The Songs of Summer #63: ‘Summer Song’ by Louis Armstrong
It’s Sunday, a day for slowing down, relaxing, recharging, recovering…and maybe do some laundry while we’re at it. Louis Armstrong is here to class up this Songs of Summer List with ‘Summer Song‘, a gentle ode to the simple joys of summer.
Of all my Songs of Summer, this one might have the most perfect set of summertime lyrics:
“I hear laughter, from the swimming hole
Kids out fishin’, with the willow pole
Boats come driftin’, round the bend
Why must summer, ever end…
Love, to me, is like a summer day
If it ends, the memories will stay
Still, and warm, and peaceful,
Now the days are getting long
I can sing my summer song…”
Recorded in 1961 for a musical production called ‘The Real Ambassadors‘, a show that was only performed one time, in 1962 at the Monterey Jazz Festival. But lucky for us, ‘Summer Song‘ lives on, a beautiful ballad about the best time of year. I first heard the song when it was released on the Louis Armstrong edition of ‘Ken Burns’ This is Jazz’ compilation series. (And if you love jazz, or if you don’t, his PBS mini-series ‘Jazz’ is well worth watching. The many many compilation CDs that were released at the time are also great introductions to a virtual who’s-who in the world of jazz. Seriously.)
The song was written by Dave Brubeck, with lovely lyrics by his wife Iola. Dave Brubeck also accompanies Louis Armstrong on the recording with his laid back piano.
For a summer Sunday, for a summer anyday, you can’t do much better than ‘Summer Song.’