Happy First Day of Summer (well at least for half the world…)


To all those residing in the Northern Hemisphere – happy first day of summer. For those of you in the Southern Hemsisphere, don’t worry, it’s only six months away…

When I think of summer, I think of family, friends, no school, vacations, beaches, warm nights, and cold beer.

I also think of the classic song,  In the Summertime, by the band Mungo JerryIt goes perfectly with my favorite time of the year and it was probably one of the first Songs of the Summer.

Ray Dorset, the lead singer, has said that the song only took ten minutes to write, which he did using a second-hand Fender Stratocaster while he was taking time off from his regular job, working in a lab for Timex.

Here’s Ray  and the rest of Mungo Jerry singing their hit song. Who knew they were making music videos back then, but I’m glad they were.

Some of the lyrics might be considered a bit questionable or a bit dated:

Have a drink, have a drive
Go out and see what you can find

I don’t think you would find such lyrics in music written today. In fact,  the song was used in a UK advert for the campaign Drinking and Driving Wrecks Lives.

If her daddy’s rich take her out for a meal
If her daddy’s poor just do what you feel

Hmmmm…. not sure if those two lines would go over so well today either, and I’m not sure if it did back in the 70s either.

And the next set of lines is up for question as to what the lyrics actually are. I’ve read the following:

Speed along the lane
Do a ton or a ton an’ twenty-five
(
From what I can tell by researching it online, do a ton or ton an’ twenty five is referring to driving 100-125 miles per hour.)

or

Speed along the lane
You can dine or return the $25″
(Suggesting that the girl’s dad gave him $25 to take his daughter out to dinner)

or

Speed along the lane
You can dine for a dollar twenty-five
(Suggesting how cheap it was to dine back then)

or

Speed along the lane
Do a turn or return the twenty-five
(hmmm….)

Despite these problems with some of the lyrics, it does nothing to detract from how great the song is.

Best wishes for a happy summer, and keep these words of Mungo Jerry in mind:

We’re always happy
Life’s for livin’ yeah, that’s our philosophy

Couldn’t agree more…

*image from Al.com

76 thoughts on “Happy First Day of Summer (well at least for half the world…)

  1. so funny, and who could resist singing along with this song back in the day, no matter what it really said, never stopped anyone from belting out their version of the lyrics )

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’ve never been sure of that lyric but if he does say ‘a ton or a ton and twenty five’ it is definitely mph – we still use mph now. The maximum legal speed here is 70mph!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Oh, I assumed the UK had converted to the metric system like it seems every other country in the world except the US. This is good, because MPH on your road signs would make it easier for me to concentrate while trying to drive in your country on the “wrong” side of the road.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. We have officially been metric for many years but, like most things we do, we didn’t fully commit to it! Road signs and speed limits are still in miles, but petrol (gasoline) is sold in litres. Most importantly, we kept imperial measures in pubs, so beer is still sold by the pint. There’d be an outcry if that changed, but bottles and cans from supermarkets and other outlets are in metric measures. As if driving on the wrong side of the road wasn’t enough to confuse you 😉

        Liked by 2 people

      3. Geez, that sounds confusing as hell. But it just wouldn’t sound right to order up a litre of beer, or to miss a target by a kilometer, so I guess I can understand why some things haven’t changed.

        Liked by 2 people

      4. Whenever I’ve travelled abroad the beer has always been metric – ordering a litre is a pretty big glass! It might sound confusing but we’re used to it – been like it since the 1970s. Did you know our pints are larger than yours? You’re being ripped off 😂

        Liked by 2 people

      5. I didn’t know our pints were different from yours. But it doesn’t surprise me. Once in awhile I run across the term “Imperial quarts” or Imperial pints or the like. I don’t know why our system isn’t “Imperial” but maybe it’s because we really hated King George after the revolution.

        Liked by 2 people

      6. Have you seen The Madness Of King George? Interesting background on what was happening here around and after your War of Independence. It treats him as a figure of fun, which is how many saw him at the time, I think.

        Liked by 1 person

      7. Your King George reference reminds me of the opportunity we had to se the play Hamilton, in London, a couple of years ago. Same great play, but kind of a different perspective… 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      8. Nope, we have to be different here! Though as we call it the Imperial scale maybe we got there first? Our pounds have 16 ounces but our pints have 20 fluid ounces. Confused? You will be…

        Liked by 1 person

      9. That does sound quite confusing. I’m used to beer being sold by the ounce (12 or 16 ounce servings). When we were in Singapore earlier this year, everything was in ml. I was always trying to do the conversion in my head…330 ml was close to a 12 ounce can…

        Liked by 1 person

      10. I thought the same thing about the use of the metric system in the U.K.

        I’ve driven on the “other” side of the road in Ireland many years ago. It took a bit of getting used to. What I did like was the frequent use of traffic circles – I’ve become a huge fan of them!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s funny to me, as a Brit, that you think of this as being one of the first summer songs, as I grew up through the 60s thinking the Beach Boys did summer better than anyone else. Eddie Cochran had a good stab at it too. I still haven’t forgiven Mungo Jerry for being #1 here for 7 weeks and keeping Free’s All Right Now off the top of the charts 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, The Beach Boys did have a lot of classic summer songs. But to me there’s just something special about In the Summertime. The name of the song, the name of the band, the beat…
      And you hold a grudge for a while! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Maybe I’d been conditioned through the 60s into seeing the Beach Boys as the epitome of summer! It’s good that the song has that significance for you, considering what it was up against. That grudge has been mentioned in my blog previously – something to do with Free’s record being far better, in my eyes, and the ubiquity of Mungo Jerry that summer. You couldn’t move here without hearing Ray Dorset going ch-ch-ch!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree, there is something catchy about the tune. And I knew a few of the words, but I hadn’t really paid attention to the one line that is up for debate as to what the actual lyrics are…
      And yes, it’s summer, and life is easy…

      Like

  3. I spent about a half hour thinking about drinking and driving in music and if you could be pro drinking and driving today.

    Part 1.

    I looked at songs in the past and came up with 2 tounge in cheek pink songs one 89 the other 91 or 92.
    2 mentions of it in Eminem songs
    A Sam kinison skit pro drinking and driving from the 80s and a debate show called cross balls from the 2000s where a guy who was a comedian seriously debated an unknowing pundit on how it’s ok to drink and drive.
    But all I could come up with that seriously backs drinking and driving was the mid 90s Snoop song gin and juice. That song was a hit. That leads me to

    Part 2
    Could it be done today?

    I think so but only in the context of a club song and it depends on the artist. It has to be someone with some edge. Taylor Swift can’t write a song about drinking and driving even if it is catchy as hell. Ke$ha probably could, Drake maybe. That’s for a radio hit though.

    A club song? For sure. If you can play something like I’m in love with the coco (it’s not about hot chocolate) by OT Genesis or the Molly percoset song by Future (I think) then you can probably get away with a song about drinking and driving as long as it’s got a hook people will like when they are drunk and you can dance to the beat.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Mungo Jerry… yes gets the feet tapping but on long barmy summer day its Ella for me while I sip my Pina Colada…
    Summertime, and the livin’ is easy
    Fish are jumpin’ and the cotton is high
    Oh, your daddy’s rich and your ma is good-lookin’
    So hush, little baby, don’t you cry……Enjoy the sunshine 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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