"Summer in the City" as written by and Regina Spektor....
Summer in the city
Means cleavage, cleavage, cleavage

And I started miss you, baby, sometimes

I've been staying up drinking
In the late night establishments
Telling strangers personal things

Summer in the city
I'm so lonely, lonely, lonely

So I went to a protest
Just to rub up against strangers
And I did feel like coming
But I also felt like crying
And it doesn't seem so worth it right now

And the castrated ones stand in the corner smoking
They want to feel the bulges in their pants start to rise
At the sight of a beautiful woman
They feel nothing
But anger
Her skin makes them sick in the night

Nauseous, nauseous, nauseous

Summer in the city
I'm so lonely, lonely, lonely

I've been hallucinating you, babe
At the backs of other women
And I tap 'em on the shoulder
And they turn around smiling but
There's no recognition in their eyes

Oh, summer in the city!
Means cleavage, cleavage, cleavage

Don't get me wrong, dear
In general I'm doing quite fine

It's just when it's summer in the city
And you are so long gone from the city I start to miss you, baby, sometimes

When it's summer in the city
And you are so long gone from the city
I start to miss you, baby, sometimes

Oh, I start to miss you, baby, sometimes


Lyrics submitted by lemonjuice

"Summer in the City" as written by Regina Spektor

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Summer in the City song meanings
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70 Comments

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  • +8
    General CommentRegina tends to have a lot of historical and literary influence in her lyrics (because she is a genius). If you look on the Apres Moi page, her Russian lyrics are a Boris Pasternak quote from one of his early works. Interestingly, Pasternak wrote a poem called "Summer in the City" which appears in his Nobel Prize winning book Dr. Zhivago. The metaphor in the poem is about a man kept away from a woman, represented by a storm that happens during one summer night. The particular image of the back and neck of a woman being desirable and unobtainable in Pasternak's poem is an obvious connection to Regina's lyrics.
    Did I mention that she's a genius? She is.
    Lilitoon December 13, 2006   Link
  • +4
    General CommentI'm near positive this song is from a male's perspective. Summer in the city mean cleavage. There are so many lusty distractions, but he's still lonely for the love they had. And the hard on refferances also kind of scream it. "I felt like coming but I also felt like crying" No way does she NOT mean that as "cumming". There's the castrated guys who get angry when they don't get a hard on from a beautiful women, and then there's him who just misses his girl or ex girl so much he can't do it. "I felt like cumming but I also felt like crying" That's a gorgeous line. A guy so lonely that he goes to a protest to be physical but at the same time the lust factor can not register because he's so heartbroken.
    icarusisfalling1on October 23, 2006   Link
  • +3
    General CommentYeah, just because you wish she was a lesbian doesn't make it true. I'm probably one of the top Regina Spektor fans and have seen most to all of the videos and interviews available from her, and none of them say she's a lesbian.

    Regina's songs aren't about her, they're stories. Stop misinterpreting them and spreading rumours about people. Give me proof and maybe I'll believe it.

    But all signs point to Regina being straight.

    This song is either from the view of a man, or a lesbian, but not Regina. If Regina only wrote about herself, she'd be a lot of different identities with a lot of different stories.

    So Regina has also done all sorts of drugs, slept with both genders, killed herself, been to many different centuries, talked to imaginary things, and I think you see my point.

    Stop being stupid. If you have proof I'd love to see it.
    simpleyetcolinon December 29, 2007   Link
  • +3
    General CommentSorry am I the only person who thinks this a gender-swap song?

    It seems so obvious to me. yes, I want it to be about Lesbians but it's not. In this song she is personifying a man. And she does a brilliant fucking job of it, and to say she is doing anything else is taking this great song and making it LESS than it is.

    A beautiful gender-swap, a perfect look from the male perspective, and he does it with grace and makes a beautiful song. Just perfect.
    mattamjon July 19, 2013   Link
  • +2
    General CommentNo woman is better at writing songs from a male perspective than Regina. Maybe no man is either. Every horny guy knows that summer in the city means cleavage, cleavage, cleavage, and it's no joke. It's fucking misery.
    charolastraon June 24, 2006   Link
  • +2
    Song MeaningI always thought this song was written from a heterosexual males perspective (which I am) and I always thought Regina was amazingly insightful for having written such a true song from that perspective. I may be wrong. Perhaps that's what makes this song great: everybody instantly feels it was written from their perspective. For the record, my interpretation is of a guy who is a little creepy and misses his ex (who is probably younger than him) for all the wrong reasons: her body and the sex. He IS heartbroken, but he mostly misses the sex. I don't think he's the one having trouble feeling the "bulges in their pants start to rise", I think he's a horny bastard who DOES feel like coming even while he feels like crying because it be with his ex. Bottom line, I think he's frustrated and lonely mostly because he's creepy, not because he can't get over his ex. He's just fixated on her because he can't get any from anybody else.
    I think it's a beautiful song that is tragic yet manages to be funny since the guy is such a creep. You feel sorry for him, but not really.
    Illinoisjoeon August 02, 2009   Link
  • +2
    General CommentWhen I first heard this song, I completely interpreted it from a woman's perspective. Perhaps she had just been through a recent breakup, or she's lost her love due to distance (maybe he moved away from the city). The fact that she brings up cleavage, was her noticing how many women are exposing themselves in the summertime, and how he could potentially fall for any one of them, which makes her miss him even more. She obviously is taking it hard, and she's lost her ability to feel for anyone else but him. Therefore, she compares herself to castrated men. And as for "I’ve been hallucinating you, babe, at the backs of other woman." I thought it was her hallucinating him with other women, and those other women turn around smiling, almost mocking her, not recognizing her, which means he hasn't spoke of her, and she's been long forgotten by him.

    Now that I've read some of these, it definitely makes sense that it could be from a man's perspective. This is just my first thoughts of it.
    loocytlon November 29, 2010   Link
  • +2
    General Commentjust because she says backs of other women doesnt mean it has to be a man's perspective...it could be a lesbian! and cleavage could just mean separation. separation from her love. summer means cleavage.
    rokouttilur80on July 05, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General Commentsorry about the post from earlier. i just read it back and it sounds horrible, doesn't it...
    so i'm sorry if i sounded bitchy, icarus.
    i do think "cleavage" has a double meaning, though; although having re-listened to the song and actually understood the "at the backs of other women" verse i agree with the rest of you it makes sense for it to be from a man's perspective.
    also, i love what lilito said. it adds a lot to the song for me for some reason.
    i think i'd just better get round to reading dr. zhivago, hadn't i?
    espionageon January 26, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General Commenti was sitting in the back garden listening to it on repeat (up loud) my neighbour asked what song it was cuz she liked it. :) haha.

    yeah, i adore this song. fave on being to hope.
    ihaveapenon April 12, 2007   Link

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