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The Farr Side: No shortage of summer songs

David T. Farr

“It’s summertime, summertime, sum-sum summertime ....”

It’s lyrics like those by The Jamies or The Lovin’ Spoonful’s John Sebastian belting out the summer anthem “Hot town, summer in the city / back of my neck gettin’ dirty and gritty” that really define the times.

In each case, the “time” is summer.

Every summer, there seems to be a song or two -- three if we’re lucky -- that sort of define summertime. This year is no different from any other year. Summer 2008 is here, and so are the hot tunes we’ll be singing along with well into the fall.

The Beach Boys are well known for their summertime classics, but this year another group of well-known boys return to shake up the charts all over again. New Kids On The Block are back with “Summertime,” a track sure to be heard on beaches and at backyard barbecues across the country.

NKOTB were the original boybanders, long before Backstreet Boys and ‘N Sync came along. “Summertime” is a nice welcome back, considering that Donnie, Danny, Jordan, Jon and Joey have been hangin’ tough for the last 16 years.

Natasha Bedingfield’s “Pocket Full Of Sunshine” is also making a splash this summer. It’s upbeat and almost impossible to get out of your head once you hear her sing the chorus, “Take me away, a secret place, a sweet escape, a hideaway,” but it’s the lines, “I got a pocket, got a pocket full of sunshine, I got a love and I know it’s all mine, oh, oh oh oh” that loops me in. It’s got “summer” written all over it.

But if Kid Rock has his way about it, his song will be the one played “All Summer Long.”

“All Summer Long” sums up the feeling of summer perfectly. It’s got catchy lyrics, a laid-back feel and samples of “Werewolves of London” and “Sweet Home Alabama” in it. If that doesn’t cook up to a hot summer mix of fun, then I don’t know what does.

“Summertime,” “Pocket Full Of Sunshine” and “All Summer Long” obviously scream summer, but just because a song doesn’t have the word summer or sunshine in its title doesn’t mean it isn’t hot.

Car stereos, iPods, boom boxes (they still make those?) -- or whatever floats your boat for hearing your favorite tunes -- will play these songs loud and clear.

Usher’s “Love In This Club,” Chris Brown’s “Forever,” “I’m Yours” by Jason Mraz and the hot collaboration of Rihanna with Maroon 5 on the steaming “If I Never See Your Face Again” are all in heavy rotation, as is the current British girl invasion, with Duffy’s “Mercy” and “Chasing Pavement” by Adele making major waves.

Those wishing to rock out this summer are pleased to hear new material like the 3 Doors Down smash “It’s Not My Time,” or Gavin DeGraw’s “In Love With A Girl.” Def Leppard and Tim McGraw also heat things up with their rockin’ duet “Nine Lives.”

Madonna’s latest single “Give It 2 Me” and Cyndi Lauper’s “Same Old Story” proves that girls can have fun at any age, while it’s “Dancing With The Stars’” Julianne Hough who’s lovin’ it up now with her sweet little country-flavored ditty “That Song In My Head.”

So turn up the tunes, and let those songs in your head play all summer long!

David T. Farr is a Sturgis (Mich.) Journal correspondent. E-mail him at farrboy@hotmail.com.