Songs to keep you warm

Video still: "Something in the Water," Pokey LaFarge

Video still: “Something in the Water,” Pokey LaFarge

It’s one of those days that kind of bursts the bubble of summer. Fine fair weather has been letting the illusion run that the equinox is not approaching and then the fall and eventually that other season which shall remain nameless. It won’t hit 70 today and the sky is overcast and drizzly. As John Warren reminded us yesterday, “The leaves have begun to change at the higher elevations.”

So I’ve had my last cone of the year at Donnelly’s. Camps have been shuttered and boats are disappearing into storage until Memorial Day. Fair enough. I’ve been consoling myself with summer songs instead.

As Robin Young and Matt Phipps explained on Here and Now this week, what makes a song a summer song is first, a great hook. Other elements apparent in their selections are rollicking energy and brashness–often “brassness”–horns help a lot, but are not required. A big slice of libido helps, too. Dancing, clapping, hooting and hollering and/or that boy-girl kind of thing. And it must be ubiquitous, on everywhere–on the car radio, on the restaurant deck, in the bar, on the tube and on the Youtube, too.

My own song of the summer nominee is not on the Here and Now list–“Something in the Water” by Pokey LaFarge. I’d never heard of Pokey before this year, but I seem to run into his music all over now, and this first song of his that I heard hits all the summer song notes.

All of Matt’s selections are worth checking out, as well as the signature songs of summers past that introduce the piece (even though they left out 1989’s “Love Shack” by the B-52s–a serious oversight). Robin made a pitch for a Justin Bieber entry, but when playing it crashed my web browser, I took that as a sign. I have a rule about Bieber.

What songs haven’t you been able to get out your head this summer? Let us know in a comment below.


3 Comments on “Songs to keep you warm”

  1. Terry says:

    “Indian Lake” by the Cowsills…..stuck in ‘there’ almost all summer….!!!

  2. James says:

    This weekend sure has burst the bubble on summer. I started the weekend out late Friday afternoon at Ivy Lea campsite, just beneath the Canadian span of the Thousand Islands Bridge listening to The Beat Authority under a warm sun in air that smelled like pine and oak with boats passing by, carrying those trying to squeeze a bit more life out of summer. The rain started at about 7:00 am this morning and never let up. I broke camp at 11:00 and headed for home a day early.

  3. James says:

    “See you in September” and that “Autumn leaves must fall” line of “A Summer Song” by the that old 60’s British Invasion duo Chad and Jeremy have been in my head a lot lately.

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