With the temperature nearing 90°F today it was impossible to escape the refreshing desirability of the summer wind. It was not only uncommonly warm and humid (there’s rain on the horizon) but there was a soothing violence to its unrestrained breath. My first exposure to this exceedingly favourable rush of air was upon lowering the widows and opening the landau roof of the car as I headed predictably along the undulating ribbon of highway I so adore to the Township of West Carleton for a car wash.
“Summer Wind” is a 1965 song, originally released in Germany as “Der Sommerwind” and written by Heinz Meier and German language lyrics by Hans Bradtke. Johnny Mercer re-wrote the song into English along the same themes as the original, which talked of the changing of the seasons using the Southern European sirocco wind as a metaphor. In America, it was first recorded by Wayne Newton and subsequently by Bobby Vinton and Perry Como. The song is best known for a 1966 recording by Frank Sinatra which peaked at number 25 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and number one on the Easy Listening chart.
The melting theme of the summer wind seemingly affected everything in its path. The branches and leaves of the large deciduous trees along the country avenues swayed relentlessly in a northerly direction. The verdant fields of burgeoning crops collapsed towards the earth. The air circulated noisily and rampantly about the interior of my vehicle.
So enthused was I by this iconic atmosphere that I curtailed any ambition to extend my lazy afternoon drive to the County of Renfrew along the vast open fields and the Madawaska River. Instead I redirected the cockpit of my trusty Aviator to home territory. There we summarily undertook a late afternoon bicycle ride, urging what physical advantage we might profitably secure from a ride about the neighbourhood and upon the shaded columns of the erstwhile railway line past the Old Town Hall and over the Mississippi River.
There were few pedestrians on this warm day. Most people whom we passed along the way were noticeably protected from the heat by retirement to lounging areas sheltered under umbrellas or roof overhangs. There was everywhere the pervading tone of tranquility and idleness.
The summer wind came blowin’ in
From across the sea
It lingered there so warm and fair
To walk with me
All summer long, we sang a song
And then we strolled on golden sand
And the summer wind
Like painted kites
Those days and nights, they went flyin’ by
The world was new
Beneath a bright blue umbrella sky