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Write Yourself A Summer Song!

6:00 am Songwriting

You’ve heard of summer movies, summer vacation, and summer school - but are you familiar with the concept of summer songs? If you remember the Beach Boys circa 1963-67 you are! “Surfin’ USA,” “California Girls,” “Surfer Girl” - they even had an album called “Summer Days (and Summer Nights!)”.

But it isn’t just the Beach Boys. Here are some songs by other artists that are deemed to be true “summer songs”:

* Margaritaville - Jimmy Buffett
* Walking On Sunshine - Katrina and the Waves
* Summer Of ‘69 - Bryan Adams
* Boys Of Summer - Don Henley
* Girls Just Want To Have Fun - Cyndi Lauper
* Summertime Blues - Eddy Cochran
* Kokomo - The Beach Boys

(OK, that last one was the Beach Boys again, but it turned up on so many people’s lists that I just had to include it in this one!)

Hot Stuff

So what is a summer song, anyway? There aren’t any hard and fast rules, but most of them are rather bright and lively and feature entirely or almost entirely major chords, so that might be a starting point. The lyrics tend to be about happy things (though not always!). Naturally, many have the word “summer” in the lyrics or even in the title.

I know it’s hard to get motivated about your songwriting during the summer. There are so many other things to do! But maybe you could accept the challenge of coming up with some kind of summer song yourself, with your own strange and personal twist on it, of course. Just pick up the guitar (or whatever) and see what comes to mind when you think “summer.”

I tried this little exercise myself a few years ago and came up with “Another Long Summer.” Wow - it has the word “summer” in the title and mentions the Fourth Of July in the lyrics three times for extra points!

Well, what are you waiting for? Summer’s here, Dude. Surf’s up!

(Enable popups for this site if the mp3 player does not appear, or just click the mp3 link to listen.)

Another Long Summer (Bendig) (mp3, lyrics)
Mark Bendig: lead vocal, rhythm guitar, drums
Jack Burgess: lead guitar, bass, backup vocals

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One Response
  1. Carl F. Parker :

    Date: September 25, 2008 @ 12:14 pm

    Excellent ! Only thing missing from your tip was the extra singer, or a dubbed vocal to add a harmony sound to either the lead vocals, or to the chorus section. I only say that cause in every great summer song I’ve ever heard it has that sound to it.. Eddie got away with a solo vocal only cause of the mass amount of echo, and reverb. So it kinda sounded like an extra vocal with him. Really dig the song by the way.

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