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Summer in the City, Songs

Updated on October 25, 2012

I love summer songs. Those songs that no matter when you hear them bring your imagination back to those long, hot summer days of your youth when you didn't have a care in the world. There are so many of these songs in my life and I wanted to share a few with you. Groups such as The Lovin’ Spoonful, The Beach Boys and Mungo Jerry had hits with some iconic songs of summer. And no one did George Gershwin's Summertime like Billie Holiday. I hope you will enjoy these songs too.

I've included two Beach Boy songs in this article because they are the one group that means summer to most people. For me, one of the first things I used to do to celebrate the fact that I was now on summer holidays from school was to put the Beach Boys greatest hits record on and crank up the volume.

But first, I had to include Billie Holiday singing Summertime.


And the livin' is easy
Fish are jumpin'
And the cotton is high"

Summertime was written by George Gershwin and DuBose Heyward in 1935. It appeared in the opera Porgy & Bess.

While Janis Joplin did a great version of this song, I prefer Billie Holiday's; no one captures the feeling and emotion in this song like she does.

It can be -30 degrees with sleet and snow coming down, but if I put this song on it is a balmy, summer’s day and I'm lounging around with nothing to do but drink a cocktail.

Summer in the City

"Hot town, summer in the city, back of my neck getting dirty and gritty."

Summer in the City was written by Mark Sebastian, brother of John Sebastian. John Sebastian's band, The Lovin' Spoonful had a hit with this song in 1966.The song is on Rolling Stone's list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

This is such an iconic summer song. When you hear this song on the radio you know it's summertime. Whenever I hear the first organ cord of this song, I am thrown back to the summer of 1969. We had just moved to Canada from the UK and were living in the Junction area of Toronto. The heat was like nothing we had experienced before and for me, this song captured the feeling of summer.

In the Summertime

"In the summertime when the weather is high, you can stretch right up and touch the sky"

In the Summertime was written by Roy Dorset; whose band Mungo Jerry had a hit with the song in 1970.

This song has a great reggae beat that makes me think of the beach and drinking rum. It's definitely a song that is part of the soundtrack of my life.

California Girls

California Girls was written by Brian Wilson and Mike Love in 1965 and was a hit for the Beach Boys. It appears on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of all Time.

The Beach Boys are the ultimate in summer music. I like nothing better on the first day of summer vacation than to crank up the record player with my Beach Boys Greatest Hits album.

Good Vibrations

"I, I love the colorful clothes she wears. And the way the sunlight plays upon her hair."

Good Vibrations was written by Brian Wilson and Mike Love. It was a hit for the Beach Boys in 1966. The song also appears on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. It's the Beach Boy's most psychedelic-sounding song; very 60s, but still modern sounding.

Yes, I had to choose two Beach Boy songs. I couldn't see leaving either song off this list.

Summer Holiday

"We're all goin' on a summer holiday, no more workin' for a week or two."

Summer Holiday was written by Bruce Welch and Brian Bennett. It was a hit for Cliff Richard and the Shadows in 1962.

You could not grow up in the late 50s and early 60s in the United Kingdom and not hear Cliff Richard music every day of your life. He is an icon of those times and this song brings back memories of happier days, visits to the shore, and buckets and spades.

Sealed with a Kiss

"Though we gotta say goodbye for the summer, darling I promise you this, I'll send you all my love every day in a letter sealed with a kiss."

Sealed with a Kiss was written by Gary Geld and Peter Udell. It was first recorded by the Four Voices in 1960. It became a hit when Brian Hyland recorded it in 1962. It was also recorded by Bobby Vinton and became a hit in 1972.

My favorite version is the one by Brian Hyland. I remember dancing to this song with a boy at the beach in Bowmanville. It was probably around 1973. I never saw him agan and we vowed to write but didn't so it's very fitting. My brother-in-law's family had a cottage right on the beach and the community did things like throw dances for the teenagers. I hear this song and I can see us dancing around and I feel like I'm 16 again.

Summer songs

Well, there you have it. Seven of my favourite summer songs. Did I miss any of your favorites? Let me know in the comments which songs remind you of summer.


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