"Boys of Summer" as written by Don Henley and Michael W. Campbell....
Nobody on the road,
Nobody on the beach.
I feel it in the air,
The summer's out of reach.

Empty lake, empty streets,
The sun goes down alone.
I'm driving by your house
Though I know you're not home.

But I can see you,
Your brown skin shining in the sun.
You got your hair combed back
And your sunglasses on, baby.
And I can tell you my love for you will still be strong
After the boys of summer have gone.

I never will forget those nights.
I wonder if it was a dream.
Remember how you made me crazy,
Remember how I made you scream.

Now I don't understand what
Happened to our love.
But, baby, when I get you back,
I'm gonna show you what I'm made of.

But I can see you,
Your brown skin shining in the sun.
I see you walking real slow and you're
Smiling at everyone.
And I can tell you my love for you will still be strong
After the boys of summer have gone.

Out on the road today I saw a Black Flag
Sticker on a Cadillac.
A little voice inside my head said:
"Don't look back, you can never look back."

I thought I knew what love was.
What did I know?
Those days are gone forever.
I should just let them go, but

But I can see you,
Your brown skin shining in the sun.
You got that top pulled down,
And that radio on, baby.

And I can tell you my love for you will still be strong,
After the boys of summer have gone.

I can see you,
Your brown skin shining in the sun.
You got that hair slicked back,
And those Wayfarers on, baby.
And I can tell you my love for you will still be strong,
After the boys of summer have gone.


Lyrics submitted by Jenezzy

"The Boys of Summer" as written by Don Henley, Michael W. Campbell

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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Boys of Summer song meanings
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  • +4
    General CommentThis song is about youth and a young love. At first, I really didn't think so, primarily you can see its about wanting someone back but it has a deeper meaning than that. "The boys of summer" is a metephor for his past. Summer is his past. The best times he had were with the boys of summer. His friends etc. "I can tell you my love for you will still be strong after the boys of summer has gone" means he'll still love her after all his best years have gone
    "Nobody on the road, nobody on the beach ... the summer's out of reach..." etc. refers to how the past is over. "I'm driving by your house though I know you're not home" to his love being gone too.
    "Out on the road today, I saw a black flag sticker on a cadillac" is a metephor for how things have changed too. A Black Flag sticker (or Dead Head as it was originally) used to be a sign of rebelling and there it is on a nice car that a lot of people want; exactly what the flag was rebelling against. It's ironic. It's not longer a sign of rebelling. It's now become part of the consumer world.
    Ultimately, he doesn't want to look back to his love because that means looking back onto his past too. It's too late to look back kind of. But he can still see her. He still loves her
    Jenezzyon February 17, 2006   Link
  • +1
    Song Meaning"Black Flag sticker on a Cadillac" - I know why they changed it.

    Black Flag was a famous punk band in the 80's, they're still well known today and no doubt judging by the age of the band members, they listened to Black Flag when they were in their teens.

    The Ataris have taken this song and made it about their past instead of Don Henley's. It's a really interesting transition, I can see this song being covered for generations.

    Amazing song, I love driving to it.
    GodzillaDannyon April 17, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentJust so that we all know, Ataris changed the words from "Dead Sticker" to Black flag in the song. I don't know why. It's all the same idea though.
    Jenezzyon February 17, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti always thought the boys of summer were the boys that this girl he likes had meaningless flings with during summer, but he doesn't care - he still loves her and will "after the boys of summer have gone".
    i also thought it was funny that some people thought these guys were gay because they thought the song was supposed to be a girl singing to a boy saying that she will still love him after SHE has flings with the boys of summer. this of course doesn't add up because the original writer was don henley i.e. a man who wouldn't have written a song about loving boys...i would hope.
    silverchair-rockon February 20, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentActually, "the boys of summer" is also a common metaphor for baseball season. Take that how you will; perhaps the singer's "character" is looking back on his youth in that fashion as well.
    T23Mon February 28, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is a cover of an old Eagles song. It's amazing how much is sounds like the original, but the Ataris put their own touch on it by making it a truly rock-sounding song. I always wondered if he was singing about a black girl, because he says "brown skin"... but it doesn't necessarily matter. Just a thought.
    neongreen44on March 13, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt was Don Henley withOut the Eagles, but whatever... I can't believe it's not listed under his name, just these poor cover versions ;x ...neongreen44, if you go OUTSIDE in summer, you get tanned skin xd -cough- I definately think this song is pining for someone special...
    pyros411on March 17, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentyeah it was Don Henley who sang this song originally. This is a very good remake though.
    take it 2 the limiton June 17, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI like that the lyrics are ambiguous, meaning you don't really know who is talking. Is it the boy talking about the girl or the other way around?
    Smokleron June 19, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti think the ataris version is better than the original, but less subjectively, its very different. the change in style reflects the youth of the ataris when they recorded this.
    apparently "the boys of summer" was a book about baseball players who had flings with loads of girls, which supports the theory that its a guy singing about how he still loves his ex, unlike the boys of summer who will soon be gone.
    i think the bit from "out on the road today..." and the chorus are supposed to be years after the other verses, altho thats just my own feeling.
    you could stretch it to a girl talking about how her love for him is deeper than her love for the "boys of summer", but it was originally intended, by, and makes more sense, if it's a guy. u can just tell it's a guy from the style too.
    vicioussatsumaon July 05, 2006   Link

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