As the days warm into summer, our clothes get shorter and the days get longer. So, too, changes our musical proclivities. The songs about summer are often lighter, more fun, and reminiscent of days long past. The following 11 songs are some of the best written about the summer season, across genre and style.
11. Kid Rock - "All Summer Long"
With a song as American as apple pie, Kid Rock brings us a taste of his childhood summertime, in a world before technology took over. The track tells us of a time of experimentation, young love, and good times - just what most people are looking for every summer. Verging between rock and country, musically, this is the perfect listen as you cruise around with your windows down.
10. Bon Jovi - "Summertime"
Coming in on Bon Jovi's 2007 country-tinged album, "Summertime" is a fun tune to blast during a pool party. Jon Bon Jovi's familiar voice will bring you back to the 1980s, but the song is just modern enough to keep up with today's pop music. If a taste of Bon Jovi makes you want more, be sure to check out the sweaty "One Wild Night" from 2000 album Crush, and to touch on some real classic Bon Jovi, New Jersey's "99 In The Shade."
9. Weezer - "Feels Like Summer"
Weezer themselves just might be the band of summer, so on this 2017 track, they embraced their status, putting out an entirely modern summer soundtrack hit that will keep you going for all of the warm months. "Feels Like Summer" might start you down a Weezer rabbit hole, in which case you can follow up with "Beverly Hills," "Island In The Sun," and "Sweater Song" for some more goodness.
8. Alice Cooper - "School's Out"
When one thinks of summer, one of the first things that comes to mind is the kids getting out of school, regardless of if that date brings you joy or terror. Alice Cooper nails that youthful jubilation of getting out of classes for the summer, even if eyeliner and leather aren't exactly what makes you think of warmer weather.
7. Billy Idol - "Hot In The City"
Billy Idol's persistent shirtless appearance might remind you of summer in and of itself, but in "Hot In The City" everyone is just as hot as Idol always seems to be. The sexy track makes you want to slip into cutoff shorts and a tank top, dancing the night away at the city's poshest club - just make sure you don't wind up dancing with yourself!
6. The Beach Boys - "Surfin' USA"
The Beach Boys themselves and summer are purely synonymous, so choosing just one of their California tunes is nearly impossible. "Surfin' USA" is a great start, however, and should make you want to run to the salon for a poofy new 'do, and then to grab some board shorts and a surfboard. Load up the woodie, pack a bag, and enjoy your summer Beach Boys style.
5. Sly and The Family Stone - "Hot Fun In The Summertime"
Taking it all the way back to the Summer of Love and Woodstock, Sly and the Family Stone bring this fun jam. The song notes how most of their fun was had back then, enjoying such simple pleasures as the country fair. While we might never again have Woodstock, we can always relive those epic moments anytime with this fun little flashback.
4. Don Henley - "The Boys of Summer"
Yet another flashback to the decade of Back to the Future, Don Henley is now perfectly retro. Whether you want to blast this driving down some lonesome highways in your red Ferrari, sunglasses on at night, or just sit back and chill on your phone, "The Boys of Summer" is your jam.
3. Bryan Adams - "Summer of '69"
If getting a six string and learning how to play guitar was ever your idea of how to spend the summer, Bryan Adams has a song for you. This rousing guitar track is one of those that your dad might remind you is how they used to do it. The song shares a similar nostalgia, thinking back to that ultimate summer, where everything changed for good.
2. Justin Timberlake - "Summer Love"
Justin Timberlake is making a comeback, but before he ever went away, Timberlake put out the electro jam tune of the season "Summer Love." Timberlake reminds us that even once the summer ends, we don't have to give up on love - sometimes our summer loves are a little more special. Whether or not love is on your mind, this song is just plain fun.
1. Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers - "Mary Jane's Last Dance"
With the recent loss of Tom Petty, this song might seem a little sadder than before, but this timeless track makes you wonder whether it was written in 1969 or 2009 (hint: it was the latter). If you ever feel restless in your own hometown, as summer creeps in and you haven't really gotten anywhere, this song will leave its mark on you. Petty might be better known for his earlier pop hits, but "Mary Jane's Last Dance" proves he was able to create a classic at any time.