It’s Memorial Day weekend, the official kickoff of summer in the U.S. And while a lot of us will return back to work after the long weekend, we can at least reminisce about long, lazy days at the beach or lake, cross-country road trips, sandlot baseball, and that organ grinder jingle that told you the ice cream truck was in the neighborhood.
One way I love to reminisce is through music. A couple of years ago, I asked folks on Twitter to share some of their favorite tunes (tagging their suggestions with #summersongs) and compiled a couple of playlists built on their recommendations. But that’s too much work for one person. That’s why this year I’ve decided to create an open Spotify #summersongs playlist for everyone to contribute to. Here are my five picks:
1. The Cars – “Good Times Roll”
The ultimate summertime driving song. This song was on constant play during my early college years. (The whole album was, in fact.) Roll down the windows, hit the highway and crank up the volume. Try not to read too much into the nonsensical lyrics — “let them brush your rock’n’roll hair”? What does that even mean? — just crank it, accelerate and celebrate that summer has arrived.
2. Sly & the Family Stone – “Hot Fun in the Summertime”
Every time I hear this tune, I imagine kids playing in the spray of a fire hydrant, jumping and running through the water on a hazy summer day while the older folks fan themselves in their lounge chairs.
3. Mungo Jerry – “In the Summertime”
A classic. Thanks, Joe, for reminding me.
4. Ramones – “California Sun”
You’ve gotta have a little bit of California surf music to go along with your summertime playlist. Who better to cover a classic surf tune than four leather-clad punks from Queens?
5. Cheap Trick – “Surrender”
I have no idea why this reminds me of summer. Maybe because at the time Cheap Trick’s live album, At Budokan, came out, I was spending as much time as I could going to outdoor summer concerts. I never saw Cheap Trick at an outdoor concert (but I did see them indoors a couple of times). Anyway, it’s a great tune for the season — in my mind, anyway.
Here’s the start of the Spotify playlist. If I set it up right, you should be able to add your summer tunes to it. The only requirement: Nothing from Grease. Thanks.
Photo by hi-phi on Flickr