Summertime is one of our favorite times of year, and what better way to celebrate getting into that summertime spirit than to turn up the volume and relax with all your favorite songs about summer? Check out our list of the best summer songs available right now.
1. “Suddenly Last Summer” by The Motels
Suddenly you are captivated by a fleeting summer romance. Then, just as quickly as it started, it ended. In an interview, lead singer Martha Davis said that the song alludes to themes of loss of innocence and new beginnings. The song was released in 1983 and quickly rose to the top 100s charts. It remains to be one of the band’s biggest hits.
2. “That Summer Feeling” by Jonathan Richmond
Summer always seems to be a moment for people to reminisce about all those feel-good moments in life. This song perfectly captures the feelings often associated with summertime. The piece first appeared in 1992 on the album I, Jonathan.
3. “In the Summertime” by Mungo Jerry
Summer is usually portrayed as a time when people can enjoy themselves. The lead singer, Ray Dorset, composed this happy-go-lucky song in the 1970s to celebrate all the fun moments you can have during the summer. The song became an instant hit and reached number 1 on multiple top songs charts worldwide.
4. “Summer Night City” by ABBA
This song is a beautiful tribute to the band’s hometown in Stockholm, Sweden. It was initially named Dancing in the Moonlight, but the title was changed. The band never really liked the song even after its release in 1987. Despite this, the song became another big hit for ABBA.
5. “Walking on Sunshine” by Katrina and the Waves
This upbeat melody portrays the joy one feels when their lover loves them back. The feeling of walking on the sunshine mirrors the sunny giddiness of a fun summer day. The song was written in 1983, but it wasn’t released until 1985 on the album by the same name. This is certainly one of the best and most popular songs of all time as pretty much everyone knows this iconic hit!
6. “Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini” by Brian Hyland
Brian Hyland wrote this classic song after he saw his two-year-old daughter in her little bikini. The song became a quick hit. In later years Yoplait and Van De Kamp for their products.
7. “Boys of Summer” by Don Henley
Here is another summer song with familiar themes of romance, growing up, and reminiscing. Don Henley uses these types of themes in many of his songs anyway. This one just happens to take place in summer. It was released in 1984 and got high numbers on many top song charts. Even the music video did well by winning awards for Video of the Year, Best Director, Best Art Direction, and Best Cinematography by the MTV Video Music Awards.
8. “Summertime Girls” by Y&T
This summer song is for the girls. At least in the mind of the person looking at them. The song is purely about all the attractive girls he sees at the beach during the hot summer days. While not a very deep song, it does produce a rockin’ tune.
9. “California Gurls” by Katy Perry
California is known for strong sunny days, celebs, and beachgoers. Together they form an accurate presentation of summer. Not to mention the funk/pop tune that gives off fun summer vibes. Even many music critics labeled it as a summer anthem. The song was released in 2010 and became an instant hit around the globe. It is certified platinum in at least 9 countries.
10. “Summertime” by Louis Armstrong & Ella Fitzgerald
While most songs about summer portray a happy-go-lucky feel, this one takes a different turn. This hauntingly beautiful song relies on the vocals and trumpet melody of two early jazz legends, Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald. Despite the song’s slow and haunting sound, the lyrics show a more positive note about the summertime. The song was released in 1958, making it one of the oldest songs on the list.
11. “Summer of 69” by Bryan Adams
It was the year right before the 70s. Bryan Adams’s song reminisces on the best days of the narrator’s life where he attempts to form a rock band with his friends. Bryan Adams used some of his personal experience when making the song, including adding references to some band members who quit during his teenage band years. The song was released in 1985.
12. “School’s Out” by Alice Cooper
Most students can’t wait for the last bell to ring to signal the end of school and the beginning of summer break. Al “ice” Cooper said about the song, “The few minutes waiting for that final school bell to ring are so intense that when it happens, it’s almost orgasmic…”. School’s Out was released in 1972 and became a quick hit reaching high on many top songs charts.
13. “Summertime Blues” by Eddie Cochran
Like all blues songs, this one is all about the struggle and resentment that a teenager faces during the summer when he has to get a job. First, he’s not able to be with his girlfriend because of his job. Then, he skimps work to be with his girl to only find his parents won’t let him use the car. Lastly, he writes to his congressman about it, who doesn’t take him seriously. This is another old song that was released in 1958.
14. “Summertime Sadness” by Lana Del Rey
You usually wouldn’t think of sadness being associated with the usual vibe of a glorious summer day. Yet, the song is about lost love, and the constant yearning one feels after that loss. The song was written in 2011 and released in 2012 on the album Born to Die.
15. “Dancing in the Street” by Martha & The Vandellas
This inspiring song encourages everyone from around the world to start dancing in the street. It’s mentioned in the beginning that this is during the summer. If you really want a great feel-good song that encourages unity between all nations, this is it. The song was released in 1964 and is still one of the greatest feel-good songs of all time.
16. “Beachin” by Jake Owen
This song takes a more slow and relaxed approach to summer. Why not? It’s all about relaxing at the beach with your girl. Many fans noted the similarities between this and another hit song of his called Barefoot Blue-Jean Night. This country song was released in 2013 on the album Days of Gold.
17. “Surf City” by Jan & Dean
Surf City is a surfer boy’s dream where there are great waves and beautiful women. Despite the place being entirely fictional, one of the lead singers, Dean Torrence, convinced the elected officials of Huntington, California, to change the name to Surf City. The song itself became the first surf song to become a number 1 hit. The song was released in 1963.
18. “Heat Waves” by Glass Animals
Where else would you experience heat waves than in the hot days of summer? The music and tempo show a perfect contrast between melancholy and high-energy. The lyrics are about a man thinking about his woman in the hot days of June. Even the song was released in June of 2020. Heat Waves became the band’s most successful hit.
19. “Cruel Summer” by Bananarama
You’ve heard the usual happy songs about summer. You’ve even heard some interpretations that are just plain sad. Now get ready for a single that takes an even sharper turn by showcasing all the cruel and terrible things about summer. Things like heat waves, working long hours, and boring days. The song was meant to be a single but was released on their self-titled album.
20. “Summer Wind” by Frank Sinatra
The summer wind makes a great metaphor for lost love. Even the melody is gentle and sweet. The lyrics to the song start off pleasant enough. However, it really sets the tone as a happy couple enjoying the days of summer to only end with all that being lost to the wind. The song was released in 1966.
21. “In the Sun” by Blondie
New York is characterized as being boring and grey, but in the sun with the one you love, life just gets better. Surfing and spending some time at the beach seem to be a popular pastime for the lovers in the song. In the Sun was released in 1976.
22. “Kokomo” by The Beach Boys
This wouldn’t be a summer list song without something from the Beach Boys. The band is known for some of the best summer songs, which almost always feature, you guessed it, beaches, surfing, and having fun. Kokomo is an island where two lovers spend their days. The single was released in July of 1988 and became a number 1 hit.
23. “Long Hot Summer” by Girls Aloud
Long Hot Summer was originally written for the movie Herby: Fully Loaded by Disney. It didn’t work out and the band. The song even became the band’s first single to not reach the top charts. Despite this, the music is still fun and upbeat that’ll still get you in the mood for a good summer time.
24. “Endless Summer Nights” by Richard Marx
Despite the single being another homage to lost love during the summer, Richard Marx said he based the song on a trip he and his girlfriend made to Hawaii. His girlfriend eventually became his wife, proving that not all sad songs come true. It was recorded in 1986 and released in 1988.
25. “Staying Out for the Summer” by Dodgy
The song isn’t summer. It’s also about resentment one has when they’re forced to work for a company they don’t like to make a living. They’ve been taken away from all the fun from past years and want to spend the current summer doing everything they wished they had. The song was released in 1995.
26. “Sunny Afternoon” by The Kinks
How can you not think of summer when the title is a Sunny Afternoon? the song was actually written on a sunny morning. The protagonist is a man coming from old money who is down on his luck. The theme is about the rigid labor tax laws by the British government at that time. Ray Davies was the writer who wanted to show people how he felt about the taxes, and he used the aristocratic protagonist as a metaphor. The song was released in 1966.
27. “A Summer Song” by Chad & Jeremy
A Summer Song is another story about a romance set to a rhythmic folk-music beat. Ringo Star assessed the song and deemed it relatively worthless for American audiences. However, it ended up doing rather well. It, unfortunately, was a flop in the United Kingdom. It was released in July of 1964.
28. “Cool for the Summer” by Demi Lovato
Demi Lovato stated that this song acts as an inspiration for people to not live by other people’s expectations. It was released in 2015 when Demi was just learning to find her voice after years of drug abuse. She stated, “I know it was an awesome journey for me to be able to put that out in front of the world and not feel ashamed about it.”
29. “Margaritaville” by Jimmy Buffett
Margaritaville sounds like a fun place, doesn’t it? Lucky for you, it’s not a fictional place. Jimmy Buffett wrote the song about a hospitality chain franchise by the same name. The franchise sells tons of summer-related extravagance, including a restaurant chain, Jimmy Buffet Merchandise, and vacation facilities. The brand is owned by Buffet and is named after his hit song, which was released in 1977.
30. “Soak Up the Sun” by Sheryl Crow
Songwriters Jeff Trot and Sheryl Crow wrote the song to cheer up Crow as she was recovering from surgery. Their plane trip from Oregon to New York instigated a conversation about the weather. What resulted was a positive summery tune that became a hit in 2002 when it was released.
31. “Hot Fun in the Summertime” by Sly & the Family Stone
Every member of Sly & the Family Stone gets to show what they love about summer. Funny enough, the song didn’t reach the public until the end of summer, right after Woodstock. The song would never be able to be sung exactly the same way after the band broke up in 1975, leaving out key solos for the original 1969 recording.
32. “Summer Rain” by Johnny Rivers
Summer Rain starts off appropriately with a thunderstorm transitioning into a groovy piece celebrating the everlasting love of the 60s and 70s. The protagonist goes through a relationship with his girlfriend as they have fun during the summer and plan for their future. The song became a popular hit reaching high numbers on the billboard charts. The song was released in 1967.
33. “Good Times” by Chic
Did you know this carefree beat is one of the most popular songs of all time? It was inspired by Kool & The Gang’s Hollywood Swinging and is still one of the most copied tunes even to this day. It was written in 1979 after plenty of hurt from the Great Depression and Vietnam. That didn’t stop Good Times from becoming an optimistic take for the country’s future.
34. “Those Lazy Hazy Crazy Days Of Summer” by Nat King Cole
This clever rhyming title goes with a song that makes you feel like you’re getting ready for sweet summertime fun after a long hibernation. It’s not a complex melody, but it still gives off a quaint charm. Such simple lyrics end with the phrase, “You’ll wish that summer could always be here.” The song was released in 1963.
35. “One Summer Night” by Danleers
One Summer Night is extra special because it was the Danleers’ first and only big hit single. The song would become a great hit yet again after another band, the Diamonds, did a cover of it in 1961. The theme is all about love on one summer night. The song was initially released in 1958.
36. “Escape (Piña Colada Song)” by Rupert Holmes
Piña Colada is often thought of as the official drink of summer by many people. Escape is a unique tale about a man who becomes bored with his girlfriend. When he attempts to hook up with someone else, it turns out it was his current love. At the end of December in the year 1979, the song reached number 1 on the Billboard chart, making it the last piece of the 70s.
37. “The Theme From ‘A Summer Place'” by Percy Faith
This theme is one of those songs you’ve heard before but never remember where exactly you’ve heard it from. A Summer Place was a movie in 1959 about two adulterous lovers who have to deal with the budding romance of their teenage children from previous marriages. The theme song is an orchestral piece that became very memorable despite it being the secondary theme. It’s been reused in pop culture countless times.
38. “All Summer Long” by Kid Rock
All Summer Long went through loops and bounds to finally get released in 2008. The original songwriter was Mark E. Clark, who produced the original track when he was working with Kid Rock and Insane Clown Posse. The title became Werewolf Bite. Kid Rock didn’t like the track. Kid Rock proceeded to mashup two other songs with a new melody that resulted in the All Summer Long we know today. Clark wasn’t credited even though he composed its original form.
39. “The Green Leaves of Summer” by Peter & Gordon
If you love farm aesthetics, you’ll definitely find this piece comforting. The protagonists reminisce about the good old days during the summer harvest. The song is filled with hardworking old-school family values. It was released in 1966.
40. “Surfin’ USA” by The Beach Boys
Another Beach Boy’s hit, Surfin’ USA, is about, what else? Surfing. The song was rewritten from another one called Sweet Little Sixteen but given new lyrics. Surfin’ USA is literally all about surfing on the beach with your gang. It was released in 1963.
41. “Constructive Summer” by The Hold Steady
Construction is a perfect metaphor for getting your life together and being productive. The story’s protagonist is hopeful for the future as he and his friends vow to finally “build something this summer” instead of continuing to live an empty life in their boring old town. Unfortunately, the song ends on a sad note as a few of his friends end up dying. The title is a reference to a song by Husker Du called Celebrated Summer.
42. “A Summer Song” by Chad And Jeremy
This summer song is not only the band’s only number 1 hit in the U.S. It is also their biggest hit ever. It’s yet another song about lost love set to a lovely upbeat yet melancholy melody. It bears a resemblance to another song titled Words of Love. The song was released in 1964.
43. “The Last Day of Summer” by The Cure
The Last Day of Summer is the only song on the list that came straight out of a novel. The lyrics came from novels the producer, Robert Smith, wrote for his nieces and nephews. The theme is about the despair of the last day of summer. The music was composed by the bassist Simon Gallup. It came out in the year 2000.
44. “Dusk and Summer” by Dashboard Confessional
The entire album this song is featured on is the first step back to their rockier and emo roots. This song definitely tries to go a little dark with themes of loss and loneliness. The song came out in June of 2006.
45. “Summer Nights” by John Travolta & Olivia Newton-John
If you’ve ever seen the popular musical Grease, you’ll instantly recognize one of its most memorable songs. Summer Nights takes place near the beginning, where the protagonists reminisce on their meeting last summer, unaware that they are about to meet in school later. The song has a catchy upbeat tune.
46. “Pontoon” by Little Big Town
Pontoon boats are synonymous with summer, with boating being one of the most popular summer activities. You almost feel as if you are actually there with the randomness of the subjects talked about. It’s as if you were there with your buddies on a Pontoon boat talking about nothing in particular. The song was released in 2012.
47. “Under the Boardwalk” by The Drifters
Who knew that such a joyful song about summer had such a tragic beginning. The lyrics or composition isn’t the problem. The lead singer Rudy Lewis overdosed on drugs the night before the song was supposed to be released. It still had a successful release despite the tragedy behind it.
48. “Summer Breeze” by Seals & Crofts
If you’ve ever wanted to experience pure poetry, then this is your song. These thought provoking lyrics come together to a simple solution. That solution is coming home from a hard day’s work to the person you love the most. Summer Breeze is a beautiful homage to true love. This soft rock melody was released in 1972.
49. “June, July & August” by Freddy Cannon
50. “Summer in Siam” by The Pogues
Now, we get to go to a whole different side of the world in Siam to have summer there. The narrator paints a spectacular picture of summer in Siam to a gentle, sweet tune. If only the singer didn’t sound drunk, but maybe that’s the whole point from the beginning. It was released in 1990, making this the first 90s song about summer on the list.
51. “That Summer” by Garth Brooks
Here’s another country song about summer. A scandalous song about a teenager sleeping with a lonely widow he worked for. Yea, that summer is referencing the narrator’s dirty deed. It sure does take a blunt approach to most other summer love songs on the list. The song is yet another 90s hit.
52. “Idiot Summer” by Gin Blossoms
This fast tempo rock piece depicts the escapades of a poor guy who recently got dumped during summer. It didn’t seem like he understood what happened. Needless to say, he definitely took it out on the poor, innocent summer season. The song was made in 1993.
53. “Summerboy” by Lady Gaga
The original title for this piece was Summer Boy, and it was part of a plan to expand Gaga’s sound. One feature of Gaga’s that bled into this song is her ambiguous lyrics that suggest another summer fling. It was released on her album The Fame in 2007.
54. “This Ain’t The Summer Of Love” by Blue Oyster Cult
Nice to see an anti-love song in a sea of summer fling songs. In fact, it seems to be pretty threatening with the lyrics urging people to “Lock all your doors from the outside.” Whoever or whatever is coming, they desperately want you to know that they ain’t there for love. The song is the first one of the band’s album Agent’s of Fortune, released in 1976.
55. “Summer’s Almost Gone” by The Doors
According to band members, there were many problems trying to create this song, including changing the entire composition from a cool psychedelic tune to a slower ballad. What we got was still a great song that questions what things will be like after summer has ended.
56. “Summer in the City” by The Lovin’ Spoonful
Don’t start to think you’re getting a conventional beat with this hit. The band used different objects like jackhammers to create the music. It really makes you feel like you’re in the city during summertime. The song came out in 1966.
57. “Everybody Loves the Sunshine” by Roy Ayers
Even if you don’t love the sunshine, you still might love this song. It even rose to the top 200 songs of the 70s chart if you weren’t convinced enough that it was a masterpiece. The soulful piece features siren-like synthesizers and funky baselines. The actual song was released in 1976
58. “Here Comes the Sun” by The Beatles
Possibly one of The Beatles’ most famous pieces, Here Comes the Sun, was written as a relief to the band’s tumultuous affairs the year prior. The hopeful message alludes to the feeling of a beautiful summer morning after a terrible night. The song was even recorded by the band during the summer of 1969.
59. “One Summer Dream” by Electric Light Orchestra
One Summer Dream almost appears as if it is a dream with abstract imagery detailing what some might say is an anti-war message. Whatever you think it is, it is a beautiful piece. It came out in 1975.
60. “Summer Lady” by Santana
If you think the last song was a great summer dream song, then you might also want to check out this one. Summer Lady is a woman compared to a wonderful fantasy. The protagonist hopes that she won’t break his heart and ruin the dream.
61. “Happy Summertime” by R. Kelly
We’ll end this list on a happy note with a song by an appropriate title. Snoop Dog and R. Kelly come in expressing their need just to ride and have a good time during summer. Maybe you don’t agree with the thought of a happy summertime being pools full of women, but that doesn’t stop anyone from enjoying summer in any way they want.
As the Head Editor at Music Grotto, Liam edits content produced from over 30 professional music/media journalists and contributing writers. He works closely with journalists and other staff to format and publish music content for the Music Grotto website. Liam is also the founding member of Music Grotto and is passionate in disseminating editorial content to its readers.