Here at PCA headquarters in New York City, we have had the LONGEST winter ever. The first day of Spring came and went, and even our little furry friend the groundhog didn’t see his shadow, and yet, the warm weather has still been evading us. That is, until, this week. Monday morning we all woke up to what must have been record temperatures for this time of year – it was, unmistakeably, a summer day. And you know what happens in NYC when it gets warm? Sun dresses and sandals make immediate appearances, restaurants open up their outdoor seating and it basically takes people 0.2 seconds to adjust to the warm weather. Even if another cold spell is only days away. I’ve always loved that about New Yorkers… Live in the moment! I say, why not? And I do join in myself – I don’t bust out my summer dresses quite as quickly as others, but I am admittedly wearing my Sam Edelman sandals today.
Now as much as I can enjoy the sudden warmth as much as the next person, what does sort of scare me is that this weather is beyond unseasonable. We literally skipped spring and went straight to summer. How can that be a good thing in a world where, for centuries if not millenia, the seasons have remained the same? Don’t worry, I’m not going to turn this into my soapbox to lecture you about global warming (although I had to at least mention it). Instead, I will keep things lighthearted and talk about- what else? Summer themes in pop culture, of course. Music, specifically – this morning I couldn’t help but sing one of my favorite 80s tunes, Don Henley’s “Boys of Summer”:
I can see you
Your brown skin shining in the sun
You got your hair combed back and your
Sunglasses on baby
I can tell you my love for you will still be strong
After the boys of summer have gone
There is just something about that song that always takes me right to that road trip / top down / sun shining slice of summer time. I love a song that can immediately take you somewhere and make you feel something so specific. And I can’t very well talk about the song without mentioning the genius of the classic line: “Out on the road today I saw a Dead Head sticker on a Cadillac” – one of the best lyrics ever, hands down.
In keeping with songs from the 80s and beyond, another favorite is “Summertime” by the major movie star once known as The Fresh Prince. That’s right, DJ Jazzy Jeff and his sidekick the Fresh Prince turned out one of the first “summer jams” (which have since become a summer staple) and one that, in my opinion, is pretty timeless. Who doesn’t want to “sit back and unwind” when they hear this hook?
Summer, summer, summertime
Time to sit back and unwind
The song was mostly Will Smith doing his thing, rhyming about summer days back in Philly, and although I could never remember the lyrics, all it took was that one simple hook to get me into the summer haze or “summer madness” that he refers to himself.
Lastly there’s the more recent “California Gurls” by pop sensation Katy Perry. Who doesn’t like this song? Apparently nobody since it was still topping the charts a year after it was released, making it a summer jam for two summers straight! Not a common feat by any stretch.
Fine, fresh, fierce
We got it on lock
West coast represent
Now put your hands up
Oooooh Oh Oooooh
Catchy hook, flirty/fun lyrics, west coast pride, and some Snoop Dogg in the mix make for one entertaining song. It may have topped the charts for over a year but I have a feeling it will top summer playlists for years to come.
Now voice your choice in today’s featured poll and tell us which of these songs about summer is your favorite?
Boys of Summer (Don Henley)
California Gurls (Katy Perry)
Summertime (DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince)
For the latest pop culture news and voting, make sure to sign up for the People’s Choice newsletter!