Selah March

June 9, 2008

Woke last night to the sound of thunder…

Filed under: blah blah blah,Contests,New release — Selah March @ 12:43 pm

I don’t care what the calendar says. Nor do I give a rip that our official, public-school-sanctioned vacation doesn’t begin (at least in my state) for another seventeen days.

It’s ninety-four degrees on my shady back deck at eleven in the morning, and that means it’s summer. Dammit.

And THAT means that along with the shorts and tank tops and sundresses, I can break out what I call my “summer tunes” collection. The one that features every song that’s ever meant “summer” to me. (And makes my kids groan, without fail, “That old stuff AGAIN??”)

The collection is made up of a lot of late-sixties/early-seventies pop (“Son of a Preacher Man, “Seasons in the Sun,” and anything by Peter Frampton) stuff that was top-forty back when 4th of July fireworks were the most thrilling thing I could imagine, the ice-cream man was my best friend, and I didn’t care if my babyfat hung over the waistband of my pink-and-green plaid Garanimals shorts.

There’s also a heavy dose of late-seventies/early-eighties pop (“Thunder Island,” “Baker Street,” “Native New Yorker,” the entire Andy Gibb backlist) from those first pubescent summers. These tunes put me in the mood to search the web for Love’s Baby Soft and Dr. Pepper-flavored Bonne Belle Lipsmackers.

But the one artist who really does it for me every single time is, oddly enough, Bob Seger. Nothing poppy, light or mindless about his raspy roots-rock, but it was the preferred soundtrack to my high school years — particularly those hours spent scrubbing toilets and making beds as a chambermaid during summer vacations. (I’d wait till I was sure I was alone on the third floor of the hotel, slip on those headphones and play air sax to “Turn the Page.” I’m sure I looked like an idiot in my little polyester uniform with the Windex bottle worn in a holster at my side. I’m just as sure I didn’t care.)

My very favorite Bob Seger tune is “Night Moves.” The lyrics evoke a nostalgia in me that takes my breath away every single time, mostly because it feels like the story of my own high school summers — the misfit kid with the junker car and his wild-child girlfriend, slipping away to get busy whenever they could find the time.

Was a little too tall
Could’ve used a few pounds
Tight pants, points, hardly renown
She was a black-haired beauty with big dark eyes
And points all her own sittin’ way up high
Way up firm and high

Out past the cornfields where the woods got heavy
Out in the back seat of my ’60 Chevy
Workin’ on mysteries without any clues

Workin’ on our night moves
Tryin’ to make some front page drive-in news
Workin’ on our night moves

In the summertime
In the sweet summertime

We weren’t in love, oh no, far from it
We weren’t searchin’ for some pie in the sky summit
We were just young and restless and bored
Livin’ by the sword

And we’d steal away every chance we could
To the backroom, to the alley or the trusty woods
I used her, she used me
But neither one cared
We were gettin’ our share

Workin’ on our night moves
Tryin’ to lose the awkward teenage blues
Workin’ on our night moves
And it was summertime

Mmm sweet, summertime summertime

And oh the wonder
We felt the lightning
And we waited on the thunder
Waited on the thunder

Back then, I focused on this part…the part that was about ME, and my life just as it was unfolding before me, and ignored the sort of sad, wistful coda that Seger adds at the end. Now when I listen to the lyrics, I hear the metaphor Seger creates about the summer of life and how quickly it fades, but how sweet it is to recall those years.

Woke last night to the sound of thunder
How far off I sat and wondered
Started humming a song from 1962
Ain’t it funny how the night moves
When you just don’t seem to have as much to lose
Strange how the night moves
With autumn closing in

I recently celebrated my 42nd birthday, and while I don’t expect to feel autumn “closing in” anytime soon, the beauty in that simple analogy never fails to move me. For me, “Night Moves” makes the perfect summer tune — light enough to lift my spirits, heavy enough to mean something, and hot enough to include on the soundtrack of whatever dirty story I might be writing at the moment.

So what’s your favorite summer tune, and why?

(BY THE WAY ~ check out the Romance Junkies Blog where I’ve posted on the topic of ugly babies, Sesame Street, and honest reviews, and get the chance to win one last free ARC (PDF format) of “There Came A Killing Frost.”)


  1. You know, it really is a minor miracle we’re as close as we are and that I love you as very much as I do.

    “Seasons in the Sun?”

    For real?

    *pats Selah on the shoulder* Okey doke then.

    As for me, a song that screams summer? Well, I distinctly remember a long road trip with my parents up the East coast during the summer of ’76 during which I heard “Silly Little Love Songs” and “Philadelphia Freedom” more times than any mortal should ever have to endure. So I hear them and I’m immediately thrust back into the hot, sticky confines of the Red ’72 Dodge Polara with the white Naugahyde interior.

    I don’t know—there’s so much that screams summer to me, but a few of the biggies for me are Don Henley’s “Boys of Summer,” anything by UB40, Pat Metheny’s entire First Circle album, John Fogerty’s “Centerfield,” Phil Collins & Phillip Bailey’s “Easy Lover,” and pretty much anything by Earth, Wind, & Fire.

    And for this summer, Duffy’s Rockferry is totally my soundtrack.

    Comment by Barb Ferrer — June 9, 2008 @ 1:18 pm | Reply

  2. Hey, “Seasons in the Sun” is a CLASSIC. Right up there with “Honey” and that song about the dog that drifted out to sea. “Shannon,” I think?

    Anyway. CLASSIC. Dammit.

    Comment by Selah March — June 9, 2008 @ 1:45 pm | Reply

  3. Happy Birthday!

    I like the music selection. In the summer I put on a lot of classical spanish guitar. I love summer.

    But favorite summer tune. Jimmy Buffett Stars Fell on Alabama or Africa by toto

    Comment by FerfelaBat — June 9, 2008 @ 10:41 pm | Reply

  4. Summers for me as a kid are endless loops of Alice’s Restaurant and Harry Chapin.

    How bad is it that I still know all the words to Alice’s?

    Comment by evagale — June 10, 2008 @ 8:33 am | Reply

  5. Hey. You moved and didn’t tell me? *Sniff* I had to get the news from your former blog, into which an old bag lady and her 42 cats are moving…no, not me.

    Seriously, I like the new look. Very WordPressive.

    The ultimate summer tune for me is Kokomo by the Beach Boys. I know it’s probably not cool to like the Beach Boys, but I always have, regardless. Kokomo is the perfect song to listen to whether you’re cruising along the beach, splashing in the pool or swinging in a hammock.

    Comment by Lynn — June 12, 2008 @ 9:28 pm | Reply

  6. Steppenwolf: “Born To Be Wild”, crusin on my 47 knucklehead, wind in my hair, sun on my face, endless roads to ride. Wrenchin on that oil leaker for the next weekend……………..Summer!

    Comment by Dave Maynard — June 16, 2008 @ 1:13 pm | Reply

  7. Hot in the City by Billy Idol is one of my favorite summer tunes. Bad Blood by Neil Sedaka is fun. Come On Eileen by Dexy’s Midnight Runners.

    Comment by tate — June 16, 2008 @ 1:56 pm | Reply

  8. By the way Happy Birthday !

    When was it? mine was in May

    Comment by terrises — June 19, 2008 @ 9:26 pm | Reply

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