The Songs of Summer #59: ‘The Long Hot Summer’ by Jimmie Rodgers
Another moldy oldie for today’s Song of Summer…there’s one thing my Songs of Summer list is not, and that’s a daily string of today’s hit songs…Nope. Nothing against modern music, but I like my summer songs to span the decades. Does anybody else? Hard to say…. Today’s song is ‘The Long Hot Summer‘ by pop singer Jimmie Rodgers (not the Jimmie Rodgers (‘The Singing Brakeman’, of the same name; no relation even. In fact, this Jimmie Rodgers was born in the same year that the country legend Jimmie Rodgers died. Weird!) Our Jimmie Rodgers had a few hits in the late 1950’s; his biggest hit that anybody might recognize today was ‘Honeycomb‘ in 1957.
‘The Long Hot Summer‘ only reached #77 on the pop charts, not exactly a huge hit for Rodgers, in 1958. It’s the theme song from the film The Long Hot Summer, a steamy romance flick based on three William Faulkner short stories, which starred a young Paul Newman and his future wife Joanne Woodward. I’ve never seen it, so I can’t offer an opinion on it. But the song? The song’s pure summer.
The slow, languid feel of the song, and the swelling strings, sounds like a song you’d want to hear on a sweltering humid day. Life moves slower in the hot, humid summer, and this song fits right in. With music from Alex North, the lyrics, by Sammy Cahn, are about, what else, waiting (im)patiently for an unrequited love.
It’s gonna be a long, hot summer.
“The long hot summer
Seems to know every time you’re near.
And the touch of a breeze gently stirs all the trees
And a bird wants to please my ear.
The long hot summer
Seems to know what a flirt you are.
Seems to know your caress isn’t mine to posess,
How could someone posess a star?
But you may long for me, long before the Fall.
Long before the winds announce that winter’s come to call.
And meanwhile I’ll court you, and meanwhile I’ll kiss you.
Meanwhile my lonely arms will hold you strong.
The long hot summer slowly moves along.
Oh so slowly moves along.”