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Summer hits of the past centuries – one for each decade

We tend to think of the song of summer as an invention of the '50s and '60s, when convertibles and California first defined what was cool. But the song of summer has a surprisingly long history: the search for a summer song has been around almost as long as commercial music itself.


1900s - In the Good Old Summer Time
(an American Tin Pan Alley song first published in 1902 with music by George Evans and lyrics by Ren Shields)

There's a time in each year
That we always hold dear,
Good old summer time;
With the birds and the treeses
And sweetscented
Good old summer time.
When your day's work is over
Then you are in clover,
And life is one beautiful rhyme,
No trouble annoying
Each one is enjoying,

1910s - By the Beautiful Sea From the musical "For Me and My Gal"
(Harold Atteridge / Harry Carroll) (1914)

Joe and Jane were always together.
Said Joe to Jane,
"I love summer weather,
So let's go to that beautiful sea,
Follow along,
Say you're with me!"

1920s – Makin Whoopee

by Eddie Cantor (1928)Makin Whoopee

Another bride Another June
Another sunny honeymoon
Another season, another reason
For makin' whoopee
A lot of shoes, a lot of rice
The groom is nervous he answers twice
It's really killin' that he's so willin'
To make whoopee

1930s – Summertime

(originally composed in 1934 by George Gershwin for the 1935
opera Porgy and Bess)

Summertime, and the livin' is easy
Fish are jumpin' and the cotton is high
Oh, your daddy's rich and your ma is goodlookin'
So hush little baby, Don't you cry

1940s – Indian SummerIndian Summer

(performed by Glen Miller and his orchestra / lyrics written
by Al Dubin, Victor Herbert in 1939)

Summer, you old Indian Summer
you're the tear that comes after June times laughter
You see so many dreams that don't come true
Dreams we fashioned when summertime was new
You are here to watch over
Some heart that is broken
By a word that somebody left unspoken
you're the ghost of a romance in June
Going astray, fading too soon...
that's why I say,
"Farewell to you, Indian Summer!"

1950s – Summertime Blues

by Eddie Cochran (1958)

I'm gonna raise a fuss, I'm gonna raise a holler
About a workin' all summer just to try to earn a dollar
Every time I call my baby, and try to get a date
My boss says, "No dice son, you gotta work late"
Sometimes I wonder what I'm a gonna do
But there ain't no cure for the summertime blues

1960s – Summer in the City
Summer in the city
by The lovin’ spoonful (1966)

Hot town, summer in the city
Back of my neck getting dirty and gritty
Been down, isn't it a pity
Doesn't seem to be a shadow in the city
All around, people looking half dead
Walking on the sidewalk,
hotter than a match head
But at night it's a different world
Go out and find a girl
and dance all night
Despite the heat it'll be alright

1970s – In the Summertime

by Mungo Jerry (1970)

In the summertime when the weather is hot
You can stretch right up and touch the sky
When the weather's fine
You got women, you got women on your mind

1980s – Summer of ‘69

by Bryan Adams (1985)

Summer of 69I got my first real six-string
Bought it at the five-and-dime
Played it 'til my fingers bled
Was the summer of '69
Me and some guys from school
Had a band and we tried real hard.
Jimmy quit, Jody got married
I should've known we'd never get far
Oh, when I look back now
That summer seemed to last forever
And if I had the choice
Yeah, I'd always wanna be there
Those were the best days of my life

1990s – Summertime
DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince (1991)

Summer TimeSummer summer summertime
Time to sit back and unwind
Here it is the groove slightly transformed
Just a bit of a break from the norm
Just a little somethin' to break the monotony
Of all that hardcore dance that has gotten to be
A little bit out of control it's cool to dance
But what about the groove that soothes
that moves romance
Give me a soft subtle mix
And if ain't broke then don't try to fix it
And think of the summers of the past
Adjust the base and let the alpine blast
Pop in my CD and let me run a rhyme
And put your car on cruise and lay back
cause this is summertime

Image sources:‐dresses‐colors/‐out‐for‐summer/‐times‐changed‐for‐the‐better‐a‐look‐back‐at‐womens‐swimwear/‐blast‐past‐vintage‐beach‐photos‐absolutely‐hilarious/‐faves/philly‐girls/‐movies/tv‐best‐musical‐moments‐gallery‐1.92422?pmSlide=1.94441 

Date Created: 27/08/2015

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