Song to Start Your Week

‘That Summer Feeling,’ Jonathan Richman

In memory of this summer and every summer

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Song to start your week

As September draws to a close and sunny days disappear into fall quarter, “That Summer Feeling” by the Modern Lovers frontman Jonathan Richman will let the summer linger a bit longer and bring on an aching nostalgia for all the summers of your youth.  

Backed by the slow swing of his guitar and his warm, charming voice, Richman’s lyrics yearn for the freedom of summer: “When there’s things to do, not because you gotta / When you run for love, not because you oughta / When you trust your friends, with no reason not ta.” He also captures the inviting bliss of summer weather, with lines like “When the cool of the pond makes you drop down on it / When the smell of the lawn makes you flop down on it.” 

The song is a powerful warning that this experience of summer is fleeting, that “if you wait until you’re older, a sad resentment will smolder one day.” Richman knows the grass is always greener, and he foreshadows a day in older age when you’ll long to reclaim the simplicity of grade-school, dusty swing-sets, and a lost summer crush.

Throughout the six-minute song, Richman kicks up vignette after vignette of adolescent summertime in fever-dream detail, capturing the memories of youth — and the feeling that none of it would ever end. 

Editor’s note: If you’re interested in what other music The Daily editorial staff is listening to this week, check out our Spotify.

Reach writer Maxwell Eberle at arts@dailyuw.com. Twitter: @MaxwellEberle

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