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I Be Jammin’: A Few of the Best Songs to Prepare for the Sun of a Beach Festival

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I spent a weekend in Pensacola, Fla., several weeks ago. I got up on a sunny, breezy Saturday morning so excited because my morning run was not on the “dreadmill”, but instead the bike path along the beach.

It wasn’t until after I picked up my pace that I realized my mix of club and angry tunes that I normally run to were not going to work for the lackadaisical atmosphere of the beach town.

So I listened to Bob Marley and Jimmy Buffett on repeat. In an effort to prevent such from happening again and to get ready for the Sun of a Beach Festival, I created a playlist of my favorite beach music (obviously Marley and Buffett are included).

1. The Boys of Summer by Don Henley

My favorite song. Ever. I remember a few summer break ups because of those boys. The video posted is the DJ Sammy version. For alternative, look up The Ataris. Both are great remakes, and I am not one to stray from the original, especially when it comes to Henley.

2. Kokomo by the Beach Boys

My dad bought me the soundtrack for “Cocktail” and I wore this one out. It wasn’t until I was older that I understood why at 8-years-old I was not allowed to watch the movie.

3. Toes by the Zach Brown Band

“I got my toes in the water, ass in the sand…” This song instantly transforms my eight-inch-deep, blue plastic kiddie pool into a caribbean beach.

4. Steal My Sunshine by Len

“I was frying on the bench slide in the park across the street…” This song is one of those late 90s treasures – oh the nostalgia of high school. But that line takes me back to the metal slides of the neighborhood parks in the 80s. They were as hot as lava, but we didn’t care.

5. Sweat by Inner Circle

The same reggae group that brought us “Bad Boys” wants to get down and dirty with us.

6. When the Sun Goes Down by Kenny Chesney

Kenny Chesney could have his entire list of beach music. This one for me is a close second to “Key Lime Pie”, probably one of the naughtiest songs to ever get radio airplay.

7. The Way You Do the Things You Do by UB40

“The way you swept me off my feet, you know you could have been a broom.” UB40 is the epitome of happy music. They could sing about the most depressing things imaginable and it would still sound upbeat.

8. Here Comes the Hotstepper by Ini Kamoze

I know every word to this song and still have no clue what it’s actually about. When this comes on, I still roll down the windows and jam like I’m on Clyde Fant Parkway in 1995.

9. Summer Girls by LFO

This song reminded us of New Kids on the Block and turned us to a new clothing store. We in north Louisiana had never even heard of Abercrombie and Fitch until this song came out.

10. Soak Up the Sun by Sheryl Crow

This song teaches us that it doesn’t matter how broke you are (journalist salary sucks), going outside and relaxing in the sunshine is always free.

Comment below and tell me what I missed – or tell me in person at the Sun of a Beach Festival on June 14.

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Kristi Martin is an award-winning journalist, professional blogger and 80s music nerd. Like her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter @writtennred.


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