Beach Boys were one of the most popular bands of the ’60s, and had a bunch of hit songs then. Most of their hit songs were about surfing or summertime but this late ’80s song is their biggest hit! During that time, the band’s glory days were over, until they asked to do a song for 1988 Tom Cruise movie Cocktail. They recorded this song and eventually made it a huge hit. Kokomo represent all the tropical places and images that people think of when wishing to getaway to some paradise island to escape the dreary work life.
“Afternoon delight,cocktails and moonlit nights / That dreamy look in your eye / Give me a tropical contact high / Way down in Kokomo / Everybody knows / A little place like Kokomo / Now if you wanna go / And get away from it all / Go down to Kokomo”
Don Hanley – Boys of Summer
The Eagles singer/drummer Don Hanley sings about looking back on a past relationship and wanting to return back to his life and then again he realizes that he must let her go. The “Boys Of Summer” refer just her summer flings, while he is the real deal!
“I can see you- Your brown skin shinin’ in the sun / I see you walking real slow and you’re smilin’ at everyone / I can tell you my love for you will still be strong / After the boys of summer have gone”
Bananarama / Ace of Base –Cruel Summer
It’s a cruel summer cause the singer finds herself alone in a hot city, as her lover has left. Ace of Base recorded a cover version in late ’90s which was also a huge hit.
“The city is crowded / My friends are away / And I’m on my own / It’s too hot to handle / So I got to get up and go”
The Lovin’ Spoonful –Summer in the City
This song contrasts what it’s like to live in a big city during the day and during the night. Where it’s difficult to walk around a crowded and hot city during the day, but it’s great at night because you have plenty of opportunities… The sound of car horns and traffic was the first time these sounds appeared on any hit song!
“Hot town, summer in the city / Back of my neck getting dirty and gritty / Been down, isn’t it a pity / Doesn’t seem to be a shadow in the city / All around, people looking half dead / Walking on the sidewalk, hotter than a match head / But at night it’s a different world”
John Travolta & Olivia Newton John – Summer Night
It is the most popular song from the musical Grease, the movie starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John. The song finds the pair singing about their summer romance, with each having a completely different perspective on what really happened!
“Summer lovin’ had me a blast / Summer lovin’, happened so fast / I met a girl crazy for me / I met a boy, cute as can be”
Richard Marx – Endless Summer Nights
The song describes about a certain summer vacation where the singer met a girl on the beach. The singer reminds of the wonderful time they had together on those endless summer nights!
“And I remember how you loved me / Time was all we had until the day we said goodbye / I remember every moment of those endless summer nights”
Carlos Santana featuring Rob Thomas – Smooth
Legendary Latin guitarist Carlos Santana teamed up with a bunch of young talented artists to record an album, Supernatural. Rob Thomas of Matchbox Twenty sung on this song with perfection and won Song Of The Year, Record Of The Year and Best Pop Collaboration With Vocals at the 2000 Grammys. The song has a part where it describes about a sizzling hot summer day. Supernatural album also won for Best Rock Album and Album Of The Year.
“Man it’s a hot one /Like seven inches from the midday sun / I hear you whisper and the words melt everyone / But you stay so cool / My munequita, my Spanish Harlem Mona Lisa /Your my reason for reason / The step in my groove”
Bryan Adams – Summer of‘69
It’s a very simple song about looking back on the summertime and making love. This was found to be one of the favorite summer song of all time. Bryan gives a strong nostalgic touch in this song and became an anthem to the summer.
“When I look back now/ That summer seemed to last forever / And if I had the choice / Yeah, I’d always want to be there / Those were the best days of my life”
Nancy Sinatra & LeeHazelwood – Summer Wine
The song describes a man meets a woman, who notices his ‘silver spurs’ and invites him to have wine with her. After heavy drinking, the man awakens to find his spurs and money has been stolen by the mysterious woman. But still the singer is longing for more of her”wine”. The song was written by Lee Hazlewood and was originally sung by Suzi Jane Hokom and Lee in 1966, but the duet that made the song famous was by Frank Sinatra’s daughter Nancy Sinatra with Lee in 1967. The Corrs with Bono (U2) covered the song much later!
“Strawberries cherries and an angel’s kiss in spring / My summer wine is really made from all these things / Take off your silver spurs and help me pass the time / And I will give to you summer wine”
(as published in SONIC Music Magazine)