I can almost smell the sunscreen if the song ‘When I See You Smile’ or any early Buju Banton track comes on the radio or is blasting from someone’s car. I start boggling in my head no matter when or even where I am. Even just walking down the street (I might even flip out a few hand bogles if I think I can get away with it).
It brings to mind being a teenager on my first booze cruise, summer nights around a bonfire at the beach, boating on Paradise Lakes with a few of my closest friends and more than a few of their closest friends. It makes me think of being dragged to family weddings with your parents and having a blast because those lot know how to party, of school dances (not regular dances but DAAANCES), of entire days being spent on the sand with just a cooler and a boom box – (Yes, I know I’m showing my age, but those were the days!). I’m transported to the hours spent fishing off the rocks with my mates, doing more chatting than actual fishing.
And the thread that ties all those experiences together is the tunes. We defined summer by the music and still do even if today’s music isn’t quite as good. We defined summer by the choice of which of the many concerts we actually could afford to go to and not wreck your budget, again still an issue we deal with if to a much higher extent now. We defined summer by the hours spent picking out and putting together the perfect outfits that made you look cute but was flexible enough to let you whine down, whine down to the ground. We defined summer by the impromptu parties up someone’s house where the coolness factor was defined by how well they slung tunes. And nothing messed up summer more than a broken Walkman.
More than the food of summer, the drinks of summer, it’s the music of summer that truly makes the memories of summer. Music is one of those things that transcends to create a feeling that is more than the sum of its parts. For me, that is and always will be old school 90’s reggae and soca. My summer theme songs have that classic four-four beat. A little ‘Hot This Year’ and I‘m eighteen again celebrating the best parts of being a Bermudian, before life and kids got in the way (not that I’d trade those munchkins for the world… most of the time). A little ‘Twice My Age’ and I’m suddenly seeing Bermuda as the beautiful island paradise it truly is and not just the place where life with all its adultness of work and responsibilities conspires to keep my head down. Music allows you to use the eyes of your heart to truly see the world around you.
I hear some good tune and my soul, if not my body, dances and a little smile reaches my lips.
This article was originally featured in the Summer 2018 edition of RG Magazine.