Summer Music Swap

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Oh what do you do in the summer time when all the world is green?
Do you fish in a stream, or lazily dream on the banks as the clouds go by?
Is that what you do? So do I!
Dorothy S. Andersen 

Memorial Day is the official start to summer, right? In celebration of longer days and sun drenched picnics, today I'm sharing my latest music compilation (47 minutes of some pretty awesome tunes).  

I have always loved summer. Summer, to me, means bike rides and fireflies. It means lemonade and reading in the grass with no blanket. It means footloose and fancy free, complete with outdoor concerts and spontaneous beach trips. Summer means fresh produce and farmers’ markets. As a kid I remember running through the industrial-sized sprinklers on the golf course behind our house and sleeping on the trampoline under the stars. I sold soda pop to the golfers and earned my 10 speed bike in the process. And summer, of course, always means celebrating my birthday (which, as a kid, usually involved a piñata in one form or another). Simply put: summer makes me happy.  If we were gathered together in my living room I’d serve you some homemade ice cream and we would chat for hours about the songs I selected and why. Instead, I’ll just imagine you lounging in a hammock while reading this.

In the spring of 2002 I had just finished up my last semester of college. I stayed in Logan, UT for the summer in order to finish a practicum and to keep working for the ladies I adored. Of the 10 women I worked for, I was closest to Sharon. I looked forward to Tuesday mornings when I got to spend time with such a remarkable woman. One morning, Sharon started telling me about this new CD she had recently purchased. It was a collection of songs from a woman who had passed away at the age of 33 from cancer, and many of her songs were discovered after her death. Sharon put the CD on and I listened to it while I cleaned or worked in the garden. Eva Cassidy’s voice became my soundtrack that summer. Each time I hear the cover Fields of Gold I am instantly transported back to Cache Valley and my heart soars with affection for that season of my life.

Myth by Beach House and Beach Baby by Bon Iver are an ode to (what else?) the beach! Meanwhile, I’m plotting how on earth to get to the beach this summer.

In the summer of 2009 I was still recovering from a fairly heart wrenching breakup. I ended up listening to Sleep All Summer at least 3,479 times that summer… okay, maybe that entire year. 

If bossa nova (the Brazilian fusion of samba and jazz) doesn’t remind you of summer I don’t know what does. While I wanted to include at least three other selections, but this at least gives you a taste of what a thick sweltering night in Rio with hot Portuguese men might sound like. What?

She Plays Yo Yo With My Mind. It's summer, so yo-yos and bubbles are all the rage. Right?

Sticking with my tradition of including one Sex and the City related song in each compilation Hot Child in the City comes from season 3, episode 15, where Carrie meets a guy who works in a comic book store and still lives with his parents. It also happens to be the hottest part of summer in New York, and as someone who lived on the East Coast for six years I know just how oppressive humidity in August can be.  

As a child I spent many summers in Southern California visiting my grandma. Those trips always involved a day at the beach. I loved swimming in the ocean, but was always aware of the menacing potential just beneath the surface. Generally though, I’d work hard to convince myself that sharks weren’t interested in coming close to the shore on the particular day that I was visiting.

It’s true, I included Going Up the Country in this little mix because of the group that sings it. The week before I was born my mother canned apricots. Last summer I finally learned how to can on my own. I bought all the supplies and went to town. Plus this song was kind of the unofficial anthem for Woodstock in August of 1969. So yeah, it’s totally a summer song.

From the movie (500) Days of Summer I just had to include this song.

And finally, is anyone still reading this long-winded epistle? I hope so, because I kind of saved the best for last. Unless you happen to be like Bob from What About Bob. It’s a risk, I know, but I had to take it. You see, I fall in the camp of a Neil Diamond lover (except when he sings Christmas songs, which seriously just sound gross and should be banned for all of eternity). Anyways, back to the music. During my teenage years my grandpa would occasionally rent a house boat for the entire family and we’d spend a week together on Lake Powell. One summer I invited one of my closest friends and together we had an absolute ball. Our anthem for that trip was America. We’d belt it out at the top of our lungs, patriotic and proud. Hearing it now still makes me ridiculously happy. And really, isn’t that what summer is all about?

Happy listening!


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