’90s Song of the Week: The Sundays’ “Summertime”

And it’s you and me in the summertime, as I turn my white skin red. Two peas from the same pod, yes we are. Or have I read too much fiction? Is this how it happens? – Harriet Wheeler, “Summertime”

How many second do you think the band spent thinking about the album cover? 4?

How many seconds do you think the band spent thinking about the album cover? 4?

“Summertime” is the best-known hit off The Sundays’ Static & Silence, released in the fall of 1997. That was right around the start of my senior year of high school, though I confess I cannot even fathom a guess at when I first heard the song or became enamored of it. I feel like I must have seen the video once or twice considering all of the MTV watching I did as a teen, but it looks like something I remember from college. No idea. That’s totally appropriate, though, because it’s the rare song from that time period which means more to me now than it did back then.

My Instagram bio reads “Model citizen, zero discipline,” which are lyrics from Van Halen’s “Panama”. I feel like those words perfectly describe me, obviously more the latter half than the first. When I started writing the ’90s Song of the Week series, I said I would try to do it once a week. That didn’t last long. I simply don’t have that kind of discipline. I chase pitches out of the strike zone three seconds after I mutter “Don’t ******* chase ******** out of the zone.” I always have one more bite. I don’t iron my dress shirts.

Seven years away from that certificate at the ACCE conference.

Seven years away from that certificate at the ACCE conference.

But, but, but as crazy as this might sound, “Summertime” might be the one thing in my life over which I display the most discipline. It has been on my iTunes playlist for years, but I only allow myself to listen to it during the summertime.

True story: I was driving home during the third quarter. Traffic was pretty bad. I think I was right around Aiea High School and “Summertime” began playing randomly on my phone. I threw the Hydroflask I was drinking from into the passenger seat and picked up my phone and scrambled to change the song. I almost hit the car in front of me. The lesson: I am a moron. The other lesson: I need a car with Bluetooth to mitigate my moronity. The final lesson: I can be disciplined, but only in some weird way that features no actual consequences either way.

The “you and me” in the song are obviously Madison and me. Unlike so many of those ’90s songs, this one is important in the present tense.

Our first summer. We made it out alive. Still the most amazing thing I (we) have ever done.

Our first summer. We made it out alive. Still the most amazing thing I (we) have ever done.

Mad and I have cruised together every summer since her first in 2008, back when she was my Pork Chop. We’ve gone from doing nothing all day to doing somethings on some days to doing cool things everyday. This is the last of those summers, for the two obvious reasons.

Right now, my daughter’s pretty steamed that she has three more days of school while I’m off. Two weeks ago when Lynnette revealed our schedules, Madison was salty. Earlier this week she said “Dad, when I go to high school, I want to go to Damien.” “Why do you want to go to Damien?” I asked her. “Because I want you to teach me, I know you’re a great teacher,” she said. Not true, but I started tearing up anyway. Lynnette smiled at my tears. But then I remembered. “You know, Damien doesn’t always get out of school before you do,” I said. “NO FAIR YOUR LAST DAY IS FRIDAY!!!!” she said. Ah, there it is.

Well, Goob, in 5 days, it will be you and me in the summertime. Let’s carpe all the diems.

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