"Summertime, and the livin' is easy" -- so goes the old American standard. Since then, those words have been emulated by enough country stars to fill up a theme park. Whether they're cracking open a cold one, heading out to the beach or simply just laying out and soaking up the sun, country stars clearly know how to have a good time during the warmer months.
From songs about popular modes of transportation and the right thing to wear (or not wear) to tunes lauding one's frosty beverage of choice, The Boot dips our toes into this cool countdown of country music's 10 best summertime songs:
Sun-Soaked Lyrics: "All you really need this time of year is a pair of shades and an ice-cold beer."
Aquaphobics (or, in Paisley's words, "wusses") need not fear this H2O-soaked paean to one of the most essential of all elements. In spite of the fact that humans are more than 60 percent water, there can never be enough when it comes to wet and wild summer fun.
Sun-Soaked Lyrics: "By a stream in the country, running barefoot and feeling free."
Rather than spend time at the beach or a barbecue, Parton and the object of her affection are getting busy among the dandelions. We're not sure what candy wine is, but it sounds like just the thing to serve with a PG-rated summer fling.
Sun-Soaked Lyrics: "The sun and the sand and a drink in my hand with no bottom."
Try to walk into a restaurant half naked, and you'll be asked to leave. But when it's vacation time, shirtless, barefoot and carefree is the only way to go -- if you're a man as well-toned as Chesney. The Speedo is optional (and, in most cases, ill-advised).
Sun-Soaked Lyrics: "You'll see rock-hard bodies and bikini hotties, and everybody's got it goin' on."
Hill joins the "barefoot ladies and tricked-out Mercedes" crowd ... but if straw sombreros and T-top Camaros are more your speed, there's a parking place for you, too. Who wouldn't want to join in on this Mississippi girl's good time in the summer sun?
Sun-Soaked Lyrics: "You had a suntan line and red lipstick / I worked so hard for that first kiss."
Barbecue-stained T-shirt aside, a teenage boy's chance encounter with a hottie in a miniskirt on Labor Day sounds like an unforgettable late-season fantasy. Flash forward a few years, and those sweet summer memories are still strong.
Sun-Soaked Lyrics: "The hot July moon saw everything / My first taste of love, oh, bittersweet."
Some summer memories aren't exactly a day at the beach. Looking back on the loss of her innocence and reminiscing about a simpler time -- "when 30 was old" -- Carter vividly recalls, like they say in the movies, "that summer when everything changed." Bittersweet, indeed.
Sun-Soaked Lyrics: "And when it gets a little bit hotter, we'll take off on out in the water."
An intoxicating romance is just the thing to keep a buzz going all summer long. So what if the object of your affection is a bit elusive (as depicted in Bryan's drama-filled video)? The results can be sweeter, even after the buzz wears off.
Sun-Soaked Lyrics: "I got my toes in the water, a-- in the sand / Not a worry in the world, a cold beer in my hand."
After leaving Georgia for the warmer weather in Mexico, Brown and company return north, but take the island with them. Even if it's all in the imagination, life is good. Let's hope, however, that he returns to more than just PBR. By our count, he's leaving behind beer, rum, Jaegermeister and tequila -- not to mention a well-tanned bartender.
Sun-Soaked Lyrics: "Makin' waves and catchin' rays up on the roof / Jumpin' out the back, don't act like you don't want to."
Credit for the first pontoon boat goes to Minnesota farmer Ambrose Weeres. Sixty years after his invention, a quartet of country stars made the vessel the hottest summer accessory since the jet ski. Thanks to Little Big Town, the word "motorboatin'" will once again only bring to mind one recreational activity.
Sun-Soaked Lyrics: "Down by the river on a Friday night / Pyramid of cans in the pale moonlight."
A burger and a grape snow cone aren't much consolation when it's obvious what you're really after. But Jackson and friends still manage to make a party -- and learn a few life lessons -- out of stacking cans and swapping stories by that muddy Georgia river.