Summer Romance Remembered: Playlist and Open Thread

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Classes are starting up, days are getting ever so slightly shorter and the air is getting just a hint cooler. Maybe it’s time to fly home from your summer abroad. Maybe it’s time to start your new job. There are lots of exciting moments ahead this fall, but all you can think about is your summer fling. Her faux hawk. Your nerd glasses. The image of the two of you making hearts in the sand at your private beach, even if your private beach was actually the public pool. Every moment seems sweeter, fuller and more romantic when you’re looking at it through the rearview mirror as you drive away.

Or maybe you didn’t have a fling this summer. Maybe you’ve been domestic partnered for years, but still, the changing seasons has you thinking about a simpler time. New beginnings has you thinking about old endings. When times were simpler and love required more time in bed and less time spent worry about tax benefits. It may not actually have been simpler then, but it sure feels that way looking back.

It wasn’t all perfect either. Sometimes our summer romances were nothing but miserable heartbreak. Some fell apart under our fingers even before July could turn into August. Even the ones you thought might last forever evaporated when September peeked its head around the corner. How could we have possibly said so many goodbyes?

We’ve had camp girlfriends, lovers abroad, Fourth of July firework kisses, beach-front one-night stands, premature heart breaks and tearful goodbyes. This is our time to listen to the songs of summer love and gush to each other about those moments of perfect queer summer bliss.

Playlist: Summer Romance Remembered


Boys of Summer – Don Henly
Summer Girls – LFO
Holy Ground – Taylor Swift
Summerboy – Lady Gaga
Cruel Summer – Bananarama
Kiss Me – Sixpence None the Richer
How I Spent My Summer Vacation – The Ataris
Summer Wind – Frank Sinatra
Drove Me Wild – Tegan and Sara
Summer Skin – Death Cab
Surfer Girl – Home Grown
Summersong – The Decemberists
Accidentally in Love – Counting Crows
Dusk and Summer – Dashboard Confessional
Summer Love – Justin Timberlake
All Summer – Kid Cudi, Best Coast, and Rodstam of Vampire Weekend
I Remember You – Skid Row
Endless Summer – The Jezabels
Please Stay – Summer Heart
Summer Nights – Grease

Summer Romance Remembered from Autostraddle on 8tracks Radio.

Want to suggest a playlist theme? Hit Crystal up on Formspring and someone of the team might make it for you.

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Lizz is a consumer, lover and writer of all things pop culture and the Fashion/Style Editor at She is also full time medical student at Brown University in Providence, RI. You can find her on the twitter, the tumblr or even on the instagram.

Lizz has written 261 articles for us.


  1. As much as I approve of this playlist, my ultimate summer tune would have to be The Birdie Song. Not necessarily for its lyrical mastery or contrapuntal texturing, but because every year when I was a little my family would go to a resort in Spain that had a ‘kids disco(teca)’ every evening, and every evening I’d manage to grab a different girl during that song to dance with. Oh how I wish I had the confidence (and dance skills) of an 8 year old now!

  2. And, of course, Summertime Sadness, Lana Del Rey. At least on my playlist.

    This post made me nostalgic for things I shouldn’t be nostalgic for. The end of August does that to me in general, though.

    • Agreed – I was going to add that one too. Lana Del Rey is PERFECT for getting me through post-summer.

  3. Passenger Seat- Death Cab for Cutie

    Annnnnd now I just wanna drive around the countryside listening to this playlist with my gf.

  4. Come on no Summertime – DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince? Is it because it’s more of a summertime nostalgic song than romance?

  5. This playlist isn’t complete without someday by sugar ray, or basically any songs that sugar ray does will always get you daydreaming about that time where you went to beach and spent that time checking out that cute girl sunbathing nearby underneath your sunnies while sipping a cold one and the smell of the beach water infused with the smell of vanilla tanning lotion and food from vendors nearby wafting in the air.

    some songs i’d recommend:
    7 days in sunny june – jamiroquai
    waiting in vain – bob marley
    when it’s over – sugar ray
    every morning – sugar ray
    electric feel – mgmt

  6. The song that sticks out best is Drove Me Wild! I was singing this to my…umm summer romance as we were traveling through the Bay Area. It was fun and awkward because as I sang the second verse, I realized it was talking about being in bed. We gave each other an awkward glance and smiled.

    More about my summer romance, I mean this is a open thread about summer romances right?

    We worked together at a summer camp for three months. She’s from England and I’m from California. She was straight before she met me, but was always attracted to me throughout the summer. She just didn’t know what it meant. I didn’t realize I had feelings for her until 3 weeks before we had to say goodbye. I finally told her that I liked her and she said to me, “I don’t know how I feel, but all I know that there is something there.” We both wish we weren’t 6,000 miles apart because we both want to act on our feelings for each other.

    The next time I will see her is in 9 months when she comes back for another summer at our camp. We were supposed to go out on a date, but she called it off because, “I can’t. I just can’t. What if I like you too much? What happens then? When I return to England, I’m going to be very sad.” Before she returns to England, she wanted to go see New York City. I begged her to stay in San Francisco with me. As we parted ways, many tears were shed at the airport security gate. Within hours of landing in NYC, she calls me crying, regretting to have left SF, wishing to be in my arms.

    She cries because she regrets pushing me away to make saying goodbye easier.
    I cry because I should have been more truthful with my feelings. I should have kissed her.
    We cry because we’ll miss each other too much and don’t know what will happen to our relationship in the next 9 months.

    If you are still reading this: If you are ever in a situation like this, please just take a leap of faith. You will have less regrets and wonder less about what could have been.

    • Omg all the summer feelings.

      I feel like this happens to all of us, you know? Like the pushing someone away because you’re scared you’re going to get too close and then what will you do with all your feelings?!

      I don’t have an answer for this, it’s just terrible and sad for everyone I think.

      Also I support this comment and want to hear more summer romance stories!

      • I met a beautiful, exciting, intelligent girl/woman/human. We spent nearly every day of the summer together, drinking until about 4am; talking some kind of shite that fluctuated freely between the utterly irrelevant and the totally profound; falling asleep together just stripped down to our underwear because it was sooo fucking hot (the temperature that is, not our underwear). And the whole time I had that feeling, you know that, like, twisting stomach feeling, that something was about to happen, if only I would just let it.

        But because I must’ve angered the Gods somehow, I can only assume by refusing to accept those Free Hugs given out by people at music festivals, we’ve now ended up living together … because our leases were ending mid-July and our best financial option was for us to buddy up with another girl and rent a 3 bed flat. So I now find myself in the eternal friend zone of being eternally friend-zoned :/ Worse still, she’s going on a date tonight, so I’m planning on sitting around in my bovine-onsie, comfort eating bowls of pasta and watching the worst Jodie Foster movie I can find, which is pretty much a toss-up between Flight Plan and Nim’s Island, both of which I own but cannot remember purchasing.

        Basically I agree with the comment above. GO FOR IT WHEN YOU CAN.

        If anyone can think of a song that sums up my situation better than a Jodie Foster movie, then I might consider adjusting my evening plans to creating emo-ish acoustic covers.

        Sorry Liz, I’ll work on a more uplifting summer romance story for the 2014 playlist :)

      • Umm, I’ll keep the oversharing Summer Missed Connections train moving along.

        I fell for a woman ten years my senior last summer. We met at a time when she was learning how to live a little and I was trying to get my shit together, so I took her around and pushed her into doing everything she was always scared to do and she taught me about 401k’s and how to do my laundry. We spent all summer exploring California’s coast, drinking whiskey, sleeping under the stars on beaches, sharing our starkly different tastes in music, and getting to know each other’s barest selves. Whenever things between us got intense, she would make it a point to tell me how it would never work because of the age difference.

        I got tired of straddling the line of insanity and torturing myself with desire, so I cut contact with her, and spent all my time immersing myself in my work, becoming clean and getting my shit together so that one day she wouldn’t see me as a kid anymore. I held onto the hope that one day chance would smile upon us and we’d run into each other when the stars were finally ready to align to motivate me through months and months of endless work in starting my dream company that she initially gave me the confidence to pursue.

        I finally did run into her a year later and she was engaged.

        Moral of the story: Lesbians love older woman. Just kidding, take a leap of faith. You don’t want to live your life ever thinking “what if.”

        Broken Social Scene-The Sweetest Kill

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