The Big Summer Headlines — What will be the legacy of summer of 2022?
The Wrap Jul 15, 2022 — Edition 22, Volume 2
Author: Sean Moffitt
The autumn wind and the winter winds
They have come and they have gone
And still the days, those lonely days
They go on and on
And guess who sighs his lullabies
Through nights that never end
My fickle friend, the summer wind
The summer wind, the summer wind
The summer wind. — Frank Sinatra, Summer Wind, 1966.
W e thought we would try something new this week and explore our mid-summer night dreams, ponderances and nightmares — in the Guild, we call them the greats, the goods, the greys, the bads and the uglies.
Summer is a season like no other. It’s a perfect metaphor for what we do in the Guild
- finding truths — summer is simmered with judicious amounts of sunshine that show what things can be, and what things really are.
- making sense — summer provides the enhanced opportunity to pause and take a breath, be it at the end of a dock, the depth of a hammock or the stern of a boat.
- bringing people together — summer is fun, about letting our hair down, losing our collars and coming together for picnics and patios that seems like time stands still.
- the best time you spend — summer is a book you can’t put down, a pristine beach, a gentle tide and the smell of roses.
- depth and nuance — summer is fresh sea breezes, newly picked fruit and deep blue skies.
- where everything come together — summer nights are the perfection of thought.
- new vistas and perspectives — summer is the open road of possibility.
- a rollercoaster and abundance of reactions — summer is excess, going past limits, for good and bad.
- a time to reappraise and reevaluate — summer is filled with possibility and regret.
- a chance to glimpse at the fleeting current and consider the oncoming future — summer is altogether too short, transient and fleeting, replaced by Autumn in a cold snap.
- a joyous communal celebration and recognition there is work to be done — summer is a vacation from your troubles …and responsibility.
- an intensity of intelligence, sensemaking and liminal spaces — summer is first love and heart break.
- a tapestry of everything — summer is a vacation of adventure, new experiences, discoveries, laziness and idleness, drought and intense heat
- the great, the good, the grey, the bad and the ugly — summer is swans, birds, bees and butterflies (the great); dogs, cats and horses (the good); lovely but too loud cicadas, (the grey); and deer in the garden and sharks in the water (the bad); and bugs, flies and wasps (the ugly)
We are on the surf of what the legacy of summer of 2022 will be, come jump in our Airstream and let’s ponder how the season will unfold.
“Everything good, everything magical happens between the months of June and August.” — Jenny Han, The Summer I Turned Pretty
Join or Listen to Our Discussion — July 17th 11am ET — News Wrap Discussion #72 on Clubhouse
Sunday July 17th, join our summer picnic of wide perspectives: https://bit.ly/gsgwrap72summer
Taking Stock of Summer of 2021 — Top 30 Headlines of Last Year
If we were to take stock of last summer’s biggest headlines, there are some things that were early signals, and some that merely had small ripples.
We’ve come up with something called the Prometheus ranking out of 100 (100 being very long shadow, big implications and 0 being short shadow, narrow implications) — the ranking is named after the oldest recorded tree on Earth and tormented Greek god of fire, and is our index for how influential these signals are on how we lead, learn, love, live and liminal through our future worlds.
Morphing Virus — just when you thought maybe the pandemic was over or at least settled for summer, the Delta variant whipped through to record high daily cases causing people to believe perhaps this is a new reality — is COVID the new flu? Prometheus rating — 91.
E.U. heading to a Carbon Neutral Economy by 2050 — EU declares member countries will get out of fossil fuel cars by 2035, 16 million new charging points will be added and complete carbon neutrality achieved within 30 years. Prometheus Rating — 88.
Early Signs of Abortion Dissent — Texas strikes down laws allowing abortion in U.S. with effort entitled “Operation Heartbeat”, and limiting them to the first six weeks. The law also allows people to actively rat out and sue their neighbours for committing acts of abortion and facilitates other states to use this case as blueprint for resisting federal Roe vs. Wade. Prometheus Rating — 87.
B.C./California/Colorado/Oregon/Washington wildfires — the North West (Oregon Bootleg fire) and South West get scorched — are we seeing parts of America uninhabitable and an ecosystem changing based on climate? Prometheus Rating — 86
Inflation Hikes and Rumbles — inflation hikes up 5% through June-August’91 and 6% in September’91, the highest monthly spikes since Sept 1991 — is this a ripple or is a portend of thing to come? Prometheus Rating — 81.
Afghan Swift Exit — with the Taliban takeover of the Afghan Government and hasty U.S. and international forces retreat, it has whispers of Vietnam, and also hints at whether anybody can work with, or trust an occupying force in the future. The plight of education and female empowerment takes a big step back. Prometheus Rating — 76.
Water Challenges in the South West and South America— in a first ever, the US declares water warnings in the Colorado River with worst drought in the region since 1895, forcing water cuts on Arizona farmers and deeper restrictions on water use are expected in the future. Prometheus Rating — 74.
Live Events Return — Broadway, Concerts, Comic-Cons, Film Festivals Lollapalooza, Sports Events Return. A bit of a mixed bag, young people flock, older people shy away, box office up 80% over 2020 but down 50% over 2019. Prometheus Rating — 68.
Supply Chain Issues Abound — empty shelves are everywhere, containers litter ports, pent up demand combined with cargo ship waits, critical material shortages, labor exits and infrastructure issues have made people look more seriously at reshoring, value-added manufacturing and improving infrastructures. Prometheus Rating — 65.
George Floyd Sentencing and Asian Hate Crimes — a consecutive series of mass black American murders and a mass shooting of Asian women heighten race tensions, the sentencing of police officer Derek Chauvin to 22 1/2 years in prisonfor the murder of George Floyd provides some long overdue justice and some relief to race tensions, but for how long. Prometheus Rating — 61.
COVID Stimulus Cheques and Safety Nets being Lowered — with more than half of Americans considering life is returning to normal, there is less political will to serve up four COVID stimulus cheques. Unemployment rates may have fallen but so have employment participation levels blurring what the real employment picture looks like. Prometheus Rating — 59.
Crypto Currency — El Salvador Adopts Bitcoin as first country as official national currency. Prometheus Rating — 57.
Men in Power Behaving Really Very Badly — Andrew Cuomo, R. Kelly and Prince Andrew among others are in the headlines for sexual indiscretions — casting frustration and outrage at the toxic mix of privilege, power and men . Prometheus Rating — 56.
The Great Resignation — The Great Resignation coined in May 2021, also known as the Big Quit and the Great Reshuffle, now peaking in summer 2022 as workers start to return to work in dribs and drabs. COVID employment cheques terminate, and workers refuse to go back to old jobs under old terms. Prometheus Rating — 55.
Vaccine Politics and Expansion — states have a tough time getting vaccination rates up, some openly resist in the face of a Delta variant. New vaccines for kids and boosters now available. Prometheus Rating — 54.
The Olympics That Nobody Watches — Tokyo hosts its delayed Olympics to empty stadiums and COVID lockdowns, with poor TV audiences (down 40–60%), negative public opinion, COVID spreading and $20 billion price tag — it does throw into question the future risks and benefits of hosting international spectacles. Prometheus rating — 53.
Gas Prices Skyrocket — gas gets driven up from a low of 84.9/litre in April’20 to 141.9 Sept’21 — a 67% price increase at the pump, this signals the long term trend as prices continue to advance in 2022 hastening moves to electric, and low crude oil production, in the face of lags in refining and more vehicle miles travelled, all leading to a disgruntled customer. Prometheus Rating — 52.
World Hunger Grows — after years of declines, 2021 saw world hunger rise by 20% to 828 million and food insecurity to 2.3 billion people from a combination of COVID issues, salary inequality, climate change and gas prices. Prometheus Rating — -52.
Mental Health,. Female Athletes — as part of the pandemic wave of mental health issues being flagged and treated, tennis player Naomi Osaka and gymnast Simone Biles both pull out of competitions due to stress and anxiety. They are hailed as heroes but shouldn’t this be considered normal, we don’t expect people to play ion injured legs, why would impaired mental capacities be any different? Prometheus Rating — 51.
Space Joy Rides — within a three month span Virgin Galactic, Blue Origin and SpaceX take up celebrities into space, rekindling mainstream interest in space flight but also asking us to ponder ‘is this the most meaningful thing we can be doing?’ Prometheus Rating — 49.
Russian Elections — Putin Swept into power again unsurprisingly, opponents swept aside. Prometheus Rating — 47.
Ethiopia Civil War — after years of general civil peace and even the Ethiopian prime minister winning the Nobel Peace Prize in 2019 — the Tigray civil war is on full blast, setting off unrest in the region and a humanitarian crisis. Prometheus Rating — 46.
Miami Construction Disaster — 98 people die in a 12 story condo collapse in Surfside Florida — suspicions of corruption, corrosion/water penetration, and land subsidence which may affect other building and construction in low-lying Florida . Prometheus Rating — 44.
College Athletes Compensated — court rulings allows for control of name, image and likeness, changing the economics, power base and fundamentals of college athletics forever. Prometheus Rating — 42.
January 6 Washington D.C. Riot Hearings — First hearings for the US on the Capitol riot commence with stark and emotional discoveries. The case continues and the electorate wonders how fragile is our democracy and how close did January 6 come to changing our view and practice of it? Prometheus Rating — 39.
Streamers Win at Emmies — Ted Lasso, The Queen’s Gambit and The Crown win big — does this spell the beginning of the end for terrestrial TV? Prometheus Rating- 37.
Natural Disasters — Hurricane Ida batters south-east USA and floods the north-east including New York and New Jersey, and the Haitian earthquake kills 2,200. Prometheus rating — 32
Theranos Trial begins and the Troubles of Elizabeth Holmes — with the start of the Theranos trial, evidence of fraud, lying and the reward for both surfaces, suggesting a health chunk of Silicon Valley hustle is about lying until you get it right. Female founders suffer based on image of a previous icon. Prometheus Rating — 25.
iPhone13 Launches — Apple was a little tired and reignited buzz and stock value with the iPhone13 launch with better screen, longer battery life and 5G compatible speed, although warnings continue about components from China. Prometheus Rating — 23.
Sports Champs — Tampa Bay Lightning repeat, Milwaukee Bucks & Giannis win first NBA crown and Italy beats England in delayed Euro 2020 — the world moves on, no repeats in 2022. Prometheus Rating — 10.
Casting Forward:The Top Summer Headlines of 2022
It’s tough enough using hindsight to understand last summer’s key early signals, it’s even tougher to sift through our current world to determine what’s important and what’s a red herring. Let’s try.
A. Winter is Coming : Europe Edition — how will Europe keep energy going for upcoming winter:
- Canada pressured to return turbines to Russia to ensure Germany was supplied by Russian gas
- Pre-emptive moves by EU to get citizens to save energy
- Russia constitutes 40% of European imports of energy and supply is fragile
B. The Eastern Marathon not a Sprint — the Russian/Ukraine War is heading for a longer conflict of attrition — a battle of Western cohesion, attention and support, Ukrainian resilience, supplies and weaponry, and a Russian need for a win, resource advantages, financial pariah status and tempestuous confidence in Putin’s government:
- Russia steps up it’s side of the conflict
- Putin’s Post 4 months Hawkishness
- The West’s Attention Span?
C. Our first 21st Century Inflation Bubble — June’s inflation rate was 9.1% and it does not appear to be abating, potential need for price controls and demand for government response exist:
- Self-Perpetuating Cycle of Inflation, Wages, and Being passed onto Customers
- Long Lines at Food Banks as Inflation Hits Wallets
- Too many Millennials with too much money chasing too few goods
D. World Hunger On the Rise — our plates are no longer full:
- Undernourished people grew by as many as 161 million driven by conflict, climate change, and the COVID-19 pandemic
- Highest hunger in sub-Saharan Africa (23.2%) and South Asia (16.9%), Haiti (47.2%), North Korea (41.6%) and Yemen (41.4%)
- The first famine since South Sudan 2017?
E. James Webb Telescope Stares into the Deep Past and Deep Future: Answering the unknowable questions of our existence and place in the universe:
- Staring Back 13.1 Billions Years Ago
- The Next 20 Years: Searching for Exoplanets, Life and Potential Earth Catastrophies
- What are James Webb’s first experiments?
F. Citizen Outrage Boils Over: populism works both ways, when you can’t eat or don’t feel like you are getting your fair share, governments topple:
- Boris Johnson gone, British woes have just begun
- Sri Lanka President Flees Country
- Ignore Economics of Your Country and You Can Be Doomed — The case of Greece
G. Interest Rate — The Precipice of Bankruptcies, Insolvencies and Recession: 100–200 basis points makes a big difference between treading financial water and under water:
- 39% of Canadians vulnerable to bankruptcy
- The floodgates of business bankruptcies
- Personal Insolvencies in Australia on the rise
H. Food Supply Insecurities — farmers can no longer afford to grow food. “prepare to eat bark all winter” — costs, war in Ukraine and European drought all factor:
- 45% of income in low-income countries is spent on food
- Middle East Countries facing a crisis
- The reason we are running out of farmers
I. Seventh COVID WAVE — Is COVID Just a Flu Now?: two doses of the vaccine are only 20-per-cent effective against Omicron, with effectiveness rising to 60 per cent for three doses, do we all just accept we’re eventually going to get COVID?:
- The pandemic is not over
- 54% of Americans believe life has returned to normal
- Singapore in an Omicron COVID wave but life nearly back to normal
Other Headlines That Could Have Made The List:
Guns Violence and Enforcement Stateside — will assault weapons at Least be on the table?
Rotating Blackouts and Water Shortages — An Intermittent Future — power outages in Texas during heatwaves and water crisis pending in South West
Cybersecurity Flashpoints — between solar flares, mobile outages, satellite warfare, institutionalized international fraud teams and crypto scams, when is it we will try to make a withdrawal and not be able to cash out.
Decalifornication — Tollywood and Bollywood taking on Hollywood, Texas stealing California jobs and companies, other tech hubs tackling Silicon Valley differently — The Decalifornication of world culture & tech is at the start
New ESG Regulations with Real Teeth — winning contracts, financing, and preferred access & rates contingent on better people, planet and leadership on non-financial considerations
When is a Sale a Sale ?— Twitter/Elon Musk and how this inconvenient marriage evolves
Drones: What’s Next — top level views are getting much more attention in military, nature, entertainment and delivery
QATAR World Cup — Culture Clash or Celebration — the start of hosting the biggest global sporting spectacles for the first time in an Arab setting
Anytime, but The Time that We’re Actually In — prequels and futuristic stuff coming to Netflix, a metaphor for people trying to escape their own era
Abortion Rights — The New Polarization Within States — previous polarization was frequently across States, this conflict is sewn inside neighbours and communities, how does this play out and what is the next chapter?
Saudi International Image Rehabilitation — with the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud being just 36 years old with big ambitions, will the LIV Golf Tour be one of the first of a series of initiatives to diversify interests and sweep human rights issues under the rug?
A Tale of Two Lakes — Energy Solved — this and other energy potential breakthroughs try to solve the age-old issue of trying to store energy
Bionics, Cloning, Biogenics and Artificial Organs — year over year, we see more and more stories about augmenting, enhancing and creating new life, will this summer produce even bigger headlines?
RAIL — Responsible AI Licenses — making sure AI is being put into good not bad enterprises, giving self-regulation of big tech a try
Maverick : Theatres have Snapped back or Nostalgia in a Bottle — Top Gun: Maverick has just passed Titanic in revenues, how big will it be and what does that mean for the state of the entertainment industry?
Tik Tok — The Holder of the Social Crown — Beyoncé just joined before her new album, I guess it’s game over for the Facebookers, Instagrammers and Snapchatters, or is it?
We ‘re doing something a little bit different this week in our tapestry. When we think about summer, it doesn’t take too long to start musing on what we were listening, singing or dancing to in summers past.
We’ve pulled together our list of favourite and famous summer hits for the last 65 summers (1956–2021). Enjoy the more-than-superficial trip down summer memory lane. What will be this summer’s legacy hit? And what favourite did we miss from our list below?
Good 4 U reached number one in 23 countries including Australia, Germany, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, and the United States, with 1.5 billion Spotify streams and close to 400 million video views after launching pre-summer ’21. Good 4 U is a messy breakup song where Olivia Rodrigo addresses her former boyfriend. He has quickly moved on with a new partner while Olivia is still “cryin’ on the floor of my bathroom.” She can’t comprehend why he doesn’t care for her anymore and is acting as if their relationship never happened. Things are going sickeningly well for him since their split, to which Olivia responds: “I guess good for you.”
Based on a Tik Tok-fuelled push with the hashtag #allithinkaboutisyou, the song climbed to #1 on Billboard's Hot Rock & Alternative Songs eventually by Sept 11, 2021, in its 60th week on the tally, breaking the record for the longest ascent to the top previously held by Twenty One Pilots' "Ride" (47 weeks in ’16). It was Glass Animals' first ever #1 on any Billboard tally. Heat Waves is about a man who’s failing at a romantic relationship. He doesn’t feel like he’s giving his partner the life that she deserves. It differs from the typical heartache song in that all of the angst is directed inwardly, never blaming or condemning his partner — only himself.
Rockstar” spent seven non-consecutive weeks at the top of the charts in early summer ’20. DaBaby released a “BLM (Black Lives Matter) remix” of “Rockstar”, which replaces the intro with an extra verse from him, before the rest of the song, regarding the George Floyd protests that started in May 2020, and his own experience with police abuse.
“I wanted this song to feel like a desperate summer love that might be doomed from the start. My favorite line from this song is ‘I love you. Ain’t that the worst thing you ever heard?,” Taylor Swift. The song title also references the “cruel summer” of 2016 when Taylor Swift faced extreme public criticism following her feud with Kanye West and Kim Kardashian over the rapper’s “Famous” lyrics, and a beef with Calvin Harris following the end of their relationship.
Rolling Stone named it their ultimate summer hit and it spent 10 weeks at #1, Drizzy shares his feelings for a very special girl who thank-u-texted her way out of his life, sampling Lil Wayne and Atlanta, inspiring a viral dance craze along with a few colorful conspiracy theories about the identity of his mystery muse “KiKi.”
Despacito has nearly 8 billion views on YouTube, which broke records for the time now eclipsed only by Baby Shark Dance. The song is about having a sexual relationship but is sung in a smooth and romantic way rather than using erotic language. The Spanish title translates into English as “Slowly. “It’s a song that talks about sensuality, of seducing, of sex, but in a very classy way. I think that the way we express it is very elegant and very respectful,” Erika Ender.
Don’t Let Me Down features vocals from “Hide Away” singer Daya. We hear the teenage songstress tell an untrustworthy boy that she needs him, and she pleads with him not to let her down. She comes a little unhinged, repeating, “I think I’m losin’ my mind now” and admitting that it’s in her head. Though the lyrics were originally inspired by a crazy few days at Coachella, for Daya, the song is all about vulnerability in relationships. “Just knowing that someone is there for you at all times — no matter what — is just a comforting thought,” she told Genius. “That’s the miracle that this song references. It’s just about having wholesome trust and not being afraid to be vulnerable with someone.” Don’t let me down is repeated 26 times in the song.
See You Again broke the Spotify record for the most-streamed track in a single day in the United States when it was streamed 4.26 million times on April 17, 2015. The song plays at the end of the Furious7 film when we see Vin Diesel and Paul Walker drive their separate ways. Producers were looking for a song that would be an “earnest and celebratory” goodbye to Walker, and put out the call for demos. Charlie Puth wrote the song thinking about his friend who passed away, and envisioning Vin Diesel sending a final text message to Walker, writing, “I’ll tell you all about it when I see you again.”
A song to reminisce on high school memories being “stuck in a summer haze.”
The music evoked the sense of being on an exotic island during a “peachy color[ed]” sunrise. Pharrell Williams mentioned that the title “Get Lucky” does not only refer to sexual acts, but also the good fortune of meeting with and immediately connecting to someone
It might be summertime, and Lana is cruising down the coast with her bad boy beau by her side, but she is sad. Why? Her guy is the best but the singer fears losing him — “Kiss me hard before you go,” she sings. The song’s scenario is typical of Lana’s debut album, which she describes as “Hollywood Sadcore.
Worldwide, this was the second-best-selling single of 2011. “Before we just kind of partied and had some personal moves, but now there’s dances that are out there that people are doing and shuffling is one that really caught my eye and it felt so good when I was doing it, so we just kind of made that song about shuffling,” Redfoo
Perry says it’s a fun song that is perfect for the summertime. “My serotonin level changes, my personality changes,” said the singer. “‘California Gurls’ talks about all those iconic things that you’ve seen on postcards and on TV. And I wanted to do a homage to the Beach Boys.”
The song finally was toppled from the top position after 14 weeks at #1, the longest stay on top of the charts in the 21st century.“A college anthem for people looking forward to escaping life’s pressures by going out and having a ball,” Apl.de.ap
The first chart topper for a Briotish band in a decade. Meaning “long live life” or more literally, “the life lives” — after Chris Marton saw the phrase on a painting by Mexican artist Frida Kahlo called Sandías con leyenda: Viva la vida. Martin explained: “She went through a lot of s — t, of course, and then she started a big painting in her house that said ‘Viva la Vida.’ I just loved the boldness of it.”
Rock insisted the record company release in advance of summer versus the previous Fall. “I knew the track was solid — it’s got two of the best songs of all time mashed up together [‘Sweet Home Alabama’ and ‘Werewolves of London’], it’s got great melodies, so really, my work was done. I knew people would hear it and know I wrote it. They’d know it was real, and there’d be that connection. And that’s what’s missing in music today. I think people don’t believe half the s — t they hear some rapper or some pop girl singing about… but with me, they do. And that’s why people have reacted the way they have to the song”, Kid Rock
This song is a duet between Furtado and Timbaland, who produced the album. The lyrics are a flirtation between the two, typical of a couple who meets at a dance club or other social gathering. They are both sexually active, but the girl doesn’t want the guy to take advantage of her and think of her as a slut, so even though she is attracted to him, she will tease him and test him to make sure he has strong “game,” meaning he is a good talker and exudes confidence. As the song progresses, he proves himself and she agrees that they both want the same thing. At this point, there is no need to play games, as he has passed the test. At the time, Furtado was romantically linked to fellow Canadian Steve Nash, who was the MVP point guard of the Phoenix Suns basketball team. Furtado mentions Nash in the line, “Is that the truth or are you talkin’ trash, is your game MVP like Steve Nash?”
Billboard announced in December 2009 that this was the best-selling song of the 2000s in the US. Peak audience for the song online was July 5, 2005. This song about heartbreak makes reference to some R&B songs that share a similar theme: you can’t stop thinking about the person you broke up with.
Green Day lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong wrote this song about his father, who died of cancer on September 1, 1982. At his father’s funeral, Billie cried, ran home and locked himself in his room. When his mother got home and knocked on the door to Billie’s room, Billie simply said, “Wake me up when September ends,” hence the title. The #1 video of the year, it depicts a couple broken apart by the Iraq War, which was intended to convey the song’s central theme of loss.
Crazy in Love was the only song to top the charts in both the UK and US in 2003. “It celebrates the evolution of a woman. It talks about a girl who is at the point of a relationship. She realises that she’s in love, she’s doing stuff she wouldn’t normally do but she doesn’t care. It doesn’t matter she’s just crazy in love. Rich Harrison actually wrote the song with me and after I finished the song I asked Jay Z to be part of the song and he did. The song turned out great it ended up being my first single,” Beyoncé
Focused on enjoying summer life, “I did that in L.A… I remember ’cause Busta was in the same studio and he came through and he heard the beat and you know how Busta is, you know he’s over the top. He’s life, ‘Yo, god! What is that sound?!!?!? [Laughs] What is that sound coming from here, god? Oh my, god! Pharrell, where was that beat at? Where was that? You were hiding that from me!’ It was a little unorthodox for the time definitely coming out from ‘Country Grammar’ …to a Pharrell [beat], that ‘Hot in Herre’ sound. But, it worked and it helped me too ’cause it helped me show versatility, not just having to do one angle on some s — t.” Nelly. Won best rap performance of the year.
This song is about finding love at a punk rock concert. In their younger days, the band members would go to small Punk concerts and often end up meeting girls. They blew the money to make the video by breaking things and acting strange. Items destroyed include a car and a big-screen TV. They also took homeless people to a day spa and hired strippers to mow someone’s lawn.
The biggest hit for Matchbox Twenty and their only #1 on the Hot 100, this song is about a man who has reached a point in his relationship were he is confused and needs help from others in order to make a big decision
“I was at an outdoor electronic music festival up north, like a rave, and I just got caught up in the night. The song is about how I felt, and then it was exaggerated by the fact that I’m sitting in the middle of a field looking at the stars, about 1000 feet away from the stage, watching everybody dancing at 3 a.m. And I wrote part of it on my leg and a lot of it on a napkin” Marc Constanzo
The theme song to blockbuster hit Titanic that came out late in 1997. Worldwide, it was the best-selling single of 1998, originally Celine Dion didn’t want to do it; she nailed it in her first take. “I wrote everything from the point of view of a person of a great age looking back so many years. It was the love story that made the film, of course. It was magnificently done with special effects, the actors were good. But the love story was what it was.”
A Leeds pub called the Fforde Grene served as the group’s inspiration for the song; guitarist Boff Whalley told The Guardian that it was written about “the resilience of ordinary people”. A drinking and dance anthem from an anarchist band.
This was originally released on a local label in Spain in 1993, where it did fairly well. The next year, the American label BMG bought the Spanish label and set out to make “Macarena” a hit in America. They marketed an English language version to dance clubs and cruise ships, then released it as a single in 1995. It was a minor hit until the summer of 1996, when the Macarena dance craze hit America. The song went to #1 in July and stayed there for 14 weeks.
Shaggy’s breakthrough hit in America, in Boombastic, Shaggy brags in reggae term about his lovemaking prowess, which has earned him the nickname “Mr. Boombastic.” It’s all good fun, with Shaggy going way over the top to make his case.
Kicked off the summer as the #1 hit of ’94 for 4 weeks from the Swedish band Ace of Base, tells the story of a man and a woman in a complicated relationship. Both of them wonder where their relationship is headed, and the man leaves for a while to ponder the problem. The answer to their problem is left to the listeners to decide on an ending.
Snoop and Dr. Dre (who produced the track), fondly express the pleasures of attending parties where gin and juice is served. They believe this concoction lends a degree of excitement and hedonism to the proceedings, and that bringing a bottle of good gin to the party warrants a degree of respect, making that individual worthy of much admiration.
The song was #1 for 5 weeks to start the summer of ’92. This song is about women with big butts, and the men who love them. Mix-a-Lot got the idea when he was watching the Super Bowl on TV. A Budweiser beer commercial came on with models who were way too skinny for his taste.
Written in an hour, it was the hit song of the blockbuster hit Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves that summer. The studio didn’t know what it had on its hands and wanted more instrumental but it held on to #1 for 15 weeks in the U.K. and 7 weeks in the U.S. during the core of summer of ’91. There are no specific references to Robin Hood in the lyric; the song quickly became dissociated from the film and far more popular. The song finds Adams pouring out his devotion for a girl, letting her know that their love is worth dying for. He knows if she looks into her heart, she will know it’s true.
The lyrics are about the joy of summer as lived by Will Smith (The Fresh Prince), and DJ Jazzy Jeff around Philadelphia. Won Grammy for best duo/group rap performance.
“Lyrically, it was really just a case of finding a good title … We came up with this thunder thing, based on our favourite childhood toy ThunderStreak, and it seemed to have a good ring to it. AC/DC = Power. That’s the basic idea.’ Angus Young
The lyrics deal with Los Angeles culture, mentioning actual places in the area: Reseda, Mulholland and Ventura Boulevard. It implies that the people of LA will casually use others for personal gain, as the singer has just dumped a girl and doesn’t even miss her. Petty was born and raised in Gainesville, Florida and moved to LA with The Heartbreakers in 1974. His outsider perspective came in handy in this song.”’Free Fallin’’ is a very good song. Maybe it would be one of my favorites if it hadn’t become this huge anthem. But I’m grateful that people like it,” Tom Petty.
Kokomo is a city in the middle of Indiana and is also a small resort owned by Sandals Royal Caribbean in Montego Bay; the title was made up. It was supposed to represent all the tropical places and images that people think of when wishing to get away to some paradise island to escape the dreary work life. John Phillips thought the name sounded good and wanted to use it for the title.
Opened up the first three weeks of summer of ’87 as a breakout hit, and U@’s first true breakout song in the USA. It describes a tortured relationship that he can’t escape. Bono explained that he wanted to write a love song that dealt with real issues.“What I get from it is you’re ready to accept but you’re ready to leave something behind, much like life itself. Something comes your way but there’s a sacrifice and you have to leave something else behind,” Bono
The song bounced around to Toto, Bryan Adams, REO Speedwagon, and Corey Hart, and Starship before it landed at Kenny Loggins. “Danger Zone” was featured in the action scenes of the 1986 movie Top Gun, starring Tom Cruise and Val Kilmer, and launched at the start of the summer of ‘86. The film was a blockbuster and generational touchstone, and this song is intertwined with it, even though the movie title never shows up in the lyric. For many, the song still triggers a rush of adrenaline.
A charity single remake of a Martha & The Vandellas song “That song had long been favorite of mine, but when I arrived at the studio to find Mick Jagger greeting me, it was something I will never forget. My most vivid memory of that day was that it happened to be one of those rare occasions that the part that made the final recording was a first take for me, but as I was laying down the bass track I could see Mick dancing around the studio, just getting into the music as if he were onstage. Powerful moment in time for me, and it hit home how much Jagger was moved by the power of the song, and how sincere his love of music must be.” John regan
“It’s a very simple song about looking back on the summertime and making love. For me, the ’69 was a metaphor for making love, not about the year. I had someone in Spain ask me once why I wrote the first line ‘I had my first real sex dream’… I had to laugh,” Bryan Adams. Of Course, Bryan was only 9 years old in 1969 Bryan Adams
“The Boys of Summer” is about looking back on a past relationship and wanting your ex back — wanting to return to what you had. The first verse depicts how the writer is left behind. His ex has moved on but he hasn’t and still hangs onto hope: Taken from Roger kahn’s 1972 book about baseball of the same title. Won Grammy and Video of the year.
This song about unadulterated joy written by a one-hit wonder.
Written in 1980, guitarist Karen Valentine met a dreamy boy named Billy who sang in a band called Boy Problems. On the flight back to LA, she wrote lines on a napkin “The short romance had softened me, and the words, written from true-life longing, resonated forever,” Karen Valentine
The almost-hyberbolic, sentimental love song of the 1980s, held #1 ranking on the Billboard Charts for 10 weeks at the tail end of the summer of ‘81.This song was from the 1981 film of the same name starring Brooke Shields. The film, which was based on a best-selling novel of the same name, was not very successful, but the song received Oscar and Golden Globe nominations
Cross wrote this song about his memories sailing every summer with a friend in Texas. It became the paragon of “Yacht Rock,” a term used to define a form of easy listening music favored by the rich but caught in with all.“I was just at home sitting in this cheap apartment, sitting at the table. I remember coming up with the verse and chorus, and the lyrics to the first verse of the chorus all came out. These tunings, like Joni [Mitchell] used to say, they get you in this sort of trance, so all that came out at once: ‘It’s not far down to paradise…’ The chorus just sort of came out,” Christopher Cross
“Well, this woman wants an escape, like she wants to go on vacation to the islands. When you go on vacation to the islands, when you sit on the beach and someone asks you if you’d like a drink, you never order a Budweiser, you don’t have a beer. You’re on vacation, you want a drink in a hollowed-out pineapple with the flags of all nations and a long straw. I thought, ‘Let’s see, there’s daiquiri, mai tai, piña colada — I wonder what a piña colada tastes like, I’ve never even had one.’ I thought that instead of singing ‘If you like Humphrey Bogart,’ with the emphasis on ‘like,’ I could start it a syllable earlier and go, ‘If you like Piñ-a Coladas.”, Rupert Holmes.
From the hit movie Grease, singing about their summer romance, with each having a completely different perspective on what really happened. Danny sings his part to his greaser friends the T-Birds, and implies that it was a sexual relationship. Sandy sings to her friends the Pink Ladies about a much more innocent adventure where they held hands and drank lemonade. Unfortunately for Danny, he tries to keep up the act when he sees Sandy, acting cool to impress his friends. It takes him the whole movie to win her back.
Buffett and his touring band had just toured Texas, and Buffett spent some time drinking margaritas in a Mexican restaurant with a friend before going back to Key West. When he got there, he sat at the Old Anchor Inn watching gridlock on the roads — and used it as inspiration as he composed the song.
The world’s first europop disco hit. The song concerns a visit to the discotheque, but approaches the subject from the joy of dancing itself. “Night is young and the music’s high,” many listeners interpret this as a statement that the music makes you feel high. In ABBA’s part of the world, however, it simply means that the music is loud.
“It’s like, puttin’ things off… Everybody I’m sure has said, ‘One of these nights I’m gonna…’ Gonna drive back to that restaurant an’ take that waitress in my arms, whatever. Find that girl, make that money, buy that house. Move to that country. Any of that stuff. Everyone’s got his ultimate dream, savin’ it for ‘someday.’ And ‘someday’ is up to you,” Glenn Frey.
The lyrics are about a man explaining to a girl why he can’t settle down and make a commitment. The opening lines, “If I leave here tomorrow, would you still remember me?” were inspired by Allen Collins’ girlfriend Kathy, who had asked him this very question during a fight.
This was inspired by summer and an Indian tune Jimmy Page and Robert Plant heard while traveling in Bombay. When they returned home and recorded the track, the band was so ecstatic with the result that they ran out on to the lawn of their Stargroves studio and danced to it, which gave them the idea for the title and lyrical content.
This was released in the summer of ’72, when school really was out. It’s since become an anthem for summer vacation. “When we did ‘School’s Out,’ I knew we had just done the national anthem. I’ve become the Francis Scott Key of the last day of school.” Alice Cooper
This song is John Fogerty’s take on the imminent departure of his brother Tom from the band, and the overall tension in the group at a time when they should have been enjoying their success. The line, “I want to know — have you ever seen the rain comin’ down on a sunny day?” refers to Tom leaving while CCR was at its commercial zenith.
“It’s got no chorus; all it’s got is a melody that goes over and over again with a set of lyrics that conjure up a celebration of life,” he said. “Especially if you’re a young person: it’s a great day, you’ve managed to get a car — preferably with the top off — you’re cruising around, and if you’re a guy you’re picking up girls,” Ray Dorset
It may be hot in the summertime, but everything’s cool in this Sly & the Family Stone classic. Written and produced by Sly Stone, the song celebrates the balmy days when school is out and the sun is shining. The song is a showcase for the entire band; all seven members sing on the chorus. Released late in the summer, and shortly before the Woodstock festival, after they had performed a memorable set.
“It was just sunny and it was all just the release of that tension that had been building up on me. It was just a really nice sunny day, and I picked up the guitar, which was the first time I’d played the guitar for a couple of weeks because I’d been so busy. And the first thing that came out was that song. It just came. And I finished it later when I was on holiday in Sardinia,” George Harrison
It was recorded by Redding twice in 1967, including once just three days before his death in a plane crash on December 10, 1967. “Otis had been in San Francisco doing The Fillmore. And the story that I got he was renting boathouse or stayed at a boathouse or something and that’s where he got the idea of the ships coming in the bay there. And that’s about all he had: “I watch the ships come in and I watch them roll away again.” I just took that… and I finished the lyrics,” Steve Cropper.
The lyrics of Groovin are as simple, describing a couple discovering love for the first time, and never wanting to be separated as they pass the sunny summer days together. Band members wrote this song after they realized that because of their work schedule, they could see their girlfriends only on Sunday afternoons.
This song contrasts what it’s like to live in a large city during the day and during the night. According to the song, it’s difficult to walk around a crowded and hot city during the day, but it’s great at night because you have plenty of opportunities to chase women. This particular city is New York, where the band formed. Released on July 4th, it topped the charts by August 13th.
“The idea of ‘California Girls’ is that there’s this guy who thinks about girls all the time, so much that he starts to imagine all kinds, but there’s only one kind he really wants, and that’s right there at home” Brian Wilson
The band wasn’t a big fan of the song and their lead singer at the time, died on the day that the song was supposed to be recorded. It brings up aday at the beach, right down to the smell of the boardwalk snacks, in this classic tune.
Reeves sings about a guy who turns her on so much that her temperature rises when he’s around. Like many of Motown’s hits, it’s a light and amorous pop song.
Originally a traditional Mediterranean song dating back to the 1920s and originating in Greece. The word roughly translates to “Arab Land.” Dick Dale reworked the song using his trademark Surf Rock sound, and this became the version of the song that caught on in America. Popularized again by Pulp Fiction decades later.
Ben E. King released this song shortly after leaving The Drifters and was inspired by a wish to update an early 20th century spiritual based on Psalm 46.According to BMI, this was the fourth most-played track of the 20th Century on American radio and TV. The song was was used in the summer of ‘86 movie Stand by Me starring River Phoenix. The film was based on a short novel by Stephen King called The Body, but that title was a little to gruesome for a movie hoping to appeal to a wide audience.
Theme from A Summer Place is a song with lyrics written for the 1959 film A Summer Place, which starred Sandra Dee and Troy Donahue. The Percy Faith & Orchestra version spent nine weeks at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1960, the first instrumental to do so. It won the 1960 Grammy for Record Of The Year, becoming the first movie theme to win the award.
This song about a bashful girl in a tiny bikini was written by Paul Vance and Lee Pockriss. Vance was inspired after watching his 2-year-old daughter Paula at the beach in her new bikini. Brian Hyland was a 16-year-old High school sophomore at the time of this recording.
Many consider this song, which celebrates teenage innocence, to be the UK’s first ever summer hit. Strangely, though it entered the UK charts in August, this song arrived at #1 in the rather unseasonal month of October. The lyrics are classic 1950s about flat-tops, drive-in movies, double features, sittin’ by the lake and meetin’ the gang at Joe’s Café. It is preppy cleancut rock song that fits in a jukebox.
Cochran was 19 when he recorded this. It was a big hit with his teenage fans, who could relate to the lyrics about being held back by society (and parents). Cochran got an image as a rebel with a guitar, and his legend was secured when he died two years later while riding in the back of a taxi. He was often compared to James Dean, who was 24 when he died in a car accident. “There had been a lot of songs about summer, but none about the hardships of summer.” Jerry Capehart
The single topped the U.S. Billboard Top 100 on April 13, 1957, staying there for eight weeks. It also peaked on the top of the Country chart. In the song, Elvis is “all shook up” because he’s lovestruck. This girl has him wobbly, and it’s even affecting his speech. “What’sa wrong with me?” he asks. One of the co-writers suggests the lyrics came to him as he was holding a bottle of Pepsi. Elvis claims “I’ve never even had an idea for a song. Just once, maybe. I went to bed one night, had quite a dream, and woke up all shook up. I phoned a pal and told him about it. By morning, he had a new song, ‘All Shook Up’,” Elvis Presley.
The start of do-wop music. In this song, the singer remembers holding a girl close on a night in May, and hoping to be with her again. Fred Parris wrote it about a former girlfriend he was hoping would return to him. She never did — when she moved from Connecticut to California, he never saw her again. She likely never knew the song was about her. The song got a boost when it was featured in the 1987 movie Dirty Dancing and included on the soundtrack.
“Summer was on the way; Jem and I awaited it with impatience. Summer was our best season: it was sleeping on the back screened porch in cots, or trying to sleep in the tree house; summer was everything good to eat; it was a thousand colors in a parched landscape; but most of all, summer was Dill.” — Harper Lee, To Kill A Mockingbird
Grey Swan Guild — Expanded
Come join us this month as we feature Sydney Australia as our feature Guild city. Our Sydney Town Hall convenes July 27th, 2022 at 12pm AEST: https://bit.ly/gsgsydney
We’re always welcoming new members into the Guild. Officially join our Guild here, or come to our New Member Onboarding Regatta Wednesday, July 27th, 12pm ET.
Preview: Radar Collection — The Biocene Report
We’ll be producing a version our first of series of trend reports called our Radar Collection. The first out of the gate lands in August, 2022 and will feature thoughts on nature-inspired innovation, biophilia and biophilic design, an area so interesting we had to explore it. Come join our “Radar Collection” LinkedIn page for previews.