As a kid, I don’t remember hearing the phrase “song of the summer,” but it must come with a certain maturity, the need to define a season by a musical moment to make the inevitable nostalgia that much easier. And, as each of us has our own preferred palette of musical colors, this seasonal signifier will have a large degree of subjectivity. That said, there are also pop smash mega-hits, songs that become ubiquitous in a way that, in retrospect, made them the capital S “Song of the Summer” in an overarching sort of way.
There’s some potential crossover there, too, songs that by any sort of justice would’ve wound up qualifying for that crossover status but never got there, that just missed that echelon for some reason. Using Billboard‘s analysis of their own charts (in which they broke down chart position exclusively over the summer months) as a comparison point, we’ve listed some songs that by all rights could’ve (or perhaps should’ve) been the Song of the Summer.
Of course, there are tons of options for each and every year, so add yours in the comment section below!