We at The Wire have seen some awfully dubious lists declaring Songs of the Summer throughout the years. With summer finally here, and thus Song of Summer Choosing Season upon us, we decided to set the record straight.
Earlier this week, The Boston Globe published a timeline of the songs of summer going back to 1915, at least according to Phillip Niemeyer. "Songs were chosen based on a loose criteria of release date, when they peaked in popularity, and because they help illustrate how we enjoyed music that summer," he wrote. The reality, however, is that his selections are woefully misguided.
Take, for example, his pick for 2012: "Gangnam Style" by Psy (which, by the way, is on the verge of 2 billion YouTube views). Psy's viral sensation was no doubt popular in 2012. There's only one problem – it wasn't popular in the summer.
For one, the "Gangnam Style" video wasn't uploaded until July 15, meaning it wasn't even a blip on the pop culture radar until the end of July, according to Google trends, when the summer was long underway (we're defining summer as May-September, because let's be real here). For another, it didn't overtake Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe" until late August, when the summer was approaching its end. Popularity doesn't necessarily dictate Song of Summer status, of course, but anointing a song that wasn't even released until halfway through the season is, by Niemeyer's own metrics, simply incorrect. Also, though: come on. "Call Me Maybe" was the song of that summer. Be serious.