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!
“Surfin’ U.S.A.” – The Beach Boys
The Beach Boys' "Surfin' U.S.A." destroyed Mungo Jerry's "In the Summertime" with 81% of votes—the widest margin of all the Round 2 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.
"Summer Nights" - John Travolta and Olivia Newton John from Grease
"Grease's" "Summer Nights" won out in another surprising round against Martha & The Vandellas' "(Love Is Like a) Heat Wave" with 58% of votes, the same percentage of votes it won with in Round 1.
On the sunnier side of things is the boppin' summer ode from 1978's Grease, "Summer Nights," which is all sweetness and no snarl. Star-crossed lovers Sandy and Danny (i.e., John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John) relate their beachy fling, which--alas--came to a sad ending when Sandy had to return home to her native Australia. Of course, we all know the big surprise that followed! In terms of the composition itself, it's hard to say if it's the "tell me more, tell me more" refrain or the "shoo bop bop" bridge that is the key element that gets even the grumpiest individual tapping their toes, but either way this is pure bubblegum magic.
Which summer song deserves to move onto the next round? Vote in the poll below, vote on other pairings (Round 3 voting ends August 2 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.