Sunday, 2 May 2010

Not all seasons are created equal

A friend of mine contacted me recently because he is writing a book about British "rock and pop" (not quite sure what aspect of it) and wanted to pick my brains about various things.

One of the things he wants to have is a list of songs that evoke the seasons. As you might expect, we found it a lot easier to think of ones about summer than anything else, though if you count Christmas songs as winter songs then there are obviously quite a few of those too. (I think it's a shame that no one seems to make Christmas albums any more, something I think the Furbelows should rectify.) Spring and autumn? Hmm… In fairness, the emphasis here is on evoking a season rather than specifically name-checking it. Though I suspect that can be a very personal—or sometimes accidental—thing. I remember one summer when Seal's first album was all you heard, blasting out of every open window.

Here's the best that I could come up with, bearing in mind that they must all be British artists:

Spring: Perhaps Jack in the Green by Jethro Tull; or Morning Has Broken by Cat Stevens, though I would hate to promote guff like that; or there's the epic, and largely instrumental (it's over 12 minutes long and the words don't start till the rocky bit around 8:50), number April by Deep Purple. It is actually about the month in question—I checked.
Summer: Hot in the City by Billy Idol, Cruel Summer by Bananarama, anything by the Duckworth Lewis Method (for obvious reasons), Summertime by The Sundays (from their obscure, and unsuccessful, 1997 comeback album Static & Silence), or Staying Out for the Summer by Dodgy, which does have a very summery feel.
Autumn: you could try Harvest Festival by XTC (from their 1999 album Apple Venus)
Winter: There's always New Year's Day by U2, but they are Irish not British. Or Winter by the Rolling Stones (from the less well known 1973 album Goat's Head Soup). Of course Sting did recently release an album all about winter…
Christmas: Last Christmas by Wham!, Merry Christmas Everybody by Slade, Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day by Wizzard, and for something more recent Christmas Time (Don't Let the Bells End) by The Darkness.

Got any other ideas?

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