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Songs of summer, OUP style

Compiled by Natasha Zaman


It’s finally summer — the perfect time to spend with family and friends, enjoy the weather, gardens and parks, and create fond memories. What better way to create those summer memories than have our favorite songs playing in the background? This summer we asked different members of the Oxford University Press (OUP) staff to share their favorite summer songs and the reason why they like them so much. The result was an interesting playlist of songs from different genres, so take a look and see what our OUP staff have to say about their favorite songs.

Billy Joel’s “Scenes From An Italian Restaurant”
“The images in this song always make me think of summer — friends reuniting, sharing a bottle of red/white/rosé at an outdoor table, dancing to jukebox music. In particular, Brenda and Eddie driving around with the top down, music blasting, as they head to their hometown diner, makes me smile when I think of all the summers in high school when my friends and I did the same.”
– Georgia Mierswa, Marketing Associate, Digital

Frank Sinatra’s “Summer Wind”
“… for when the sun is setting, the air is cooling, and you’re still at the beach with absolutely no intention to leave.”
– Jeff Yerger, Marketing Assistant, Higher Education Group

Don Henley’s “The Boys of Summer”
“I’m pretty sure every punk band there was did a cover of this when I was in high school, and I almost blew out my car stereo once blasting it. The name does half of the work, but ‘The Boys of Summer’ will always be my default summer song: laid back and intense at the same time.”
– Kate Pais, Marketing Assistant, Academic/Trade

Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky” 
“My summers are usually spent in the car a lot—travelling to see friends and family, or heading to the Jersey shore. Thus, a good summer song to me is a good one to dance to in the car. My favorite summer song changes every year so this summer, it’s Daft Punk’s ‘Get Lucky’. Perfect for turning the volume way up and shoulder dancing to.”
– Alyssa Bender, Marketing Associate, Academic/Trade and Bibles divisions

Colleen Green’s “Only One” 
“I’ve been really into Colleen Green’s new record Sock It To Me lately. She takes saccharine, girl-group melodies and mixes them with incredibly simplistic drum machines and punk instrumentation; the result is totally unique.”
– Owen Keiter, Publicity Assistant 

“Sumer Is Icumen In” (Anon. c. 1260)
“This was a favorite song among all medieval beachgoers. Its six-part melodic counterpoint indicates that these sunbathers were quite the vocal masters. I like it because it has inspired parodies by Ezra Pound, Vernon Duke, and the Fugs, among many others.“
– Richard Carlin, Executive Editor, Music and Art, Higher Education

“Ein heisser Sommer wie wunderbar 1968″ 
“I’ve always enjoyed the titular song from the 1968 East German beach film musical Heisser Sommer, or Hot Summer. It’s so terrible that it’s actually quite good, a moment of unexpected camp in East German cinema.”
– Norman Hirschy, Editor, Academic Editorial 

Harry Nilsson’s “Coconut” 
“The lyrics border on the ridiculous yet the song is catchy and enduring in that ‘hard to get out of your head’ way.”
– Coleen Hatrick, Senior Publicist

Mean Lady’s “Lonely” 
“This is a fantastic song all about waiting to be back together with someone after a long time apart. It’s an awesome song year-round, but it’s great to blast going into summer after a long winter.”
– Ryan John, Summer Intern, Music Editorial

The Phenomenal Handclap Band’s “15 to 20″ 
“I’ve seen this band twice, once at Southpaw in Park Slope with my friend Steffen who now lives in Florida and then later at Le Poussin Rouge in the West Village after the first album came out. Both shows were in the summer and both times they were awesome. This is their hit single from the first album. The video is also great, an extraordinary endeavor of 8 short films featuring each member of the band weaved into an NYC heist story.”
– Jeremy Wang-Iverson, Senior Publicist

Japandroids’ “The House That Heaven Built”
“Nothing like driving down the Garden State Parkway with your friends, rolling the windows down to feel the ocean breeze, and singing along to this anthem at the top of your lungs.”
– Jeff Yerger, Marketing Assistant, Higher Education Group

Blur’s “Parklife” 
“One of my fondest summer-related memories is being a camp counselor with my best friend Kelle for three weeks down in Ellenton, FL. Every night I would listen to ‘Parklife’ by Blur on my Walkman to help me fall asleep after long days covered in sweat and teaching kids all sorts of crazy games. The title track still brings out the fancy-free 19-year-old in me.”
– Meg Wilhoite, Assistant Editor, Grove Music/Oxford Music Online

Foster the People’s “Pumped up Kicks” 
“I did some travelling a couple of years ago and this song was the soundtrack to my trip. Whenever I hear the start of the song, it immediately reminds me of driving around California in the sunshine! Definitely my favourite summer song.”
– Annie Leyman, Marketing Executive, Academic Music Books (UK)

Your Oxford Summer Playlist: 

Natasha Zaman is an intern at Oxford University Press in New York this summer.

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Recent Comments

  1. [...] University Press offers some songs for summer, discusses the fall of Mussolini, and explains what is in a royal [...]

  2. Chris Reidc

    It’s an oldy but a goody: DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Freah Prince – Summertime.

    It is a little less cool than the others listed though…

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