The best days of my life

July 30, 2011, 12:00 AM GMT+0

Canadian songster Bryan Adams’s 1985 hit Summer of ‘69 is Britain’s top summer song, our poll in which people picked their favourite from a list of summertime singles has revealed. The Beatles classic Here Comes The Sun -which incidentally was recorded in the summer of 1969- ranks as second favourite.

Unsurprisingly, opinion varies across age ranges. The 1990s classic Summertime by the Fresh Prince (aka Will Smith) and Jazzy Jeff, for example, is the second favourite summer record of 25 to 39 year olds, while not a single person aged over 60 rates the tune.

  • Bryan Adams’s hit Summer of ‘69 is the nation’s favourite summer song, with 11% of people selecting it from a list of summertime hits
  • The 1985 hit outdid The Beatles classic Here Comes The Sun, which was placed second in the list of top tracks
  • The pair of hits were followed by a four-way tie for third place between In The Summertime by Mungo Jerry, Sunny Afternoon by The Kinks, Walking On Sunshine by Katrina and the Waves, and Summertime (And The Living Is Easy) by Ella Fitzgerald
  • Opinion varies across age ranges; Ella Fitzgerald is promoted to first place for the over 60s, while Summertime by the Fresh Prince and Jazzy Jeff climbs from seventh place to second for 25 to 39 year olds
  • For 18 to 24 year olds Summer of ‘69 has the highest percentage, placing it as top of the summertime charts with 21%, and Sun is Shining by Bob Marley is joint second with the Fresh Prince, both with 7% apiece
  • The start of the school summer holidays this week may have inspired 3% of people to place Alice Cooper’s Schools Out For Summer at number 11 on our list

The summer season of 1969 is a recurring theme in our poll. The most preferred song revolves around the season, and the second placed track was recorded during the actual summer of 1969.

Songwriter Jim Vallance, who penned the nation’s favourite summer song alongside singer Bryan Adams, rather later in 1985, has said that the original title of the hit track was, aptly, ‘Those were the best days of my life’. On his website he reveals the story behind the track’s name:

‘In our first draft of the song the phrase "best days of my life" appears seven times... [but] by the time we recorded the final recorded version of the song, "best days of my life" had been demoted, appearing only three times, while the phrase "summer of '69" appeared five times.’

Events in the summer of 1969 included Neil Armstrong landing on the moon on 20th July, the most famous music festival of modern times Woodstock taking place in August with headliners including the Who and Jimi Hendrix, and anti-war sentiment in opposition to America’s conflict with Vietnam dominating the mind-set of youth.