There comes a certain point in any given summer when the excitement of “Hey! It’s summer!” wears off and every opportunity to do something fun comes with a slight note of “I’m kind of tired. Let’s not.” Or maybe it’s just me, here at the tail end of a two-week vacation which was so crammed full of peopling that I am in more need of a vacation now than I was two weeks ago. And two weeks ago I was in dire need of a vacation.
I have given up on trying to associate specific songs with specific times of the year other than in the purely nostalgic sense. Songs are written, recorded, collected, and released over weeks to months to years, and that often months or years in advance of when they appear on the radio (or streaming services). So other than the occasional song which is written for or about specific times of the year, the association between song and season is coincidental.
But that doesn’t stop them from carrying nostalgic weight.
1977: Cat Stevens, “Old Schoolyard”
I love love LOVE Cat Stevens, and have heard him enough over the years that, if I didn’t hear this song right about the time it came out, I surely heard “Old School Yard” at some point in my childhood. I just don’t remember exactly when. More recently, Stevens was part of the soundtrack of a long camping trip around Lake Huron a decade ago, and his music has been a constant in my life ever since.
1982: Eddie Money, “Think I’m In Love”
Yeah, Eddie Money was ubiquitous throughout the eighties, and “Think I’m In Love” was on heavy rotation throughout the decade, and still is, on classic rock stations. Definitely heard this one when it came out, and heard it a lot in the milking parlor in the mornings, and on the bus ride to and from Junior High.
1987: Dionne Warwick & Jeffrey Osborne, “Love Power”
“Love Power” doesn’t trigger any memories, deja vu or nostalgia, but I could listen to Dionne Warwick all day. It is likely that I missed this song in the midst of all of the harder rock which hit the charts during the summer between high school and college.
1992: Mr. Big, “Just Take My Heart”
Let’s just take a moment and listen to that amazing guitar. I have heard of Mr. Big, but I don’t remember this specific song. “Just Take My Heart” would have charted while I was looking for a new job to get me out of the third-shift assembly line hell I was stuck in after my fifth year of college. Actually I might have already found a new job at Jose Babushka’s, but I was not in a good frame of mind for the appreciation of power ballads at the time.
1997: Joe, “Don’t Wanna Be a Player”
I have no memory of “Don’t Wanna Be a Player,” but it is a lovely song.