Given that we are now in the midst of summer, I thought I would compare and contrast two songs about summer lovin' (No, I will not do the number from the musical Grease— sorry to put that song in your head).
I must admit that when I was a teenager I never had a summer romance. During my teens I was either busy playing sports, or working a full time job during the summer and never had much energy or connections to pursue any romance. The first time I had a girlfriend in the summer was when I was dating my wife and that was when I was already 30 years old (definitely NOT a hormone ridden teen).
There are two songs that seem to epitomise summer lovin' as a teenager to me. Depending upon your perspective, each song is a reflection of a teen pursuing love, or pursuing lust.
The first song has a very "boyish" feel to it. It is almost as if this may be this person's discovery of love and their frustrations that accompany trying to hook up with someone.
Summer's the worst
Summer love is a scam
But I can't help dreaming of summer romance
My bubbles may burst but that won't hold me back
I've got quite a nerve
I'm giving summer just one more chance1
Talk about your teenage angst… But all in all our character knows that you can't just try once. Even if you fail the first time, you need to still pursue love.
I'm in the crowd looking for a girl
I'm gonna drown looking for a pearl
Show your skin
You might get burned
But all the heat is worth the hurt
We'll fall in love
We'll dive head first
We'll never learn that summer is the worst2
This second one you are probably more familiar with. Here is the reflections of a teen about his summer encounters:
Out past the cornfields when the winds got heavy
Out in the back seat of my '60 Chevy
Workin' on mysteries without any clues
Workin' on our night moves
Tryin' to make some front page drive-in news
Workin' on our night moves
In the summertime
In the sweet summertime3
I think this second line seems to sum up the person's feelings and show that it was not for love, but rather for lust.
We weren't in love oh no far from it
We weren't searching for some pie in the sky summit
We were just young and restless and bored
Living by the sword
And we'd steal away every chance we could
To the backroom, the alley, the trusty woods
I used her she used me
But neither one cared
We were getting our share4
Looking back on the type of person I was when I was a teenager, I seem to more closely identify with the first song, but I kinda wished I also had the second. So what about you… which song do you identify with?
1, 2 Excerpts from the Michael Leviton song: Summer's the Worst.
3, 4 Excerpts from the Bog Seger song: Night Moves.