And the Livin’ is Easy

Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young - Woodstock Album JacketLong ago, summer actually means something.

It was really different from the rest of the year. There was no school. There were no responsibilities. And not having to be home until sundown meant a lot longer to wander aimlessly. Since I grew up in the woods, sundown wasn’t even always the curfew… and the warmer (but not too warm, since I grew up in the north) nights mean that the walk home would be decent enough.

It was a time to go to The Beach and see who else was there. A time for just hanging out.  Everything on TV was a rerun and the Internet wasn’t a thing that people had… so long, lazy days.

And then I graduated high school. Summer became something less special. And then I graduated college… and summer became just like every other part of the year.

A song that reminds you of summertime

You’d think it would be easy to nail down at least one song that definitively says “summer” for me. Well, it isn’t. There was nothing truly iconic, music-wise, in any of my summers that I can remember. There are songs that came up with the people I was among. There are songs that I wish my summers were like. There are songs that capture one specific aspect of one particular summer. But there’s nothing that really just represents “summer” in its totality.

So we’ll go with Crosby, Stills, Nach & Young’s Woodstock.

Because if there’s one thing every summer in my home town had, it was some hubbub over Woodstock.

See, back in 1969 that little concert happened right down the road and around the corner from my house. Like it or not (and, believe me, a lot of people did not), my home town was a classic rock town. At least for anyone who was under the age of 20 (and a few lingering hippies). That idea was still in full effect when I was wandering the streets with the Smallwood crew on those lazy summer days.

Now it wasn’t all Woodstock acts. No, not at all. It was also The Doors and some other stuff. And, by the 80s, the general attitude among the disenfranchised youth of my middle of nowhere town wasn’t quite as hippy dippy as the 60s always seemed to be (they really weren’t either, but that’s another story).

So, yeah, while this song doesn’t really capture much that’s iconic of my summers growing up (or any summer of mine), it does always make me think of August in the Town of Bethel.

Runners Up

  • Soundgarden, Black Hole Sun – There was one summer, when my room was in a literal state of disrepair, that I was using the TV as an alarm clock. For some reason, MTV always played this song at the same time, every morning.
  • Van Morrison, Brown Eyed Girl – This would be one of the other songs that reminds me of the Smallwood crew. Perhaps one or two people I had crushes on. Perhaps it just’s just the imagery of the streams and whatnot.
  • Meatloaf, Life is a Lemon (and I Want my Money Back) – Yeah, there was this one summer I kept trying to spend time with a girl or two I had a thing for. That never really worked out the way I planned. More than a couple of times, as I turned on the radio before, during, or after a phone call filled with failed plans (and, no, it wasn’t just them blowing me off), this song would be on. Eventually I gave up and just started playing the CD. Sometimes, I’ll still trot out this song. (Some things never change.)
About Kier

I've been on the web since about 1994. I have a background in a lot of things, including a five year stint as a journalist and over a decade of helping people get their message out to the world.

I write on a number of subjects--everything from relationships to personal development to politics and every day life. I hope you get something worthwhile out of it.

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