Most summers, there’s a song. The one you hear over and over all summer long and for some reason, you still turn it up. To this day, when you hear it, it takes you back to THAT summer and a wave of memories floods over the beaches of you mind.

I’m NOT talking about a collection of songs that have the word “summer” in them. I am referring an individual song that filled the air waves in summers of certain years. The one that played so much you heard it even if you just drove to the corner store and you switched the station and there it was again.

You might not even really like it, but it sucks you in. Sometimes you profess to people that you get sick of it, but secretly, you don’t get sick of it at all. Often times you crank the car radio to 11 when driving alone, since you can’t admit in public that you like the song. You take the long way home just so you can hear the catchy refrain again.

So in no particular order, just to keep you on your toes, here goes. Here are five such songs that come to mind. I am going to start with my own guilty pleasure from three years ago.

California Gurls 2010

Summer of 2010, it was “California Gurls” by Katy Perry, featuring Snoop Dogg. (Spell check wasn’t on that day.) It played every hour if you hit the dials enough. “Sun so hot, it melts your popsicles.” Wanted to change the station but admit it, you cranked it instead.

Heck, listening to it now. “Fine, Fresh Fierce, we got it on lock … Oooh oh oooh”

When Doves Cry 1984

“Dig if you will the picture …” The Prince man in his prime before he became a mere symbol, screeching out the screams with the rhythmic drum beat and mesmerizing keyboard.

“How can you leave me standing, alone in a world that’s so cold…” Hot song in the summer of 1984. Sang random verses all summer long.

Miss You 1978

Ladies and gentlemen, the Rolling Stones featured a rap before rap was rap on this one. “I been walking Central Park, singing after dark, people think I’m craaaaaaaaazy .. (bass beat bass beat bumbumbumbum) … Stumblin’ on my feet. Shufflin’ through the street… asking people t-t-t what’s a matter with you boy.”

I have recollections of random falsetto echoes all over the parks in Chicago, sometimes sounding only vaguely on key in 1978. Who hoo hoo ho ho ho, who hooo ho oh ho Lord I miss you.” Whenever that song come on, still recall that summer.

Hey There Delilah 2006

Monotonous yet catchy ballad dominated a 2006 summer scene once. Wanted to change the station, couldn’t do it. “Oh it’s what you do to me.” Two questions. Who IS Delilah and DID she do to him?

The song even reached number one in the Czech Republic.

Light My Fire 1967

You know that I would be untrue.
You know that I would be liar.
If I was to say to you.
Girl we couldn’t get much higher.

This song got air play at least every hour in 1967, no lie. A Doors summer classic from 1967, also dubbed the “Summer of Love.”

Let me know if you got one. Not a summer song per se (sorry Chad and Jeremy) but an overplayed song that defined a summer and takes you back to that point in time.