Songs of summer

The songs of summer are as essential to this season as the smell of sunscreen and the feel of sand between your toes.

It spills out of car windows and hovers over restaurant patios. Music is the soundtrack to your summer memories so, years from now, you will remember where you were, who you were with and what you were doing when you heard “that song.” We’re talking a lifetime of song-moment recognition here. So, with all due respect, I have to tell you that I do not want my summer 2010 music memory to be OMG by Usher.

It’s not personal. That man has talent. He can dance, he can sing, he has fostered other acts (well, according to my 10-year old who thinks Justin Bieber is talented) and he has more money than I can spend in a lifetime. He even sings with my favourite Black Eyed Peas member, the dude named after the Dr.Suess book.

But if I have to hear the cheesy lyrics of his chart-topping hit OMG one more time while I am enjoying a drive in my car, with the windows down, hair blowing in the wind, heading off on a summer adventure, I am going to feel compelled to repeatedly hit my head on the steering wheel. No, worse; I am going to start writing songs. That’ll teach him.

If the name of this artist doesn’t ring a bell for you, let me pull the string.

Turn on any top 40 radio station right now and I am willing to bet you will hear the song. You will know it when you hear chorus. Now it’s tricky, so try to keep up.  It goes like this: “Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh my gosh.”

Yep. That’s the song. I bet you know it now. Well, forgive me, because that little gem of lyrical expression is going to be stuck in your head well past October.

Wait, it gets better. These poetic lyrics go on to explore the intensity of mature sexual attraction between consenting adults by expressing the great strides in male-female relationships, reflecting the mutual respect and sensitivity of true love by exploring the lexicon of modern anatomy.  Allow me to quote them for you now: “Honey got a booty like pow, pow, pow; honey got some boobies like wow, oh wow.”

There it is. Beautiful, isn’t it? Oh, if only I had some pow or some wow, perhaps then I would look back on the summer of 2010 and think, yeah, baby, that was the song that I remember hearing on the way to the beach. Instead, I’ll have to keep reminding my son that “boobies” is not a socially acceptable term. Ugh.

Maybe I’m just bitter because the first song of summer I remember was sometime in the early 1970s and while I have no idea who wrote it or what it was actually called, I do remember the chorus went something like, “Rock the boat, don’t turn the boat over, rock the boat, don’t flip the boat baby,” or something like that.

That was the summer I fell off the end of the dock, head first under the water. I was just learning to swim. Panic ensued.

Maybe that’s why a song about tipping over in the water holds firm in my memory bank.

Come on summer, there is still time to change my tune. Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, my goodness, please.


Kelly Waterhouse