Summertime Blues: Songs As Sad As The Season

Categories: Lists, Pop Life
"The sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth down, and hasteth to the place where he arose..."

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So reads the prologue to Ernest Hemingway's 1926 treatise on the horrors of existential dread. In the book, Jake Barnes and a band of entirely unlikeable expat misfits flit around the globe, from Paris to Pamplona. A tour of Europe might sound like the ideal summer vacation, but for Barnes it's a chance to contemplate death and his own failing manhood while watching bulls get slaughtered by bullfighters with memories of World War I still running deep.

Rocks Off had the SADs real bad this year. It was, after all, the worst winter Houston had seen in three decades. Perhaps, like us, you're looking forward to summer. The temperatures have yet to hit the triple digits, the humidity hasn't kicked in, school is just finishing, and you've got the whole long lazy season to look forward to.

Or so you think.

Just wait until the malaise kicks in. Wait until it gets too hot to move. Wait until your ass cheeks start sticking to vinyl seats, you've watched every daytime rerun of Law & Order and you've had your fifth summer cold thanks to your over-air-conditioned office. Wait until you're so fucking bored with summer you can't stand another minute of it. Then wait until you realize summer is EIGHT MONTHS LONG in this city.

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Think you'll find relief at the beach? Not bloodly likely. And let's not forget that experts are predicting a more active than usual hurricane season.

It's easy to make the case that summer is the saddest season of the year. Eddie Cochran was right. Just look at all the seemingly gauzy pop songs whose cheerful beats and tones underplay morose or maudlin lyrics or backstory. The Beach Boys are a perfect example of this. How can you take a song like "The Warmth of the Sun" at face value while knowing that Brian Wilson was slowly and silently going crazy?

Below, seven more songs for the Summertime Blues. Come August, you'll know what we mean.

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