Above we have former Tottenham goalkeeper Pat Jennings. As for yesterday’s ramble, the consensus seemed to be that Tom Hanks is the U.S.’ national treasure, Sir David Attenborough in the U.K., and Nelson Mandela in South Africa. Good group, I say.
Ramble of the Day
Last year, I was covering NWSL side Sky Blue FC (and would be more actively doing so this year without a pandemic) and the team at the time was playing at Rutgers University’s Yurcak Field. There’s a lot to comment on the specific experience, but one was that the powers that be played the same playlist every single games. It was a pretty unique selection, with a number of songs I actually didn’t know. There was clearly a retro feeling: one time, someone played ABBA’s “Dancing Queen,” but the real standout tune was LFO’s “Summer Girls.”
It was probably the most played song, and it was most certainly the song I had stuck in my head for hours after I heard it after every single home game. When that happens, my instinct is to get annoyed, especially because I didn’t actually know the song. (I once thought it was a New Kids on the Block song because they were name dropped, but it clearly wasn’t.) I didn’t find out until months later that my older sister knew the song, and allowed me to formally introduce myself to it.
What I learned was that “Summer Girls” is a weird, weird song. The song’s point of view is clear from the first line, “I like it when girls stop by for the summer,” and the song’s claim to fame is that our lead singer Rich Cronin likes girls clad in Abercrombie & Fitch. The whole thing, though, is a most random amalgam of facts, opinions, and a hint of exposition about Rich and the summer girl. Check out verse three:
In the summertime, girls got it goin’ on
Shake and wiggle to a hip hop song
Summertime girls are the kind I like
I’ll steal your honey, like I stole your bike
Boogaloo Shrimp and pogo sticks
My mind takes me back there oh so quick
Let you off the hook, like my man Mr. Limpet
Think about that summer and I bug ‘cause I miss it
I like the color purple, macaroni and cheese
Ruby red slippers and a bunch of trees
Call you up, but what’s the use?
I like Kevin Bacon, but I hate Footloose
Came in the door, I said it before
I think I’m over you, but I’m really not sure
When I met you, I said my name was Rich
You looked like a girl from Abercrombie & Fitch
It is more a vibe than a story, so shocking in its lack of structure, and I was so fascinated by its unique take on what a song could be that I began to like it. How could I not? It was so bold in its specific references to its time (the song came out in 1999), and as Rob Harvilla describes in a perfect piece about the song for The Ringer, endearing as a result.
The saddest notes about the legacy of “Summer Girls” is that cancer killed two of LFO’s three members — Cronin in 2010 at 36 and Devin Lima in 2018 at 41, both before they accomplished all they wanted. Still, the song lasted longer than anyone could have expected. “Summer Girls” is before my time, but Abercrombie & Fitch became the teen retailer after its release and rode that momentum for all of my high school years. Rolling Stone’s Brittany Spanos described it as a karaoke hit for people who know and don’t know the song. Above all, though, Harvilla describes the song, though, as a “pathos-free time capsule,” an anthem for a lighthearted summer feeling. It is carelessly perfect.
tl;dr: An accidental discovery of LFO’s “Summer Girls,” a perfectly careless and random song.
Links of the Day
- Hertha Berlin’s Salomon Kalou was suspended after breaking several social distancing guidelines during a Facebook Live.
- Wolves players will be allowed to return to training May 11, and NWSL players will be allowed to do the same May 6.
Loris Karius’s loan at Beşiktaş was canceled after he claimed the club was not paying him.
Today’s longer read: Tom Garry interviewed Paige Williams, a former England youth international turned firefighter, for the BBC