Wile we're all excited that this weekend marks the start of college football and our glorious return to Memorial Stadium, Labor Day weekend can also be contemplative for me. True, Summer officially ends on September 21st but it's Labor Day that's traditionally marked the end of summer. And while the airwaves have always been filled with songs celebrating the joys of sun, sand, drink and fun that is Summer (almost anything by the early Beach Boys, Go-Gos, Van Morrison), some songs act as a sort of "send off" putting me in the mood for this final weekend fling of Summer... They make me think about the warm glow of a late afternoon sun as it begins its descent to the horizon, people laughing on the beach, drinks, friends, and another summer coming to a close. After the jump some of those songs. What songs bring to mind the close of summer for you?I'll start that these songs skew old... and yes, let me save you the trouble, I'm LOLdz, but that's not the point here. My taste in music, like most people's is varied... but I have an appreciation for older music thanks to my grandfather. He was a great guy and I would spend my summers with him. He would always listen to "new" music with me as long as I listened to "standards" with him. It was a great way to get exposed to wonderful music and of course great bonding moments that I still recall fondly to this day. So let's get to my Top 5 "End of Summer" songs.
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For my money the greatest of the end of Summer songs is Sinatra's 1966 version of "Summer Wind." Listening to this it's impossible not to picture yourself, full of love and joy, walking hand-in-hand with your Summer love.
Then there's the Beach Boys' "Gold Only Knows." So while this song is not explicitly about Summer, it has such an end of Summer quality about it to me... Beautiful harmonies... I close my eyes and can feel the warm rays of the final days of summer basking my body.
Since we have so many clarinetists on this blog, the ultimate Summer clarinet homage has to be "Stranger on a Shore"by Acker Bill. This song reminds me of many a late summer weekend at Lake Tahoe with my godmother, who loved the Lake and gave the best hugs any human being has ever given. We would talk and talk... I miss her, but this song always brings a smile to my face thinking of her.
As many of you know, I love MMMbop. It's a much deeper song than many people give it credit for. It's basically about holding on to the people who are important in your life, because in the end they will be the ones that really matter. And for some reason, that brings to mind the end of the Summer season of life, celebrated in its innocence and joys.
You have so many relationships in this life
Only one or two will last
You go through all the pain and strife
Then you turn your back and they're gone so fast
And they're gone so fast, yeah
So hold on the ones who really care
In the end they'll be the only ones there
And when you get old and start losing your hair
Can you tell me who will still care
Can you tell me who will still care?
Those are some pretty powerful lyrics... So for something a little different here's an acoustic version... Give it a chance.
Finally, "The Boys of Summer" by Don Henley... It's just so evocative of the end of summer... Cruising along PCH, the top off, sun going down, the smell of bonfires on the beach... ahhhhh... It's also, of course, a life metaphor...
I could go on, but those are my top 5 "End of Summer" songs. Not my top 5 Summer songs, but my top 5 "End of Summer" songs. What are yours?