The Worst (and Therefore Best) Summer Songs

Posted by Maria Vicente

Summer makes bad songs sound good. There’s no better time of the year to blare Top 40 music as loud as possible and sing about how awesome life is. There are some songs that re-surface every year throughout the summer months and, for some reason, they are universally loved.

“Summertime” by Shaggy: Shaggy isn’t the original singer of “Summertime,” but its his rendition that’s played on radio stations every warm season. The song must be so popular because of the life-changing advice hidden in its chorus: “Now if her daddy’s rich, take her out for a meal. And if her daddy’s poor, then do as you feel.” Umm… thanks?

“Summertime” by New Kids On the Block: This song marked the return of New Kids On the Block from obscurity. The song probably wouldn’t be so bad if it had been released in the 1980s, at the height of New Kids’ success. Now, it’s just plain wrong to watch these grown up men dancing around with too many half naked women who are half their age. The song is also filled with clever lyrics like, “Summer ended, winter started, it got colder when we parted.” Genius.

“Cruel Summer” by Bananarama: This song is miserable, so I have no idea why it’s a classic summer hit. Sure, it has the word “summer” in the title like the rest of them, but the lyrics leave nothing for celebration. “It’s a cruel (cruel), cruel summer leaving me here on my own.” Isn’t summer the time for get togethers and late-night bonfires? Rooftop chats and slumber parties? No? Okay.

“Summertime” by Will Smith: “This is the fresh prince’s new definition of summer madness.” Leave it to Will Smith to rhyme the perfect song for the summer season. He reminisces about nostalgia, basketball, the park, cruisin’ in a car, and girls wearing fewer clothes. Sounds like summer to me.

“Summer Nights” from the Grease soundtrack: I’m a musical junkie, so I have a hard time putting this song on a “worst” list. That being said, Danny Zuko isn’t exactly the best male specimen at this point in the movie. He’s “lie singing” (it’s a thing) about his summer conquest just so he can show off to his buddies. Meanwhile, Sandy is daydreaming about their innocent days spent on the beach, tripping over sandcastles.

“Summer Girls” by LFO: This has to be the worst song of them all (it’s certainly no “West Side Story“). Any kid of the millennium generation will undoubtedly know every word. I can karaoke this song like anyone else. But ask me to analyze the lyrics and I’m lost. “When you take a sip, you buzz like a hornet. Billy Shakespeare wrote a whole bunch of sonnets.” I’ll give you a nickel if you tell me how those things relate. Why LFO thinks we need to know that Chinese food makes them sick is beyond me.