Saturday, 17 July 2010

top ten songs about summer

I hope you enjoy these songs. The music videos below are embedded in the page, which means they are best viewed if you have broadband. If you have a dial-up modem, your broadband is slow or you have difficulties viewing the videos, click here to see this post with links to the videos instead. Please report any problems to

English summertime is typified by two things: heat, and rain! In honour of the summer, I'd like to present you with my own personal top ten songs about the season.

If you would like to send in a personal "top ten songs about...", please send the list to The songs can be secular, religious, modern, classical or a mix of any of these! A few words about why you like each track would be appreciated - I'll do the rest, including finding the videos and/or pictures if you would like me to.


10 Holiday!

This Boney M track from 1979 encapsulated what it felt to be at school as summer approached.
Click once on the video to play it - if you see a white space, click on the play icon (triangle) in the bottom left. If you want to see the video in a separate window with more options, click again on it.

9The seaside

click to go to the Official Queen International Fan ClubWith the present financial situation, holidaying in Great Britain is à la mode once more - in 1975, Freddie Mercury of Queen wrote a song called Seaside Rendezvous that, while our seaside resorts were still popular, looked back to their glory days in the 1920s.

8The summer hit (1)

Every summer has its memorable hit, and the smart money is on Baby Lee by Teenage Fanclub, for reasons that I hope will be clear.

7Last of the summer wine?

click and scroll down to read more about the showThe Last of the Summer Wine is the world's longest-running sitcom and is about men and women behaving badly, all the more hilarious because they're at a time of life when ageists assume that behaving badly has withered on the vine. Here, the late Bill Owen, who played Compo in the show, gives a poignant reading of the theme tune's words with the melody playing behind. Enjoy.

6 Classical summer

Latvian violinist and conductor Gidon Kremer leads the English Chamber Orchestra in the third movement of Vivaldi's Four Seasons suite, Summer.

5 The long road to summer

click to go to the Carpenters websiteSometimes people long for summer because they find winter somewhat oppressive. One of these people is Richard Carpenter, who composed Crescent Noon with his songwriting partner John Bettis because he found himself longing for the light and cheer of summer the whole year through. He performs it here with his sister Karen as The Carpenters.

4 All that glisters

click to go to Stuart Maconie's Freak ZoneThe egregious 1970 folly Beyond the Valley of the Dolls produced one very good song that has been described by Stuart Maconie, DJ on the groundbreaking Radio Six show The Freak Zone as "perfect summer pop". The irony is, as he pointed out, that, in the tale of exploitation, the "number one hit" was better than much of the music going about at the time.

3 The summer hit (2)

When Terry Wogan, then still at his breakfast show on BBC2, called this song "strange but beautiful", sales soared.

2 Enough already!

click to go to the IMDB entry for Yellow SubmarineGeorge Harrison wrote It's all too much about the excesses of the summer of love, and it was his intention that the short song would be included in the Sergeant Pepper album. Unfortunaltely, he wasn't there when the tracks were finally chosen; the song would have made a great bridge between Good Morning Good Morning and the reprise of the title song. Anyway, here's the song, in its incarnation as the penultimate track in Yellow Submarine:

1 Memories of summer...

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  1. Enjoyable, as always! I enjoyed The Last of the Summer Wine when we had television.

  2. Glad you enjoyed it!

    I never knew Last of the Summer Wine made it as far as the US. The BBC's been trying to axe it for years, as they want to concentrate on programmes they think will attract "the youth" - ie future licence payers. It looks like it'll finally be finished after next year's season.

    As per the beginning of the post, how about sending in your own top ten?