Swelter belters - 10 hot tunes to soundtrack the meltdown

On the hottest day of the summer, here’s a hot countdown of 10 sultry classics

Summertime groove:  The Fresh Prince and DJ Jazzy Jeff

Summertime groove: The Fresh Prince and DJ Jazzy Jeff

 

It’s getting hot in here and we’re losing our inhibitions faster than we can lose our clothes. Summer has always benefited from a sultry soundtrack, so here are 10 belters to get you even hotter under the collar...


Here Comes the Sun - The Beatles
Here comes the sun, here comes the sun
And I say it’s all right

We say it’s alright too. This was written by low-profile Beatle George Harrison, so it is entirely fitting that it should kick off our low-profile temporary sunny spell. On the Beatles’ 1969 Abbey Road album, the track was written at Eric Clapton’s house. We have no idea if George and Eric were wearing trunks at the time. We’ll leave it to your imagination.

Summer in Dublin - Bagatelle
I remember that summer in Dublin, and the Liffey as it stank like hell,
And the young people walking on Grafton street, and everyone looking so well

A song that name-checks the 46A bus to Dun Laoghaire? What’s not to like? Not straight outta Compton but bang outta Bray, the lads got together in 1978. They have influenced U2, shared a stage with Bob Marley and Don McClean and played my friend Donal Murphy’s 40th birthday in a pub in Oranmore Co Galway. Summer loving had us a blast.

In the Summertime - Mungo Jerry
In the summertime when the weather is high
You can stretch right up and touch the sky

Ignoring the somewhat outdated approach to gender relations, this song will cool you down faster than a Loop the Loop.

Hot, hairy and huge when it topped the charts all over the world in summer 1970, the lyric “have a drink, have a drive, go out and see what you can find” led to the song’s ironic use in a British anti drink-driving campaign.

Summertime - DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince
Summer, summer, summertime
Time to sit back and unwind

Dipping its toe into the Kool & the Gang ditty Summer Madness, the song won the duo a Grammy in 1992 and their first notch on the ladder of the UK singles’ chart. Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Will Smith deserved his crown for having the wit to smell the fresh smell of success in the summer charts.

Cruel Summer - Bananarama
It’s a cruel, cruel summer
Leaving me here on my own

All their friends were off on holidays and they only had dungarees and Doc Martens in their wardrobes. Bananarama were already fuming, now they were boiling too. How could anyone be so darn unkind? This was how the 1980s felt – uncomfortably humid.

Umbrella - Rihanna feat Jay-Z
Because when the sun shines, we’ll shine together
Told you I’ll be here forever

You’re all sun cream and sandals today as you lap up the rays, but Rihanna is a sensible girl and you should maybe listen to her. You know this won’t last and some sensible rain gear is just what you need.

Summertime Blues - Eddie Cochran
Sometimes I wonder
What I’m-a gonna do
But there ain’t no cure
For the summertime blues

Eddie Cochran was right to think about involving the United Nations in the shenanigans that were happening in the summer of 1958. If the UN is not too busy today, they might still be worth dialling.

Hot in Herre - Nelly
It’s getting hot in here, so hot, so take off all your clothes
I am, getting so hot, I wanna take my clothes off

Nelly was in Dublin recently but the weather was reportedly too inclement for the US rapper to remove many layers. Today his 2002 hit might indeed tempt you to “let it hang all out”. Bear in mind the indecency laws though.

Lovely Day - Bill Withers
Then I look at you, And the world’s alright with me
Just one look at you, And I know it’s gonna be a lovely day

How do you make a duck sing soul music?

Put him in the microwave until his Bill Withers.

Silly season aside, this is a 1970s classic from US soul and R&B singer Bill Withers. None of us is worthy.

Summertime - Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong
Summertime... and the livin’ is easy
Fish are jumpin’... and the cotton is high

Composed in 1934 by George Gershwin for the 1935 opera Porgy and Bess, Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong nailed it. Summer doesn’t get any more sublime than this. Factor 1000.

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