It’s Summertime! Time for summer songs

in Contributors/Lee Scott/Voices by


You can tell it is summertime by the number of cars out on Sea Island Parkway. There are many visitors to the beach and to rental properties.

It does not matter that summer officially starts on June 20; most people consider it starting on Memorial Day Weekend.

And with summer comes all those favorite songs from previous years. For me, it is Otis Redding singing “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay.” The minute I hear it I can feel the morning breeze and imagine the tide rolling in.

When I asked my spouse what song reminded him the most about summer, he immediately said, “Anything done by the Beach Boys,” at which point we both started singing “Round, round, get around, I get around,” then “Help Me Rhonda.” Their songs are classic summer music.

I started asking other people.

My cousin Lynn said she thought immediately of Pina Coladas, Margaritaville and just about anything Jimmy Buffett sang. Another friend mentioned Harry Belafonte’s “Day-O (The Banana Boat Song)” and “Jump In The Line.” Love them!

As I sat there developing a list of my favorite old summer songs, I realized that some of them are tied to the beach, some to the pool, and some to a boy. Great memories.

One of my younger friends said the Crosby, Still, Nash and Young songs were played by the lifeguards at his pool; so those conjure summer images for him.

A good friend who went to sailing camp every summer said that her camp had its own Camper’s Song that she finds herself singing each summer. She also recalled all the campers sitting around and mimicking the sounds of drums and electric guitar from the song “Wipe Out” It was by the Surfaris.

I had to look it up. Sure enough, I remembered it. If you do recall the song, watch out, you will find it playing in your head for hours.

Then there are friends that remember the old beach and surfing movies which featured songs by Elvis, Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello. And the song “Summer Nights” from the movie “Grease” with John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John singing was also a summer favorite.

But sometimes the song is reminiscent of a summer beginning, like the song “Schools out for the summer,” a favorite of my friend Nancy the teacher. She said that the teachers would play it as the students left for the summer school vacation. I did not remember the song and was surprised to find it on You Tube with Alice Cooper singing it on The Muppet Show. What a hoot.

But I am sure all those students will remember their teachers singing; and that song will always represent the beginning of summer for them.

Lee Scott, a writer and recent retiree, shares her everyday observations about life after career. A former commercial banker responsible for helping her clients to reach their business objectives, Scott now translates those analytical skills to her writings. She lives on St. Helena Island and enjoys boating, traveling and reading.