5 Must-Hear Songs About June for Your Pre-Summer Soundtrack

The month of June seems built for songwriting.

Videos by American Songwriter

A lyricist can naturally find easy rhymes with the moon, gloom, and bloom while turning summer’s opening month into a glowing metaphor. There’s a June song for just about every mood: young love, weeping heartache, the great escape of summer, and on.

Consider this a pre-summer soundtrack as we say goodbye to May.

“June Is as Cold as December” by The Everly Brothers

In The Everly Brothers classic, June is a woman with a broken heart who’s afraid to fall in love again. Each boy thinks they’ll be the one to convince her to give love another chance. Unfortunately, June has nothing left to give. Summer is a hopeful time for many, but June, the girl, brings gloom to the boys like the cloudy, overcast skies of Southern California’s foggy season.

Here comes June
A vision of loveliness
When she smiles
It’s like a sweet caress
Every boy she meets
She sets his heart aglow
They think she’s the answer to their dreams
But they don’t know

“Rainy Day in June” by The Kinks

Speaking of June gloom, The Kinks’ despairing lament even terrifies its mythical creatures of elves and gnomes. Ray Davies’ woeful song reads like the intro to a fable. Humans long ago anthropomorphized nature as a nurturing mother. However, the planet has many ways to harm living things, and Davies turns the gloomy weather pattern into an ominous monster.

A misty shadow spread its wings
And covered all the ground
And even though the sun was out
The rain came pouring down

And all the light had disappeared
And faded in the gloom
There was no hope, no reasoning
This rainy day in June

“Evening in June” by Van Morrison

Thanks to Van Morrison, this playlist is entering a more hopeful phase. The Belfast singer wrote a tender love song full of the kind of summery nostalgia one wants from a June anthem. Morrison’s song reads a little like Goodnight Moon, and the childlike innocence of his lyrics goes down as smoothly as “Brown Eyed Girl.”

By the light of the moon
When the night holds the secrets
Of the sleepy lagoon
I’m contemplating moonlight
On the water
When I’m walking with you
On an evening in June

“June Afternoon” by Roxette

The Swedish pop group Roxette wrote their own “Here Comes the Sun,” which is full of blissful escapes, ice cream, and blankets. Maybe due to singer Marie Fredriksson’s Scandinavian accent, the sunny chorus hints at sarcasm: Let’s play in the park, wah wah, here comes the sun. “June Afternoon” is bubblegum and sunshine from the pop rock heirs of ABBA.

Some folks are on blankets, slowly daydreaming
And reaching for their food
Let’s go buy an ice-cream
And a magazine with an attitude
And put on a cassette, we can pretend that you’re a star
’Cause life’s so very simple, just like la-la-la

“June Hymn” by The Decemberists

A beautiful folk song about changing seasons in rural Oregon, “June Hymn” represents both the longing and hope of summer. It’s about living, observing, and taking in the world around you. In a world of immediacy, watching the slow turns of nature reminds one that just watching the leaves is enough.

Here’s a hymn to welcome in the day
Heralding a summer’s early sway
And all the bulbs all coming in
To begin
The thrushes bleating battle with the wrens
Disrupts my reverie again

Pegging clothing on the line
Training jasmine how to vine
Up the arbor to your door
And more
Standing on the landing with the war
You shouldered all the night before

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Photo by David Redfern/Redferns

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