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The Pitch

The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

The Pitch

The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

The Pitch

Ali’s Summer Playlist

Alis Summer Playlist

With the end of the year fast approaching, it’s important to set up a good playlist to last you through the warm summer nights and the long trips abroad. Creating season-based playlists is sort of a specialty of mine, because I believe the mood of your music combines with the mood of your environment in order to create your personal mood. This complicated formula requires decent music. While it was very difficult to choose just 20 songs to make up the following playlist (trust me, I have a lot of summer songs on reserve), I think they all adequately represent the season. Enjoy! 

Street Corner Symphony – Rob Thomas

This song never ceases to cheer me up, rain or shine. It is about uniting people of different backgrounds by dancing together. It may be overplayed on the radio, but the chorus is timeless and the melody is signature of a fun summer song.

“It’s morning/I wake up/The taste of summer sweetness on my mind…/Let’s go dance under the street lights/All the people in this world/Let’s come together…”

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If You Want to Sing Out – Cat Stevens

This self-empowering anthem is an amazing song, especially when played during summer picnics, field-frolicking, hiking and other outdoor esteem-building activities. Belting it in the shower is fun, too.

“You can do what you want/ The opportunity’s on/ And if you can find a new way/ You can do it today/ You can make it all true/ And you can make it undo.”

Torn on the Platform – Jack Penate

This British pop-star is a virtual unknown in the U.S., but his songs are all upbeat and fun, especially this one about choosing to leave his hometown. The “love” he sings about is not actually about a girl, but about the place where he grew up, which puts an interesting twist on what is already a sweet love song.

“‘Cause my eyes, eyes, eyes/ Are not dry, dry, dry/ As I realise, ise, ise/ That in a few minutes this train will be gone/ Wonder why, why, why/ Would anyone want to leave where I come from?”

Mexican Wine – Fountains of Wayne

This song is bittersweet in typical Fountains-of-Wayne fashion, using negative situations to contrast with the ever-healing power of Mexican Wine. Basically, the lesson of the song is that life goes on, which is one from which we can all benefit.

“But the sun still shines in the summer time/ I’ll be yours if you’ll be mine/ I tried to change, but I changed my mind/ Think I’ll have another glass of Mexican wine.”

 Renegade – Styx 

This classic oldie is an excellent pumping-up song, to be heard before, during, or after any sort of summer gathering. The contrast between the opening notes and the chorus of the song is breathtaking, and this juxtaposition between the somber and the rock-and-roll makes the song an exciting addition to your summer playlist.

“The jig is up/ The news is out/ They’ve finally found me/ The renegade who had it made retrieved for a bounty/ Never more to go astray/ This will be the end today of the wanted man.”

Change of Seasons – Sweet Thing

I’m a sucker for songs with non-sensical syllables, so this is the perfect example of a song with “Da Da Da”s that will brighten your summer morning. Love may change with the seasons, but the positive disposition of this song doesn’t.

“Don’t you worry/ Won’t you let it go/ Baby don’t worry/ Just let it go, let it go.”

 Something to Believe In – Parachute

This is one of the songs that I off-handedly noticed when it came on the radio while I was driving. When a would-be typical boy-band song on a generic radio station catches your eye (erm, ear), you know it’s sorta special. It’s another empowering anthem with a greek-chorus background, and Parachute remains the perfectly adorable band to sing it.

“You say, ‘Keep my head from going down’/ Just for a little, just for a little/ Watch my feet float off the ground/ Just for a little, just for a little/ A little love if you can hear this sound/ Oh just give me something/ Something to believe in.”

Mr. Blue Sky – Lily Allen

This song, originally by Electric Light Orchestra, is about the beauty of the world/the sun/the sky around us. Lily Allen electrified and pop-ified the track, but also greatly improved the quality of the vocals. The song celebrates nature on a beautiful day, and is the perfect outdoor summer song.

“Sun is shinin’ in the sky/ There ain’t a cloud in sight/ It’s stopped rainin’ ev’rybody’s in a play/ And don’t you know/ It’s a beautiful new day.”

Praise You – Fatboy Slim

This is honestly one of my favorite songs year-round, but it’s just so good I had to put it on the list. It is very straightforward — there’s a total of about 20 different words in the lyrics — but it’s about simply praising the person you love. Don’t let the lack of lyrics take away from the merit of this ode to commitment.

“We’ve come a long long way together/ Through the hard times and the good/ I have to celebrate you baby/ I have to praise you like I should.”

Janglin – Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes

Another song beginning with non-sensical syllables, the melody of Janglin reminds me of a bubblegum commercial. Though Edwarde Sharpe has much more complex lyrics than many of the other songs on this list, the jolly tempo of the chorus definitely outweighs the deeper/darker sentiments of the rest of the song.

“Well we once were the Jesters/ In your Kingdom by the sea/ And now we’re out to be the masters/ For to set our spirits free – set free.”

 Anna Sun – Walk the Moon

This band is a new favorite of mine, and this song especially is a fun ode to summer parties. The title, coincidentally, has nothing to do with the song or the band, but it is the name of a professor that the band members had at Kenyon College, which they all attended.

“What do you know? This house is falling apart/ What can i say? This house is falling apart/ We got no money, but we got heart/ We’re gonna rattle this ghost town.”

Wax and Wire – Loch Lomond

The lyrics of this song are actually really sad, but the melody makes for a great road trip song, supported by a string orchestra. The crescendo of the chorus just makes you want to sing it even if you don’t know the words, and all the background elements of the song make it especially unique.

“Well I’d wade ten thousand klicks for a just one more chance,/Just one more chance, to see your face again/ Well I’d pull, ten times the weight of the earth with my teeth,/ The earth with my teeth to touch your face alive.”

Good Day Sunshine – The Beatles

Classic. It’s impossible to listen to this song without singing along and basking in the glory that is the Beatles. On the album Revolver, the song (written and performed mainly by Paul McCartney) is a necessary addition to this list. Fun fact: it even has been played as the wake-up music on multiple Space Shuttle missions.

“I need to laugh, and when the sun is out/ I’ve got something I can laugh about/ I feel good, in a special way/ I’m in love and it’s a sunny day.”

Itty Bitty Pretty One – Thurston Harris

Most of you will not be aware of this song, as it was released in 1957, though it has been covered by many artists and was most recently sampled in a Lipton Ice Tea commercial. Its most famous use is possibly in the scene in the movie “Matilda,” when the title character uses her telekinetic powers to summon a party of inanimate objects from around the living room. The fun-loving spirit of the song exemplified in the movie is held together by the humming refrain.

“Mm mm mm mm mm mm mm mm, mm mmm mm mm mm mm mm mmm, mm mm mm mmm mm mm mm mm, mm mm mm mm mm mm mm Little bitty pretty one/ Come on and talk-a to me/ A-lovey dovey dovey one/ Come sit down on my knee.”

Sweet Talk, Sweet Talk – The New Pornographers

This song should be covered by all outdoor-concert-artists during the summer. The beat will have you clapping your hands before the chorus even begins, and the mix of female and male voices make the song one that everyone can enjoy.

“A mistake on the part of nature,/ You are a tall glass, a blast from the past/ Where things were simpler then, You ask exactly when?”

Ripple – The Grateful Dead

Debuting in the year 1970 on the critically-acclaimed album American Beauty, “Ripple” is a renowned folk-song. It is another perfect road trip song, or a perfect song for singing with your dad in a canoe on a lake (a personal experience I hold dear to my heart). The song also contributes to the best ending of a series finale in recent history, which you should all watch now.

“If my words did glow with the gold of sunshine/ And my tunes were played on the harp unstrung,/ Would you hear my voice come thru the music,/ Would you hold it near as it were your own?”

L.O.V. – Fitz and the Tantrums

Fitz and the Tantrums is an up-and-coming cult favorite that is soon to go mainstream after appearing at many of the major festivals this year (SXSW, Sasquatch, Lollapalooza, etc.). While the band has many amazing songs, sharing a brassy, jazzy, ’60s-esque retro feel, this particular song represents summer love. Though the lyrics have been changed in re-recording, I personally favor the original lyrics which can still be found on Youtube.

“L.O.V. for you and me/ That’s just the way it’s gotta be…./ I know there’s a better place/ Where you and I could open the sky/ Give the world all your loving embrace/ Why, oh Why?”

 La Ti Da – The Icicles

I became aware of this song from a Target commercial. Needless to say, this Icicles’ song was distinguishable and the commercial made me want to listen to the song everywhere I went. Not only does it have the non-sensical syllables down (hence the title), but the drum beats immediately call for some toe-tapping and whistling.

“Things are lookin alright today/ The sun is shining I’m feeling okay/ My chin is up, my spirit is high/ Pretty sure that I could fly/ So I sing la ti da ti da.”

 Five Colours in Her Hair – McFly

Featured in the Lindsay Lohan chick flick Just My Luck, McFly is a British band that has actually been really successful in the U.K., despite appearing in this low-rated American movie. This song was on McFly’s debut album, Room on the 3rd Floor, which is certified as double platinum. The song not only has “do do do”s to fit my fancy, but has fun guitar solos that just make one want to jump up and dance.

“Everybody wants to know her name,/How does she cope with her new found fame?/Everyone asks me,/Who the hell is she?/That weirdo with 5 colours in her hair.”

 Girl I Got a Thing – Ian Axel

This song is one of the springiest, most cheerful songs I’ve ever heard. It chronicles the accidental introduction of love into the speaker’s life when he tripped on a girl in the subway. The piano playing in the background throughout the song is playful and catchy, and the lyrics are cute and simple, therefore making it a perfect summer song.

“You know you’re sweeter than a tangerine/ You make me wanna shake my tambourine/ If I had money, you’d be marrying me, it’s true!/ Girl, I got a thing for you.”

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