I hate to say it, but it’s over.
Summer ends on Saturday. The kids are back in school. The balmy days have been traded for breezy ones. The bikinis are stuffed in the back of the drawer, the beach towels stored away for next May.
And to celebrate (or mourn, depending on your disposition), I’ve selected the best end-of-summer songs.
They’re the tunes that look back at the past months with a sepia-toned nostalgia and whose words feel like the all-too-quick transition from sunny days to cool evenings.
So as you hold that last summer celebration, the final backyard BBQ or one last sit around the campfire, jam these songs and feel the memories of summer flow through you.
“Old Pine,” Ben Howard — A look back at a summer full of sleeping by the fire, old friends, morning fog and late nights spent gazing at the stars.
“The Other Side of Summer,” Elvis Costello — “There’s malice and there’s magic in every season.” As always, Costello gets it just right.
“Summer Nights,” John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John — The ultimate “How did you spend your summer?” song.
“Motorcycle Drive By,” Third Eye Blind — A snapshot of a summer relationship reveals that it’s slowly falling apart.
“Summer of 69,” Bryan Adams — The best days of your life, Bryan? OK, yeah, it sounds like a good one.
“September Gurls,” Big Star — Once you reach December, you’ll realize how much you miss September.
“Night Moves,” Bob Seger — A summer spent “tryin’ to lose the awkward teenage blues,” a time “when you just don’t seem to have as much to lose.”
“Age Six Racer,” Dashboard Confessional — As its refrain repeats “so long, sweet summer,” memories wash over us.
“The Boys of Summer,” Don Henley — A good one for cruising with the windows down as you realize “summer’s out of reach.” (Also check out the version by The Ataris.)
“June on the West Coast,” Bright Eyes — Memories of a summer spent traveling and learning things about family, friends and life.
“Maggie May,” Rod Stewart — It’s time to get back to school, Maggie.
“Summer,” Buffalo Tom — It’s refrain of “You wasted every day, every day” is simply too true.
“Wake Me Up When September Ends,” Green Day — Oh you thought these would all be sweet summer nostalgia songs? Nope. Feel those sad feelings.
“Tim McGraw,” Taylor Swift — When you realize that summer’s over and you’re never gonna see him again.
“Summer is Over,” Jon McLaughlin and Sara Bareilles — If you weren’t yet sad about summer ending, here’s one to put you over the edge.