Wow, how time flies. How the years go by. How seasons change, and so do I. Another trip around the sun, and you know it’s not the same as it was. As it was four, three, two, one year ago…except that summer songs still seem to capture a feeling of fleeting, flirting, fleeing youth and hope and potential and fun and sexy, so sexy, the way we swam in the sea, sweltering sweat and salt and sun and I said it smelled like summer, but I meant something else…like Watermelon Sugar, I just want to taste you…in this world…it’s just us…bad habits…speechless…flames, throw your arms around me…but you know it’s not the same as it was. Still, for a few minutes of a mindless summer song, heard hundreds of times while driving around the U.S.A., and Spain, speeding and seeking to lose myself, to leave life and love behind, look to the horizon….but there is no escape from a summer song and the memories burning into forever thoughts of sweaty, sultry, sexy, sunny, sandy, sea of you and me, it’s just us… Here’s where I gave you a butterfly ring, and we lay on the wooden deck while a child in a carriage watches us kiss and touch each other all over… Oh, summer, so hot. You know it’s not the same as it was, I’m alone, on a beach at sunset, no where to go, no escape but drink till I sleep, and hope for a dream, tomorrow well meet, no one to talk to but me…my only connection my memory…and my only thoughts of opportunities lost…and places I’d rather be, why aren’t you with me…but then, the summer Song comes, fills my mind…the one I’ve heard three thousand times, can’t get it out of my head, like you, in this world it’s just us. I give in and let it take over…sing it…you know it’s not the same as it was….as it was…as it was…
The thing about this song…well, two things. One is that it sounds so much like A-Ha, from the 1980s, Take on Me, that famous synthesizer. But, the real thing that makes this my song of the summer (apart from it being the number one song in the whole world for most of the summer, and on the radio every ten seconds, which, I guess, I noticed alot more this summer, spending most of my summer living alone in my car)….anyway, the thing about it is how dark it is. What is this about, really? It sounds like a happy summer song, 80s keyboards, but the lyrics are deep and dark and sad and weird. Gloomy. You know it’s not the same as it was…it’s worse…it sounds to me like the singer needs some help. Maybe a friend. A kind word of recognition and reconciliation. A shared gaze that acknowledges the deep connection that time and troubles won’t break. A cup of tea together to remember or renew. A real conversation. The touch of your hand. A message of some kind. A letter. Something to hold in your hand. Like a flower or sea shell or book. A whisper to echo in unknown futures that everything will be o.k., that there is a before and an after…nothing is the same as it was because of something we shared together…do you remember…does it matter…you don’t want to talk about the way that it was…the world we shared….the us we were… if it weren’t for the kids we’d be together…you said that.. that’s hard to imagine, but it’s true…in that world, it was just us…”that building could explode and I’d be thinking of you,” were words you once said….when we were…the songs we sang… And danced… And made love… when it was…it was….as it was….you know it’s not the same as it was….but, once….it was.
What a dark, sad, strange summer it was. Heat waves, forest fires, ocean currents, surfboards, undertow, drinking alone, sleeping in shifting sand dunes, sending messages into the aether, aiming for the stars… Please, please, hear me, wherever you are, and know you’re here with me, wherever you are. I listen for answers, your voice indide my head, but nothing. I’ll do this by myself… Your indifference, irrelevance, rejection, the fleeting, fleeing, flirting youth, roads to nowhere, lost and lost again, going in circles. All this, this, and more, is what I think about when I hear this song. The song of summer 2022.
Summer Song 2021: Bad Habits
Back in May, I recorded and posted Watermelon Sugar in the Music page, which I’ve since deleted due to the emotional reaction all that music was causing. Recently, however, inspired by some new blue boots, I visited the page to find my recording of Blue Suede Shoes, and while I was there I found this post about the songs of summer, including my very amazing recording of Watermelon Sugar. (Here’s a bonus update, confirming that Watermelon Sugar is exactly what I thought it was about… Champagne Pussy…I dont know if I can ever go without… https://www.eonline.com/news/1304665/harry-styles-confirms-the-nsfw-meaning-behind-watermelon-sugar-with-climactic-reveal)
That post ends with me wondering what my song of summer 2021 might be, so I thought, now that summer is over, I would update the post. With no further ado…I present the song of summer 2021, Bad Habits, by Ed Sheeran.
It’s possible that I heard this song every single day this summer, and certainly some days more than once. I heard it on the way to school this morning. Like Watermelon Sugar, Speechless, Flames and Boys of Summer from previous summers, it’s a song that somehow says everything and nothing at the same time, spreading deep emotions over a wide, thin surface, so that it seems extremely relevant to my life and the lives of millions of others. It speaks to me, while speaking to the maximum amount of listeners possible. Somehow unforgettable, no matter how hard you try, you can’t get it out of your head. My bad habits lead to you. You. It’s true. I really do want to be with you…and I’m not going to feel bad about that. I know my heart. It’s better now. Stronger. Healthier. My mental and physical health has turned around over the summer and I’m feeling so much better about who and how I am. I have turned those bad habits around. And you, you and me, that was not a habit, or a drug or an obsession or a mental problem. I believe in my heart, I believe in love. I believe we belong together. It’s this. Not a bad habit. And I’m truly sad that we can’t be together, because we would have been great. I know you’ve let it go and have moved on, and I’m very impressed, because we both know how amazing I am, and how hard that it must have been for you to let me go. Smile. But you’ve done it. Congratulations. As the song says, I only know how to go too far. This isn’t the way I wanted it, but it’s the way it has to be. What a song.
At the end of the Watermelon Sugar post, I say that there’s one more song that really, truly is my favorite summer song…for July 10. Since I’m dumping summer songs here, dipping into the archives…and because it sounds a bit better than Watermelon Sugar, I’ll leave it here. Goodbye, summer.Throw Your Arms Around Me
Summer Song 2020: Watermelon Sugar
Pop music. Summer music. Strawberries. On a summer evening. Baby, you’re the end of June. I want your belly. And that summer feeling. Getting washed away with you. I just want to taste it. I don’t know if I can ever go without…
I am very embarrassed by this song. It sounds ridiculous, but it’s just summer pop music, and it’s supposed to be fun. I remember last summer, at the beach with my kids and they demanded that I buy these watermelon flavored slushy ice drinks…and I literally said, “You don’t need any of that watermelon sugar shit…” and, as this song became last summer’s summer pop song, on the radio every ten minutes, I would sing it in my ridiculous falsetto voice with these changed lyrics.
But with a new summer coming, I have a new appreciation of those lyrics. There’s something a bit sad about summer, I think, because you know that it’s going to end. Those warm and wonderful summer moments simply can’t last forever. And as the song goes, I don’t know if I can ever go without…
So, here comes summer, and I’m already feeling sad about it being over. What will this summer’s summer pop song be? Maybe my friend Pisu has something up his sleeve? https://oceanindisguise.com/2021/05/18/pop-star/
Here’s Watermelon Sugar, summer pop song from 2020. I should have practiced more…my version sounds terrible.
Here is the summer pop song from 2019. If you love me, say you love me, say you are mine. Come on darling, stop the hiding, speak your mind.
And 2018. Go, go, go…figure it out…figure it out…don’t stop moving…you can do this.
And here’s one I always come back to during the summer…classic end of summer sentiments…a little voice inside my head says don’t look back, you can never look back, thought I knew what love was, what did I know, those days are gone forever, I should just let them go…but…i can see you, your brown skin shining in the sun, you’ve got your hair pulled back, and those sunglasses on, baby….i can tell you my love for you will still be strong, after the boys of summer have gone…
So, here comes summer. There’s one more song that always reminds me of summer, but that’s for another day. July 10, to be exact. See you then.