Three songs, summer-themed, on or very near the solstice. A respite, a celebration, a salute to whatever shreds of sanity, shoots of hope and shards of joy we may be able to cultivate in a world that often seems hellbent, for rather baffling reasons, on denying them all.
Welcome to the Sixth Annual Songs of Summer! If you’re new to this space and wondering why so-and-such song isn’t in the lineup, it may well have already had its moment in the sun, sun, sun, either here or here or here or here or here. (Those will take you to years one through five if you feel in the mood for an orgy of summer sounds, minus the cicadas.)
So, to cite a beloved phrase from another summer pastime of some renown: “Batter up!”
The big choice in “Summer Rain” was whether to present Johnny Rivers in his so-called prime in 1973, or to put a 2013 version in front of you. In the latter, Johnny (“Secret Agent Man,” “Poor Side of Town”) still rocks the house in the notable style of other Geriatric All-Stars (Springsteen, McCartney, et al) who are perhaps sharing the same magic bota bag of ageless vocal command.
I finally opted for ’70s Johnny, though 70-year-old Johnny is certainly worth a three-minute investment of your time on this longest “day” of the year.
We sailed into the sunset
Drifting home, caught by a gulf stream
Never gave a thought for tomorrow
Let tomorrow be, yeah
Let tomorrow be
Oh, Bob Marley. Bob Marley, Bob Marley, Bob Marley.
We miss you, Bob Marley.
Sun is shining, the weather is sweet
Makes you want to move your dancing feet
To the rescue, here i am
Want you to know, y’all, where i stand
Meanwhile, time does pass, and the kids, oh these kids, continue to mix up their own cocktails of summer music mirth. So in a nod to their energetic strivings to enjoy as much unadulterated, swaying, foot-stomping fun as their ancestors did, I give you…Katy Perry.
Perry knows not only how to flaunt it and shake it, but also how to rake it—to the tune of $204.3 million on the 2014 “Prismatic World Tour” that had this garish, good-timing boogey of hers as a centerpiece.
Lotta “Girl Power,” after a fashion, out in that audience, putting their power dollars down on a celebration of color (matching lime green mini and hair!) and the charms that summer allows those of a certain geography.
Bikinis on top
We’ll melt your popsicle.
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