“In the midst of winter, I found there was, deep within me, an invincible summer” +Albert Camus
I have longed loved this quote because he was absolutely right, an invincible summer does indeed lie within all of us. From the early morning light to the lazy, late sunsets to the field down the street from where I live where, for just a few magical nights, you can find yourself surrounded by thousands of fireflies, I’m all about summer.
There’s a hopefulness to summer. There’s a childlike excitement with thoughts of popsicles and sandy feet. There’s the distant roar of 4th of July fireworks and the smell of neighborhood barbecues.
And best of all, there are windows rolled down and tunes blaring from cars and people singing along with reckless abandonment, as they damn well should be.
As for me, I do a heck of a lot of walking, especially to and from work. I walk over gorgeous Casco Bay by way of the Casco Bay Bridge that takes me from South Portland into downtown Portland, Maine.
I walk year round and I love it because I listen to music, grab a coffee and it’s my favorite part of the day, especially in the morning. Even when it’s hovering around zero.
But you know what’s even better? Walking when it’s glorious out. Walking when the birds can’t contain their joy. Walking when the breeze is warm, the grass is extra green and the sun holds you with the gentlest and yet surest of embraces.
I’m ALL ABOUT THAT.
That said, here are 12 of my absolute favorite summer jams. Some are obvious and some are a bit off the beaten path but they all say summer to me. Want to tell me what some of yours are? Comment away good people. Now get out there and give summer a high-five, one that you’ll feel all the way into October.
- “Summertime” by The Sundays. Instant happiness with this one.
2. “Summer in the City” by Regina Spektor. Snapshot of a night, a season, a love affair.
3. Nightswimming by R.E.M. I feel all the things every time I hear this song and it will always be this way. The hallmark of perfect song.
4. “Summertime Blues” by The Flying Lizards. I adore this cover of the Eddie Cochran classic because it’s hilarious and feels like it’s being performed by a band that’s in a studio with a broken air conditioner that stopped giving any fucks quite a while ago.
5. “Redondo Beach” by Patti Smith. Because it’s Patti Smith. No other reason needed. Obv.
6. “Mimi on the Beach” by Jane Siberry. Because, IMHO, she’s one of the greatest songwriters ever to walk among us mortals. A three minute video does exist, but the better version is this full-length album version.
7. “Too Darn Hot” by Ella Fitzgerald. A Cole Porter classic as sung by Ms. Fitzgerald. Yeah!
8. “Indian Summer Sky” by U2. A lesser known track from an album sacred to me: “The Unforgettable Fire.” “To flicker and to fade on this the longest day…”
9. “Once Upon a Summertime” by Blossom Dearie. There’s just something about this little song that makes me grin.
10. “Summer’s End” by Ashtar Command with Sinead O’Connor. Granted, this song is all about summer coming to and end BUT it’s Sinead O’Connor singing and is actually one of my favorite songs of hers.
11. “Summer Wind” by Frank Sinatra. I love this song so much I can’t even deal.
12. “Rain in the Summertime” by The Alarm. There’s something about this song, a kind of magnetic pull and energy that draws me in.