My kids, especially my daughters, like when I put together playlists for my phone or iPod.  Summer 2012, Winter 2013, you get the idea.  As music so often does, when we listen to the lists after a break the songs remind us of where we were and what we were doing.  It’s always fascinating what memories my children come up with.  For instance, Natasha Bedingfield’s Pocketful of Sunshine reminds me of driving home from the kids swimming lessons, all of us “dancing” in our seats.  Well, not David, he was reading one of the Rick Riordan books.  However, my daughter Katie remembers going roller skating and Anna remembers her first hotdog off the backyard grill.

I know summer begins officially on June 21st, but for me it really starts on my birthday, June 24th.  So, this past week I was struck by the realization that summer is actually HERE.  Cue exhale.  This is my favorite season.  The fair comes to town.  We swim, we eat outside a lot, we stay up late and sleep in, we spend more time together.  And then there’s the sunshine. I’m a California native and how do I love the sun.

Time for a new list and I thought I would share it with you good people.  Go make your own and use it as your personal audio scrapbook for the memories you about to make this summer.

Now, a disclaimer, I LOVE heavy metal and so does my son, David.  That said, the girls not so much and my husband not at all.  So the seasonal playlists are pop-centric.  David and I bond over music in other forums and this gives me a touchstone with my daughters.  Try not to hate me for doing this one light, fluffy thing.  It’s purely sugary, bubble gum fun.

In no particular order this year’s list thus far:

1.) Sing by Ed Sheeran- love the chorus, so great to sing along to with happy daughters.

2.) Raging Fire by Phillip Phillips (what were his parents thinking with that name???)

3.) Maps by Maroon 5- definitely their most catchy since Moves Like Jagger.

4.) Love Runs Out by OneRepublic- not quite as good as Counting Stars but pretty darn close.

5.) Summertime Sadness by Lana Del Rey- love her voice!

6.) Am I Wrong? by Nico and Vinz

7.) Hey Brother by Avici- came out in spring, but that’s okay- it hasn’t been played to death… yet.

8.) Bad Blood by Bastille- I like this one even better than Pompeii (which has been played to death).

9.) Fancy by Iggy Azalea- Am I the only one who thinks she owes Gwen Stefani a big huge fruit basket??? Derivative much?

10.) Blue-eyed Lie by Jessica Meuse- an original song this American Idol finalist wrote while she was still playing honky tonks in Alabama.

11.) Burning Gold by Christina Perri- the album’s been out for a while, but this song is just starting to make airplay.

12.) And last, not least, this week’s Musical Monday song is Angel in Blue Jeans by Train.  It’s my new pop favorite.  I think I like it so much because as the song hits its stride there’s something that reminds me of classic country, something Johnny Cash or Merle Haggard would have recorded when I was little (or before I was born).  Something we would have sung around the campfire at Camp Cazadero.  Pat Monahan’s voice isn’t deep enough, but the galloping pacing and the twang of the guitar is just right.

Also, this is the perfect sentiment for a summer hit.  Come on, admit it, somewhere in the hallway of your memories, you’ve got one.  That one glance, stolen kiss, or magical one night that you’ll never forget.  It’s the one memory that as you are in that Neverland between asleep and awake, the sometime dreaming place, this is the memory that has you following the road to “might have been” on the corner of “what if” and “I wonder.”  Everyone has an electric moment they’ll never forget, and I’ll bet, it happened in summertime.

Don’t be afraid to remember.

Here’s a recent performance by Train on the Today show.  If the crowd noise bothers you then use this audio only link.


Grammy winners, Train.

Grammy winners, Train.


This post was written by Erika Gardner.  If you enjoyed it, please sign up to receive updates on this blog.  Or you can follow Erika on Twitter @Erika_Gardner or “Like” her Facebook page Erika Gardner- Writer and Storyteller.  Check out her contributions to the BBB Blog.

Erika Gardner

Erika Gardner