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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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  • celeBritys4africA profile image

    celeBritys4africA 6 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

    Songs and memories! I like the idea of your hub. Awesome!

  • Lita C. Malicdem profile image

    Lita C. Malicdem 7 years ago from Philippines

    Very nostalgic summer songs. "Sealed With a Kiss" was our family favorite in those days. We used to sing it with our twin brothers on the lead in two voices. We are the "singing Castro Family" in the neighborhood. Brings back happy days when we were young with our parents.

  • Pollyannalana profile image

    Pollyannalana 7 years ago from US

    Thumbs up and we do have the same loves and as I said in one of my hubs we didn't think a thing about running around singing 'the back of my neck getting dirt and gritty!' And "Under the Boardwalk" I think I missed, Oh I loved that song.

  • Uninvited Writer profile image

    Susan Keeping 8 years ago from Kitchener, Ontario

    Thanks for all the great comments. I'll have to check that song out Julie-Ann.

    Mindfield: I have a few summer songs that come to mind that don't mention summer. I remember hearing the song "Listen to the rhythm of the falling rain" on a rainy day in Cape Cod during a summer holiday.

  • James A Watkins profile image

    James A Watkins 8 years ago from Chicago

    A great list of summer songs. I love all of them except the Cliff Richard song—I've never heard it! Anyway, a great Hub that brought back warm memories.

  • Julie-Ann Amos profile image

    Julie-Ann Amos 8 years ago from Gloucestershire, UK

    Great songs. There's another one called "Summer in the city" that's more rock - can't remember who by though but that one jumped to mind

  • Jane@CM profile image

    Jane@CM 8 years ago

    I love these songs...all of them are favorites. Now you have put some earworms in my head & I know I'll be humming Summer Songs all day. Thanks!

  • MindField profile image

    MindField 8 years ago from Portland, Oregon

    Some of my favorite summer songs don't have the word 'summer' in them. Petula Clark's 'Downtown' is one of them. I remember driving with my dad and a friend down a major city street in Portland (Oregon) when I was just a kid. The lights of restaurants and bars and movie houses were blazing, the weather was warm, sailors in their summer white uniforms walked in pairs and trios down the street. Unforgettable!

    'Tammy' is another song like that, as is 'Old Devil Moon' and a number of others. Can't hear them any time of the year without feeling the heat and romance of summer.

  • Uninvited Writer profile image

    Susan Keeping 8 years ago from Kitchener, Ontario

    I don't know. I read summer and I thought Beach grew from there :)

  • Ultimate Hubber profile image

    Ultimate Hubber 8 years ago

    You have selected a great summer product for the HubMob. How did it occur to you to write on the sumer songs?!

  • Uninvited Writer profile image

    Susan Keeping 8 years ago from Kitchener, Ontario

    Great song Catlyn

    School's out for summer! School's out for ever!

  • Catlyn profile image

    Catlyn 8 years ago from Somewhere in the OC

    And how about the Alice Cooper classic, "School Is Out"

    Great Hub!!!

  • E. A. Wright profile image

    E. A. Wright 8 years ago from New York City

    As the Beach Boys might say, I'm picking up good vibrations from this list. Made my own list of 12 great summer songs last week (some a bit less classic) and it's always nice to compare favorites.

  • Horrya profile image

    Horrya 8 years ago

    Great ! Thanks !

  • An Archigirl profile image

    An Archigirl 8 years ago

    These great summer songs really give you that summer holiday feeling:)

  • dohn121 profile image

    dohn121 8 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

    These are truly "iconic" songs. They are still very popular, as they used in movies, TV commercials and even radio commercials. Great job on touching on all of the important ones.

  • Uninvited Writer profile image

    Susan Keeping 8 years ago from Kitchener, Ontario

    Glad you liked this.

    They are such good songs :) Another one I love is Hot Fun in the Summertime by Sly and the Family Stone.

  • stephhicks68 profile image

    Stephanie Hicks 8 years ago from Bend, Oregon

    I love these songs! They bring back great memories. :)

  • Pete Maida profile image

    Pete Maida 8 years ago

    I remember them all on my summer vacations from school.