Saturday, August 17, 2019

Still Life with Robin: Sounds of Summer

by Peggy Robin

As the end of the summer is rapidly upon us, it’s time to declare a “Song of the Summer”….and the uncontested winner for 2019 is....
“Old Town Road” by Lil Nas X !
Rehoboth boardwalk - Photo by Dough4872 via Creative Commons

What else could it be? If you haven’t heard it, what hermit cave did you crawl into, back in April? It’s high time you came out! By mid-July, that ubiquitous ear-worm had already locked down its claim on the Billboard “Song of the Summer” title: See

It’s already sold so much so quickly, it’s on track to take the title of “Song of the Decade.”*

And now we move on to contenders for the 2019 Summer Blockbuster Movie:
[from movie data website:]

Rank Title                                  Studio           Genre       Gross              Tickets Sold      
1 Avengers: Endgame               Walt Disney   Action    $858,070,646   94,189,972
2 The Lion King                        Walt Disney   Children $487,407,985  53,502,523
3 Toy Story 4                             Walt Disney   Children $422,793,307  46,409,803
4 Spider-Man: Far From Home Sony              Action     $374,624,545  41,122,343
5 Aladdin                                   Walt Disney  Children  $353,296,257  38,781,147

Not a real adult movie among them. Nor a single original – they’re all remakes, sequels, or part of a series.

Here’s where I admit that I have not seen any of the top five 2019 box-office smash hits listed above. Why? Possibly because I’m decades and decades over their target demographic -- which seems to start around age 8 and stop at the upper end of the Millennial generation. 

Well, I don’t care how many tickets have been sold, or how far these summer juggernauts have pushed MY personal pick down the ranks of contenders for the title of Greatest Summer Blockbuster Of ALL Time ....and that would be the original 1975 Jaws. I’m not alone in this judgment, either; it was proclaimed by Entertainment Weekly back in 2014: “Jaws: The Best Summer Blockbuster of All Time.”
….And it’s also a strong contender for the scariest film of all time [See]
….And the scariest movie theme, too:

Now I don’t want to leave you on this fine summer evening on such a menacing note, so let me cap this column off with the happiest “Song of the Summer” ever written – the super-bouncy, clap-along sounds of the Pharell’s 2013 hit, HAPPY:

* While “Old Town Road” is already being hailed already as the Song of the Decade, I have not yet seen an updated list of "Greatest Songs of the Summer Ever" that includes it. The last Billboard list of greatest summer songs that I could find was from 2017: And let me put in a plug for my own previous consideration of this topic in a “Still Life with Robin” column from four years ago [August 15, 2015]:

Still Life with Robin is published on the Cleveland Park Listserv and on All Life Is Local on Saturdays.

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