Country music songs that will have you looking forward to summer

Cold air hits your face as soon as you open the door. The cold invades you and you start to shiver. The piles of snow covering the ground seem too big to melt. The bright orange leaves that covered the campus last fall seem so distant you can’t even remember what they looked like.

We all look forward to spring break and the warmer days to come, however distant they may be. It’s never too early to anticipate this time and dream of warm summer nights, t-shirts and long journeys in the plains. It’s easy to imagine these things when listening to good old country music. Whether you just want to get away from the cold or are looking to explore a new genre, here are some country songs to help you anticipate summer.

“Barefoot Night in Blue Jeans” by Jake Owen

Jake Owen’s “Barefoot Blue Jean Night” is a typical country song. It has the classic country music vibes of hanging out with friends and barbecuing on a summer evening. For some, the images of jeans, guitars and sweet tea might be over the top. But since we’re all sitting indoors in negative weather, these things have never sounded so good.

The song has a relaxation theme. It’s gotten tough for some of us who are busy with school and extracurricular activities, but this song will let you relax and unwind as the kicking beat takes you somewhere warmer. As Owen, a self-taught guitarist, says in the song, there’s no place I’d rather be than “caught on a southern summer night, barefoot in blue jeans.”

“Summer Nights” by Rascal Flatts

“We went crazy, locked up all winter.” These lyrics embody how many of us are feeling right now, but there are warmer days ahead. If you’re like me, you look forward to summer nights. When the sun goes down and you have family and friends by your side, life feels good. “Summer Nights” by Rascal Flatts is the perfect song for this situation. There’s no intense country imagery of things like trucks and booze, which is typical among other country songs.

Similar to their hit song “Life is a Highway” which played in the movie “Cars” “Summer Nights” is a feel-good song that everyone will enjoy. Rascal Flatts has dabbled in different styles over the years, and lead singer Gary LeVox’s powerful voice appeals to a wide audience. Even if you’ve never liked country music, this song might be for you because it doesn’t sound like the usual contemporary country sound you’d hear on the radio today.

“It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere” by Alan Jackson (with Jimmy Buffet)

Even if you’ve never heard the song, you’ve at least heard the phrase. “It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere” has become more than just a song. From t-shirts to drunk college students, it can be heard across the country, from honkytonks to calculus classrooms. In short, it’s a classic. Although it may be cliché, the feeling you get while relaxing and having an adult drink (if you’re of age, of course) around 5 p.m. on a beautiful summer evening is unparalleled and the loud voice of Buffet will get you there in the blink of an eye. As I’m forced to walk across the frozen tundra that Shaw Field has become, I yearn for that feeling, and this song can take me there.

“Summertime Love” by Flatland Cavalry

Flatland Cavalry isn’t as mainstream as some of the other artists on the list, but they are my favorites. The group from Lubbock, Texas mixes folk and American vibes to go with their country roots. They have a very calm and soft sound that will pull you in and help you forget about the outside world. This song has a childish, playful innocence that is intoxicating. It’s the kind of song that makes you smile, it’s just what we need in these snowy times.

“Toes” by Zac Brown Band

If you haven’t heard of the Zac Brown Band, I’m thrilled to bring you one of their best-known songs. They have a lot of classic songs, like “Chicken Fried” and “Colder Weather,” but this one might top it. Even if you don’t know this song, you’ve definitely heard it or at least seen it in an Instagram caption. “Toes in the water, ass in the sand” may be a joke at this point, but the sentiment is true. Hearing that makes me want to take sunscreen. “Bikinis and palm trees danced in my head” is another example of the hot summer imagery that has made this song so popular and quotable for so long. If you like their music, you can catch them visiting the Minnesota State Fair this year!

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