Labor Day Weekend is the last hurrah for summer. BBQs, friends and music. TheComet.com a lot to choose from for our Top 20. The good, the bad, the cheesy. We opted to only include songs that have the words "summer," "vacation," "sun," or at least some kind of water or heat reference in the title or lyrics. We also had to give honorable mention to the worst. Here is our playlist:
1. "Summertime Rolls" by Jane's Addiction (1988)
From Jane's Addiction's groundbreaking debut "Nothing Shocking," Perry Farrell and company penned a dark and funky summer song that's pure poetry. Only Farrell can dream up "a girl whose fingernails are made of mother's pearl."
2. "Big Wave" by Jenny and Johnny (2010)
This is truly a beautiful pop song by power indie couple by Rilo Kiley's Jenny Lewis and singer/songwriter Johnathan Rice. Instead of the empty sugar calories of Katy Perry, "Big Wave" actually addresses the affects America's economic crisis to a soaring summer tune.
Living your life in the gray
Is the new American way
We're spending what we haven't made
And we save our money in good faith
And we work hard for our living wage
But still the banks gotta break
Big wave, do do do
It's going to hit you with a big wave
3. "Summertime" from "Porgy & Bess" by George Gershwin (1935)
Just listen to this song and you can feel the sultry summer air of Charleston, South Carolina in the early 20s - the backdrop of the "Porgy & Bess" opera. Now a jazz standard, "Summertime" has been covered by some surprise stars, including Paul McCartney, Willie Nelson, the Zombies and Stereophonics.
And the livin' is easy
Fish are jumpin'
And the cotton is high
4. "Summer Breeze" by Seals & Crofts (1972)
Sometimes a song is meant to be a societal balm. To a backdrop of the Vietnam War and massive cultural shifts, "Summer Breeze" reminded a generation of the simple beautiful things.
See the curtains hangin' in the window
In the evenin' on a Friday night.
A little light a-shinin' through the window
Lets me know everything is alright.
Summer breeze, makes me feel fine
Blowing through the jasmine in my mind
6. "Farewell My Summer Love" by Michael Jackson (1973/Remix 1984)
This is one of the King of Pop's best. Originally recorded in 1973, but released in 1984, this song captures the innocence and pure talent of young Michael.
Don't turn around
You might see me cry
Farewell my summer love, farewell
Girl I won't forget you
Farewell, my summer love, farewell, yeah
7. ''Waterfalls'' by TLC (1995)
Off of the group's second album "CrazySexyCool," "Waterfalls" is an unforgettable poetically harsh look at inner city life and its casualties of families and dreams.
Don't go chasing waterfalls
Please stick to the rivers and the lakes that you're used to
I know that you're gonna have it your way or nothing at all
But I think you're moving too fast
8. ''Brandy (You're a Fine Girl)'' by Looking Glass (1972)
We did say that songs that mention water count for this list! Who can resist pining away for a sailor's love from a harbor town? Crank up the volume when you listen and dance as if no one's watching!
The sailor said: Brandy, you're a fine girl
What a good wife you would be
But my life, my lover, my lady is the sea
9. "Waterloo'' by ABBA (1974) Okay, so this song isn't really about water - but love, Napoleon and war. It still has the word 'water' in it. So it counts!
Waterloo - I was defeated, you won the war
Waterloo - promise to love you forever more
Waterloo - couldn't escape if I wanted to
Waterloo - knowing my fate is to be with you
11. "The Boys of Summer" by Don Henley (1984)
Off of Henley's 1984 solo album "Building the Perfect Beast" this song is definitely a summer anthem. Though when the single was first released, some of us at The Comet offices suffered from lyric confusion and thought Henley was singing "Poison Summer."
But I can see you
Your brown skin shinin' in the sun
You got your hair combed back and your sunglasses on, baby
And I can tell you my love for you will still be strong
After the boys of summer have gone
12. "Summer Nights" by John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John (1978)
"Grease" is the word, and this tune is timeless. Ah, how deceiving summer can be. All is good, but what happens in September when school starts?
Summer lovin' had me a blast
Summer lovin', happened so fast
I met a girl crazy for me
I met a boy, cute as can be
Summer days driftin' away, to uh-oh those summer nights
14. "Suddenly Last Summer" by The Motels (1983)
Ah the wonderful angst of the 80s. Lead singer Martha Davis explains in a hot, dusty voice that though the seasons change, summer never ends.
One summer never ends, one summer never began
It keeps me standing still, it takes all my will
And then suddenly last summer
15. "Summer Nights" by Rascal Flatts (2009)
This boot-stomping country pop hit is perfect for a BBQ party.
The sun is getting low
There it goes, here we go
Here comes the moon, yeah
Things start getting all heated up
When it starts getting cool, yeah
16. "Another Lost Summer" by Blanche (2004)
The alt-country band delivers a despairing ode to another summer that's failed to meet expectations. But, did we really want to plant those seeds?
I guess it's too late to plant those seeds
Another lost summer
It's not worth it to pull the weeds
Are you ready drummer
They'll just die
Like I'm doing inside
17. "Summer of '69" by Bryan Adams (1984)
This song represents the ultimate in nostalgia and lost youth. The only odd thing is that Bryan Adams was 10 years old during the summer of 1969. Additionally, most people who spent the summer of 1984 listening to it were not even born yet in 1969. Hmm.
I got my first real six-string
Bought it at the five-and-dime
Played 'til my fingers bled
It was summer of '69
18. "Endless Summer Nights" by Richard Marx 1988
Richard Marx is a great songwriter and this ballad made many a girl swoon. Thankfully in real life, Marx married his summer love. Awwww.
And I remember how you loved me
Time was all we had until the day we said goodbye
I remember every moment
Of those endless summer nights
19. "Cruel Summer" by Bananarama 1983
This song from Bananarama's self-titled debut became the soundtrack to summer heartbreak in the 1980s thanks to the film "The Karate Kid." It is cruel, so cruel, to have to be single, hot and listen to this song.
It's a cruel, (cruel,) cruel summer
Leaving me here on my own
It's a cruel, (it's a cruel,) cruel summer
Now you're gone
20. "Vacation" by The Go-Go's (1982)
This song caused much debate in The Comet offices. Once upon a time, we really loved this song. Now, since it was used in a Sandals Resort commercial, it just makes us think of fluorescent bikinis.
All I ever wanted
Had to get away
Meant to be spent alone
Simply the Worst:
1. "California Gurls" by Katy Perry (2010)
Sometimes it's best not to say anything, when you have nothing nice to say.
2. "Soak Up the Sun" by Sheryl Crow (2002)
We love Ms. Crow. Fantastic singer/songwriter. But this song is the worst piece of schlock. What possessed her to write the lyrics: "I don't have digital/I don't have diddly squat"??
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