"Family Picnic" by Lee Dubin
It seems every summer, radio DJs and promoters crown one pop song as the “Song of the Summer.” I wonder what our Victorian friends might have selected as their “Song of Summer.” I think it might be a song composed as an ode to summer.
Summer in the 19th century didn’t have the same connotation as it does today. In modern times, folks tend to think of summertime as vacation time. We associate the warmer months with relaxing from the daily grind, letting loose and travel. For many it is their favorite time of the year - a more carefree time full of potential and reminiscent of childhood.
The summer season in the 19th century was more about Mother Nature’s transition from spring to autumn. It was a growing and maturing time of the year. So as I was listening to the Overture of Midsummer Night’s Dream this afternoon it occurred to me that it might have indeed been selected as the “Song of Summer” in 1843. Take a listen and see if you can see it and feel it. Imagine a 17 year old Felix Mendelssohn revising this “Song of Summer" which he first composed in 1826.