TRACKING: Dar Williams - "The End Of The Summer"

Sounds like: Joni Mitchell, Janis Ian, Indigo Girls
Why You Should Care: See above

“It’s the end of the summer, when you send your children to the moon.” – Dar Williams

Every parent feels it when their child gets on the bus for the first day of school. It isn’t just the end of their summer, it’s the end of yours too; time to switch back from late night movies, vacations, and sleeping to routine – after school activities, dinner, homework, bathing, stories, and bed.  After a long, fun summer of random chaos, order must be restored.

While hundreds of songs attempt to capture the feeling of freedom that summer brings, not many songwriters address the end of that freedom, and none do it as well the title track from Dar Williams’ spectacular third album. The song is a series of snapshots – packing up after vacation with friends, the summer romance wilting away (“it’s the end of the summer, when you hang your flowers up to dry”), and, of course, the kids go back to school. Williams literally frames this as a nightmare, describing a dream in which her parents happily put her in a sweater, walk her out “on the dark and frozen grass” and send her to the moon. Williams sings over a perfectly finger-picked acoustic guitar and long, icy notes played on a electric; the sparse instrumentation is the perfect accompaniment to this wonderful, almost anti-Beach Boys song.

Dar Williams - "The End Of The Summer"