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Oldies Mixtape 103: A Spring Symphony

A soundtrack for showers, sunshine, and green fields


A Spring Symphony

We all know that oldies artists loved the summertime, but what does the discriminating listener do when winter's over and a new beginning is just, well, beginning? This playlist offers some idea... it moves through the mid-Sixties and Seventies to find happy, nature-loving songs that capture Spring's unique mood of rebirth and renewal. (Click the song title to hear a sample clip; download the songs here at About.com or through your own provider, and make yourself a nice iPod playlist or legally burned CD.)

  1. The Beatles, "Here Comes The Sun"
    Perhaps the ultimate rock song about the cycle of winter-into-spring, done as only The Deep One (that is, George) can.
  2. The Rascals, "A Beautiful Morning"
    Save the slow and sexy "Groovin'" for the summer... this is the sound of waking up refreshed and ready.
  3. The Lovin' Spoonful, "Daydream"
    What would spring be without the happy-go-lucky folkie attitude of John Sebastian?
  4. The Toys, "A Lover's Concerto"
    Beloved by many, this Motown-styled take on Bach's "Minuet in G" ties new love in with the new weather.
  5. Gary Lewis and the Playboys, "Green Grass"
    Celebrates the arrival of spring and the preparation for summer. Surprisingly uptempo for a song with a harpsichord.
  6. The Beach Boys, "Their Hearts Were Full Of Spring"
    A neglected acapella classic from this group best known for summer tunes, this Four Freshmen tribute offers a deeper, more serious look at the metaphorical seasons.
  7. The Cowsills, "The Rain, The Park, And Other Things"
    Self-explanatory, but our narrator is obviously eyeing his new love through a spring, not winter, rain.
  8. Spanky and Our Gang, "Lazy Day"
    Goes all out, including not just blue skies and sunshine but rowboats, balloons, and squirrels (!)
  9. Harper's Bizarre, "59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin' Groovy)"
    Some prefer the original Simon and Garfunkel version, but either way, few songs make goofing off sound so necessary.
  10. Hugh Masekela, "Grazing In The Grass"
    A classic jazzy instrumental that really captures the mood. Perfect for those of you who need more cowbell.
  11. 5th Dimension, "Up Up and Away"
    Lush and inviting, this Jimmy Webb tune practically takes you into the clouds all on its own. How about a balloon ride?
  12. Van Morrison, "Sweet Thing"
    The master's seasonal impressionism reached a peak here, with love as a walk through "gardens all misty wet with rain."
  13. B. J. Thomas, "Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head"
    Still can't shake that sad mood? Take a cue from Burt Bacharach and smile at the spring rain.
  14. Cat Stevens, "Morning Has Broken"
    A traditional look at the wonders of the seasonal cycle that reaches new heights in Cat's spiritual hands.
  15. Johnny Nash, "I Can See Clearly Now"
    One of rock's great anthems of renewal, more a metaphor than anything, but still very powerful.
  16. The Doobie Brothers, "Another Park, Another Sunday"
    Yes, the lyrics are dour, but the mood is pure Doobies, which makes it perfect for the season.
  17. Chicago, "Saturday In The Park"
    He may think it was the 4th of July, but this ultimate "park" song fits spring just as well.
  18. Neil Sedaka, "Laughter In The Rain"
    Was there ever a more perfect recreation of fresh love in a spring shower?
  19. Bob Marley, "Three Little Birds"
    A true classic that even children can get into from reggae's leading light.
  20. Bill Withers, "Lovely Day"
    We close with an impressive testament to how love can make any day feel like springtime. It's impossible not to be transported by Withers' voice here.
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