For most of us, June marks one of the finer turning points of the year. Summer has arrived. Days are longer and the nights warmer. School is out. Friends and family gather for fun in the sun.
But for some of us, June does not mark the same joy or association with summer. Rainy days remind us that sometimes this month is not all joy and fun. Sometimes it can be as gloomy as the winter.
That is why we compiled 10 of the best songs about June. These capture June for what it is for everyone, including the happiness and sadness it can evoke.
1. “That’s Life” By Frank Sinatra
Starting off the list strong is the Sultan of Swoon himself, Frank Sinatra, with “That’s Life.” While this speaks not only of June, it uses the months of the year to describe the fluctuating feelings he experienced as a singer.
That does not mean, however, that the song only applies to entertainers. It effectively describes feelings many people experience throughout the year. It says that we feel on top in April but “shot down in May.” However, things change for the better in June.
This is a comforting idea, knowing we can keep hope alive because warmth and even longer days are coming.
2. “June In January” By Dean Martin
Few things evoke so many comparisons and parallels in literature and music than love and summer. Dean Martin strikes that exact parallel in “June in January.”
The singer does not care that it is the middle of cold, bleak January. The trees can be as bare as they want, and the nights as freezing as the arctic. It does not matter to him because he is in love.
Being in love turns the snow into flowers before his eyes and brings the smell of roses into the air. And so, though it is January, it feels, looks, and smells like June to him.
3. “Drops Of Jupiter” By Train
The hit single “Drops of Jupiter” by Train is a song that mentions “June” only once in the lyrics. Its substance, nonetheless, handles much of the same evocations June holds for many of us.
Once you know the story behind the song, that will make sense. Lead singer Pat Monahan wrote the lyrics about his mother’s journey through the afterlife.
In the first verse, the singer can feel his mother’s presence in every rainstorm, sunrise, and at the start of summer in June. Now that his mother’s presence has returned to him, he asks her questions we all want answers to.
4. “June On The West Coast” By Bright Eyes
Up next is a ‘90s alternative song with “June” in the title but nowhere else. Bright Eyes lured listeners with its simple instrumentation and spoken word delivery of its poetic lyrics.
The song tells the tale of our singer spending June in several west coast states. We find out he’s looking for a place to call his home. During one of his travels, he visits his brother in Olympia and meditates on the nature of family, joy, and sadness.
Notably, the singer starts from Winnetka, California, where he seems to experience sorrow. When his travels are done, he’s back in California, but in San Diego, “the birthplace of the summer.” A happy ending awaits him as he encounters a girl he knew there.
5. “June Hymn” By The Decemberists
Like the previous entry, “June Hymn” embraces a simple melody as the backdrop for its poetic lyrics. The Decemberists released this single in 2011 from their The King is Dead album.
One thing you’ll like in “June Hymn” is that it contains happy imagery. Just perfect for an early summer day when birds chirp, the sun shines, and a light breeze blows in Springville Hill.
The song further describes all things that signal the start of summer. Flowers bloom, ivy claims a tree, and descriptions of vibrant colors evoke the listeners’ brightest days.
6. “Rainy Day In June” By The Kinks
Many say that Ray Davies of The Kinks is among the most poetic English songwriters. “Rainy Day in June,” a song with “June” in the lyrics, justifies that reputation.
Instead of writing cliches depicting a summer day, Davies embraces the metaphor of a downpour on a June day. This is an image that deliberately calls back to the Bible and the great flood.
In addition, Davies chooses to show rather than tell. Shadows fall over the green, and the day turns greyer. Hope eventually departs from the creatures living under this downpour, who worry they may be facing their end.
7. “Evening In June” By Van Morrison
Despite coming later in his career, “Evening in June” is among the strongest love songs in Van Morrison‘s catalog.
In the lyrics, the singer recounts a warm evening in June when “flowers are in bloom” and “the sky is so blue.” He recalls walking and talking with a special someone on a particular June night. Thoughts of her lift his spirits up.
By his admission, he is getting sentimental about a conversation with this presumed partner. He ruminates on future decisions he will have to make when the summer is over.
8. “Bye June” By The Smashing Pumpkins
By The Smashing Pumpkins‘ standards, we can say that “Bye June” is unusual. It does not feature Billy Corgan’s more famous harsh vocal style. Instead, he sings in a more relaxed vocal style accompanied exclusively by an acoustic guitar.
The lyrics are somewhat nonsensical. They detail a trip to the moon and a departure from someone. June could be the name of that person, or it simply refers to the month.
In some ways, the song may appear as a ballad of yearning for something. Going to the moon could be a metaphor for going to a distant place. The rest of the lyrics suggest leaving someone or something.
9. “Words I Couldn’t Say” By Rascal Flatts
Yet another sad song graces our list here toward its end. Rascal Flatts gives us “Words I Couldn’t Say,” where the singer looks back on a night in June with someone they love.
Regret is all over this song. We can tell that his lover had been right in front of him, an important part of his life. And yet he lets her slip away, and now she’s gone.
He sees this memory, finding no one but himself to blame. And the only thing that keeps going through his head is the things he could not bring himself to say.
10. “Middle Of June” By Noah Gundersen
Rumination about old relationships seems to be a common theme in songs about June. Thus, it is only fitting that this list should conclude with another song like this. To end the list, we have Noah Gundersen‘s “Middle of June.”
The song finds the singer beneath an old tree, thinking about an old flame and love itself. He uses beautiful metaphors and strong, searing images to communicate his message on the simultaneous pain and beauty of love.
When the singer reaches the end of his thoughts, the beauty of a June day grounds him as he remarks on how pretty the middle of the month is.
Summing Up Our List Of June Songs
June is an important time of the year for a lot of people. Perhaps it’s someone’s birthday. Or maybe something happened that’s worth celebrating or reminiscing about.
Whatever the occasion, we hope you have found a song above to match. But rest assured that our list captures June in its summery glory and potential melancholy, either through the music itself or in fantastic lyrics.
So the next time you celebrate a birthday or just want to enjoy the weather, the songs will help you get in the mood.