Spring Tunes

It happened again this year, thank goodness. Did you feel it? It was the first day of spring. It was actually a few weeks ago, March 20 at 1:14 AM (Eastern Daylight Time). On the first day of spring – the vernal equinox – day and night are each approximately 12 hours long (with the actual time of equal day and night, in the Northern Hemisphere, occurring a few days before the vernal equinox). The Sun crosses the celestial equator going northward; it rises exactly due east and sets exactly due west. So, there you go. Spring for 2012 has most definitely sprung.

Reflecting on this year’s arrival of spring has given rise in me to a reflection of songs that mention directly either the spring season or some very specific trait of the season. Turns out, there are a lot of songs that fit this category. Here is my rather random and idiosyncratic list of favorite songs about spring. So what did I leave out? What is your favorite spring tune?

10. “June is Busting Out All Over” by Rogers and Hammerstein. One of the all time favorites in the Rogers and Hammerstein catalogue. Written for the musical Carousel, one’s foot starts tapping just reading the title. Admittedly the month of June is the Johnny-come-lately in the trio of months comprising spring, but this song speaks to the biological upheaval of the season.

9. “First Day of Spring” by Noah and the Whale
There may be no better expression of the hope that spring can metaphorically bring, even when life has tossed a large brick at our vulnerable heads, than this raw, direct and somewhat harsh song.

8. “Spring Is Here” by Frank Sinatra
I think Frank Sinatra may have built his career on singing about spring. This huckster for the hokey seems to have latched on to every romantic notion the season has to offer and happily converted it into a hit.This is just one example.

7. “The Cage” by Travis
This tune is the dark side of spring, I think. The lyrics (“Your lip was bleeding, but it was fine…”, for example) speak of a love gone really bad and made more evident by the emergence of spring. If listening to all of Frankie’s sugar sweet songs about spring causes your liver to shrivel, this song may be the shot of insulin you need.

6. “Everything is Everything” by Lauryn Hill
The author of this song uses the inevitability of the coming of spring as a way of saying that change is always with us, but we can commit to being true to whom we are even in the face of the vicissitudes of life. This is a lyrically complicated song, changing subjects and complements to the subject quickly and without notice or warning.

5. “Spring Collection” by The Vapors
Who would think that a song would use a young girl’s springtime wardrobe choices as a means of expressing anger and rejection? Remarkably upbeat in chord structure and key, as a spring-base tune should be, this song by the New Wave group, The Vapors, is rock and roll in the best tradition of the early ‘80s.

4. This Tornado Loves You” — Neko Case
If one lives in the aptly though fearfully predictive area of the country known as “Tornado Alley,” then this song will be your anthem. But really, Neko is not lamenting the loss of a house, but rather using the power of a spring tornado as a means of expressing the upheaval in one’s life due to the loss of a deep love.

3. “Good Day Sunshine” by the Beatles
A typical Paul McCartney song, a poesy to happiness, this tune revels in the joy of warm weather. He sings, “When the sun is out/ I’ve got something I can laugh about / I feel good, in a special way/ I’m in love and it’s a sunny day.” He equates feeling good with a beautiful woman and a nice warm day. There is not a cloud on McCartney’s horizon.

2. “Month of May” by Arcade Fire
On their Grammy award-winning album The Suburbs, Arcade Fire explores the implications of a disconnected child growing up in the disenfranchised and lonely suburbs. The lyrics state that May is “a violent thing / In the city their hearts start to sing. / Well, some people singing sounds like screaming. / Used to doubt it but now I believe it.”

1. “Here Comes the Sun” by The Beatles
The history surrounding this iconic Beatles song (which is to say a ‘George Harrison feeling swamped by the experience of being a Beatle’ song), is that Harrison wrote the song in gleeful expression of his skipping out on a Beatles business meeting one fine spring morning. This tunes sits at the apogee of my list of must-listen-to spring songs.

- Joe Falkner
Division Manager, Aircast

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