Bryan Adams - Summer Of '69 - Meaning of the song
In the Summer of '69, Adams was 9 years old.
"It's a very simple song about looking back on the summertime and making love. For me, the '69 was a metaphor for making love, not about the year. I had someone in Spain ask me once why I wrote the first line 'I had my first real sex dream'... I had to laugh."
Adams wrote this with the songwriter Jim Vallance, who wrote several Aerosmith songs and often collaborated with Adams. On his website, Vallance explains that the song went through a number of changes, and it was originally called "Best Days Of My Life," with the line "Summer Of '69" appearing just once in the lyrics. Vallance feels that the Jackson Browne song "Running On Empty," which contains the lyrics, "In '69 I was 21," was a subconscious influence on their writing, and that Adams may have been influenced by the movie Summer Of '42.
Both Adams and Vallance had bands in high school, which provided fodder for the lyrics about the band that broke up. In the line, "Jimmy quit, Jody got married," Jody was Jody Perpik, who was Adams' sound man. He got married around the time this song was coming together, and he appeared in the video with his wife - in a car with a "Just Married" sign.
Bryan always performs this at his concerts - he tends to start singing the first line, and then the audience takes over for the first chorus.
Summer Of '69 - Lyrics
I got my first real six-string Bought it at the five-and-dime Played it 'til my fingers bled Was the summer of '69 Me and some guys from school Had a band and we tried real hard. Jimmy quit, Jody got married I should've known we'd never get far Oh, when I look back now That summer seemed to last forever And if I had the choice Yeah, I'd always wanna be there Those were the best days of my life Ain't no use in complainin' When you've got a job to do Spent my evenings down at the drive-in And that's when I met you, yeah Standin' on your mama's porch You told me that you'd wait forever Oh, and when you held my hand I knew that it was now or never Those were the best days of my life Oh, yeah. Back in the summer of '69, oh. Man we were killin' time We were young and restless We needed to unwind I guess nothin' can last forever, forever, no! yeah! And now the times are changin' Look at everything that's come and gone Sometimes when I play that old six-string I think about you, wonder what went wrong Standin' on your mama's porch You told me that it'd last forever Oh, and when you held my hand I knew that it was now or never Those were the best days of my life Oh, yeah. Back in the summer of '69, oh. It was the summer of '69, oh, yeah. Me and my baby in '69, oh. It was the summer, the summer, the summer of '69, yeah.