What Makes a Summer Song?

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Last year we polled our Soundcheck listeners for their pick of the Summer Song of 2007… now, my recollection was that the listeners correctly picked Rihanna’s “Umbrella,” which of course did go on to become the de facto anthem of last summer. But in checking the actual results, it seems that the Soundcheck audience actually picked “Lip Gloss” by Lil Mama. So this year’s poll gives you folks a chance at redemption. I’m more than a little surprised at the amount of write-in votes for the Coldplay song, which no matter how often I hear it doesn’t stick in my ear (very rare for a Coldplay song) but which doesn’t sound “summery” to me. And I’m definitely surprised to see the write-in votes for the Hold Steady song “Sequestered In Memphis,” which I thought would be the Official Summer Song Of 2008 On My Ipod And Nowhere Else.

But it looks like the Katy Perry song “I Kissed A Girl” will be the audience pick, and if the Billboard charts are any indication, it may well turn out to be this summer’s “Umbrella.” Whether you think it’s suggestive or merely cynical (or both), it’s a bona fide hit – and the second with that very title, after Jill Sobule’s song in 1995. It got me to wondering, what makes a “summer song,” as opposed to something you’d listen to the rest of the year? With all the voting going on for THIS summer’s song, let’s take a moment to remember some great summer songs from years gone by… Do you have a favorite summer song from years gone by? And does it still work for you when you hear it now?