English summertime is typified by two things: heat, and rain when you least expect it! In honour of the summer, I'd like to present you with my own personal top ten songs about summer.
If you would like to send in a personal "top ten songs about..", please send the list to firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 cinding the videos if you would like me to.
This Boney M track from 1979 encapsulated what it felt to be at school as summer approached.
With 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?
The 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
Sometimes 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
The 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!
George 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...