Ten ace songs about holidays

Girl with surfboard
  • | by Kristian Dando

Woo, and indeed, hoo - school has broken up for the summer. As such, we thought it would be a neat idea to make the latest in our Ten Ace Songs... series be about holidays, the summer and getting away from it all.

Holiday songs have a tendency to err on the side of the completely naff. While compiling this list, we encountered some pretty horrific suggestions – the nadir probably being Vengaboys’ We’re Going to Ibiza and Timmy Mallet’s Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Bikini. Make no mistake, there are a few fromage-heavy moments in our selection. But at their best, holiday songs perfectly capture the optimism and expectation of leaving everyday life behind…even if it is only for a week or two.

Here are our favourites, along with a Spotify playlist. What are yours?

Frank Sinatra – Come Fly With Me

One of Ol’ Blue Eyes’ signature tunes, this song sets the tone for the 1958 album of the same name. It was later covered by Canadian singer Michael Buble, but don’t let that put you off…

Key line“Once I get you up there where the air is rarefied. we'll just glide starry-eyed”

Alice Cooper – School’s Out

We dare say that there are several thousand pupils and teachers echoing the sentiment expressed in this 1972 track from the original shock rocker…

Key line“Out for summer out till fall we might not come back at all”

Wham! – Club Tropicana

This track was a watershed moment for George Michael and Andrew Ridgely - it might have had something to do with the infamous swimwear in the video. Funnily enough, it ended up being adopted by the burgeoning 18-30 package holiday generation it was sending up.

Key line: “Club Tropicana, drinks are free, fun and sunshine - there's enough for everyone.”

MC Miker G and Deejay Sven - Holiday Rap

There was much clamour for this list to include Cliff Richard’s Summer Holiday and Madonna’s Holiday in this list. So, we thought, why not kill – nay, murder - two birds with one stone with this mighty mash-up of the two tracks by Miker G and Sven, two highly unlikely Dutch MCs. Their 1986 performance on Top of The Tops is truly a sight to behold. We’re not sure about you, but if these chaps were staying at our hotel we’d give them a pretty wide berth.

Key Line“We're gonna ring a rang a dong for the holidays”

Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince – Summertime

We think we liked Will Smith best when he made feel-good pop rap rather than multi-million dollar blockbusters....

Key line:“The weather is hot and girls are dressing less, and checking out the fellas to tell 'em who's best”

Blur – Girls & Boys

Like Club Tropicana, Blur’s satire of boozy Brits abroad ended up becoming something of an anthem for people it was poking fun at. Likely to be a permanent fixture at your local indie disco.

Key line: “Following the herd, down to Greece - on holiday”

Juliet – Avalon

As sinister an invitation to go on a holiday as you’re ever likely to hear, we can safely assume that this isn’t about an all-inclusive getaway to Torremolinos. This 2005 track was produced by Stuart Price, who later went on to work with Madonna and The Killers. He also made the track you may remember from that Citroen advert with the disco-dancing robot.

Key line - “Take a holiday, I know I’d love you better”

New Order – Mr Disco

Famously recorded in Ibiza at great expense of New Order’s label, Factory Records, this recalling of a holiday fling which becomes an obsession positively drips with the spirit of the island.

Key line: “Ibiza, Majorca, and Benidorm too, I've searched all these places but never found you”

Weezer – Holiday

Cult American band Weezer specialise in unbridled, goofy joy. This is one of their best. The band have just invited their famously committed fanbase on their very own ‘Weezer cruise’ with them. It looks incredible. Can we go please?

Key line - Don't bother to pack your bags, Or your map, We won't need them where we're goin', We're goin' where the wind is blowin', not knowin' where we're gonna stay.

Georgie Fame – Get Away

There aren’t many more uncomplicated thrills than just going away and leaving whatever cares you may have behind. This is exactly what this is about – and it’s expressed with utter simplicity, too.

Key line: Take a look at that deep blue sea. Don't you think it looks great? Not a cloud you can see in the sky And the sun won't wait


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