87. Song No. 1,018: “Billy Liar,” The Decemberists
Her Majesty the Decemberists, 2003
“So the summer is eternity for you…”
I am a child of springtime but my heart belongs to summer. Give me flip-flops and sundresses and Jersey’s pea-soup humidity and I am one contended creature. I love the balmy, pastel awakening of spring but it’s the extreme heat of summer that gives me some primal joy no other season can match. Especially now that autumn is in full swing, which means another insufferable winter and this season’s bout with SAD are lurking just around the corner.
But during the glorious reign of college, summer was the endless wait from mid-May to Labor Day that barred me from the campus that will forever be my first home. And the warm-weather jauntiness of “Billy Liar” succinctly defined my inner turmoil of resenting the locational limbo summer thrust me into but still fundamentally loving prime windows-down-volume-up season. This song was so satisfying to turn up and sing out loud on the trek to and from whatever seasonal job imposed some modicum of responsibility on my otherwise unmoored summers as I counted down the days I’d be seeing the people I missed the most more than just a handful of times across a couple of months and with greatly concerted effort during another interminable summertime.