Summer is here, and the time is right for dancing in the streets. But what's the best summer song to soundtrack such activities? We here at Y! Music decided to hold a mega-poll to answer that (sun)burning summer question: a no-holds-barred tournament to determine the best summer anthem of all time.
After lots of heated (pun intended) debate, we've selected 32 of the most memorable summer songs ever, pitting them against each other in a winner-takes-all bracket. Scroll down to vote for this match-up!
“In The Summertime” – Mungo Jerry
Mungo Jerry's "In The Summertime" won out over Eddie Cochran's "Summertime Blues" with 55% of the votes.
Who can deny the absolute majesty of this all-time pop classic? Composed by singer Ray Dorset of UK combo Mungo Jerry, the song boasted a lazy rhythm, a scarily good-time feel, and a set of near-existential lyrics that even now are unapproachably marvelous: “If her daddy’s rich, take her out for a meal / If her daddy’s poor just do what you feel.” Truly this is all Sting, so much later, ever aspired to! An anthem for the newly-enlightened middle class, the track’s overflow of good will is remarkable any way you look at it. “ “When the weather’s fine,” sang Dorset, “We go fishing or go swimming in the sea / Life’s for living, yeah, that’s our philosophy.” Who in their right mind could argue?
“Surfin’ U.S.A.” – The Beach Boys
The Beach Boys' "Surfin' U.S.A." won over The Surfaris' "Wipe Out" with 71% of votes—the second widest margin of all the Round 1 match-ups!
Few can argue the legendary status of the Beach Boys, and it’s likely those who’ll be doing the talking remain in awe of early track “Surfin’ U.S.A.,” the 1963 hit which helped launch the band’s career and helped the band ascend to the very top of pop’s pantheon. Borrowing liberally from Chuck Berry’s earlier classic “Sweet Little Sixteen,” the song name-dropped some of the very best Stateside surfing beaches, oozed nothing but good cheer and good times, and helped establish the calling card for a younger generation looking to bust out of the straight-laced conformity they felt—rightly or wrongly—had been laid out for them by their well-meaning but, frankly, fuddy-duddy parents. An inescapable treasure of the ‘60s, “Surfin’ U.S.A.” signals that summer means fun like virtually no other track in pop history.
Which summer song deserves to move onto the next round? Vote in the poll below, vote on other pairings (Round 2 voting ends July 28 at 6 PM PT), tweet out your choices using the hashtag #YSummerSong, and hit the comments to tell us about all the great summer songs we forgot to include.
- Arts & Entertainment
- Mungo Jerry