August 11, 2008

Cruisin' (on a Sunday Afternoon)

Only five months until we hit the Caribbean for an entire week. This leaves half a wardrobe to be purchased, a surprisingly small amount of footwear to set aside, and still so much fighting over shore excursions yet to be hashed out.

“Pirate ship!” “
“Zip. Line.”
“Screw scuba—pirates! With cannons!”
“Oh, do they have a zipline?”
“Deep-sea fishing?”
"Uch, no.”
“Sea turtles.”
(meekly) “Zipline.” (kicks dirt)

Although the bikini crusade has come to a close (more on that later), the hardest task is now the loading of the iPod. I need to cram every song that has an ounce of decadence and drop of sunshine onto a single playlist, and the sequence must be tight.

Googling “summer songs” will get you the same handful of songs on endless compilation CDs—the Beach Boys, Theme from a Summer Place, Bob Marley, The Pina Colada Song, Margaritaville—all of which I have included, because if I don’t, people will ask where they are (although I have not included the Macarena, and I don’t intend to). The problem is the balance, the ratio of “cold tea and empty side streets on a balmy 1 AM” songs to the “surf, sarongs and lying on Caribbean sand” songs—the problem being that I’ve only done the former. That’s where you come in. Songs include:

Hot Fun in the Summertime – Sly & the Family Stone
Featured on the best of compilations, it lazily conveys the feeling of summer and skims the ‘fleeting’ motif, rather than dwelling like a bummer (see Chad and Jeremy’s Autumn Leaves, which I love, but is better in September). Also, there are both high and low solos, which makes for a fun sing-along.

Got to Give it Up – Marvin Gaye
This is the primer. Even the worst and whitest dancers on the planet can dance to this song. There’s something about Marvin Gaye that makes the world feel all right, and the Caribbean gives you hips. Together, we greet the dawn.

Blue Bayou – Linda Ronstadt
Not just for theatre junkies and closeted sopranos! Much like Day-O, Working in a Coal Mine and Chain Gang, the 'work' aspect is completely lost due to the fact that it’s so fun to sing. Linda’s blues are saved by the steel guitar; I’m pretty sure your brain invents the sound of waves on this one. [Side note: I still picture her singing it to a marsh full of frogs.]

Somewhere Over the Rainbow – Israel Kamikawiwo'ole
Sadly, paradise has been typecast. Not a thing we can do. It’d be like leaving flip-flops out of your luggage.

Girl from Ipanema – Stan Getz
Because you’re not me, you can sing this in a voice other than Action Jackie’s.

Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard – Simon & Garfunkel
I don’t know how anyone ever got through her first summer with a license without singing this song. Mama Pajama? Woah-oh!

Sweet City Woman – The Stampeders
Ditto. Many’s the day I leaned out the driver’s side window to sing ‘ma-ca-roons’ at passing cars. Always reminds me of Libby.

Beyond the Sea - Bobby Darin
I found a 45 of this song lying on a shelf at an antique store. I was broke, so I begged my mother to borrow against my allowance. It was twenty-five cents. This was the B-side; the flip was Mack the Knife. It's this and Blackwater that really make me miss the shit out of my turntable.

Sleepwalk – Santos and Johnny
I seriously think this should be required listening at least once a day. If it had words, they would be whatever’s Spanish for “everything will be okay in the fullness of time,” because swaying to it is like popping bubble paper very slowly, with ukeleles.

Never Been to Spain – 3 Dog Night
In the first whispered notes of this song, I get a look in my eye that lets every man present know that I will be the dirtiest girl in the world for him for the next three minutes.

I’ll Take You There – Staple City Singers
Just in case. You know in, um, case. Ain’t nobody worried.

I realize that if I’m on a beach in Barbados I could probably listen to Slipknot and not give a white-hot damn, but… any suggestions? Other than Bobby McFerrin, because: no.


Mamaclsn said...

Sugar Ray.

Anonymous said...

Summertime -- DJ Jazzy Jeff & Fresh Prince
Summer in the City -- Lovin' Spoonful
Heat Wave -- Martha & the Vandellas
Summer Breeze -- Seals & Crofts
Just a few ideas :o)

Anonymous said...

young and sweet and tan and lovely...

We can keep hundreds of songs on my ipod. I can see it now, you & me, my ipod between us, an earbud for each, margaritas in hand...