FlourishAnyway believes there is a playlist for just about any situation and is on a mission to unite and entertain the world through song.
This Heat Is Oven Roasting Hot
Having grown up in South Carolina and lived in Louisiana, I've learned a little something about heat. Oppressive, scorching, sticky, blistering heat.
My dad was cheap and refused to turn on the air conditioning during those hot South Carolina summer months. Our family of five therefore roasted all summer while relying only upon oscillating and window fans, occasional visits to the YMCA pool, and lots of iced tea for hydration. Since we lived five miles from town, it was a treat to take a trip to the public library, department store, or Walmart for the freezing cold air conditioning they offered. (You think I'm kidding.)
Moving to Louisiana when I was a young professional, the heat was even more punishing there, however I could finally control my own thermostat. Makeup during the summer months seemed to melt right off my face. It didn't help that I worked at a paper mill. It was hotter than the seventh circle of hell in the lovely Bayou State. These days, I don't live in an area quite so blistering, however with climate change it seems that everywhere is warmer than it used to be.
With summer heat upon us again, bow down to the power of heat waves with a playlist of pop, rock, country, and R&B songs about feeling the heat. You'll notice that heat is used in songs both literally and as a popular metaphor for passion. Enjoy them all.
1. "Heat Wave" by Martha and the Vandellas
Oh, Lawdy, are things getting heated! In this 1964 Motown classic, a heat wave burns in a young lady's heart. When her beau is leans in and whispers her name, love burns bright. Her fellow calls her name and both her temperature and blood pressure rise to the heavens as she is filled with temptation.
Wondering if this is the way love is supposed to feel, she cries and nearly swoons. Heat wave! Get that poor girl some water, please!
2. "Hot in Herre" by Nelly
Hip Hop artist Nelly won a Grammy Award for this hot 2002 tune that topped the charts and caught the world on fire. The party song features the rear end-obsessed rapper checking out the girls in a packed nightclub and issuing instructions. Nelly's enjoying the spoils of what his celebrity brings, including owning a sports cars and the ability to get naked with models when the club gets uncomfortably warm. The artist puts an extra "r" in "here" to show that it's not just hot but super duper hot.
3. "Heat Waves" by Glass Animals
Pondering a broken relationship, the guy in this 2020 alt-rock track reminisces about how he wishes he could have been the one to make his partner happy. Sadly, sometimes we're just the wrong person at the wrong time to satisfy the one we covet. The narrator set his significant other free so that she could find the love she deserved with someone who could satisfy her needs. That doesn't mean the loss doesn't still hurt.
The song is based on true story, and every June around the ex's birthday the narrator grows reflective and sullen as he remembers his beloved. Their unsuccessful love match is like heat waves emanating from hot asphalt, a disappearing memory that resembles a mirage of love, real only in his mind's eye.
4. "The Heat Is On" by Glenn Frey
From the 1984 soundtrack of the blockbuster film Beverly Hills Cop, this rock song taunts someone who is being pursued on the city streets. They face intense stress just to stay alive, like an animal being hunted down. The person being chased is just one step ahead of those behind him. The heat is on. Pressure is relentless, and the fugitive is gambling with his life as the flames of the heat get closer.
5. "Hotter Than Hell" by Dua Lipa
After a former flame made her feel unworthy, British singer-songwriter Dua Lipa turned her heartbreak on its head in offering up this 2017 dance pop. To her credit, the artist never wants to write a song from the perspective of weakness. The song cinched her a deal with a major record label. Talk about turning lead into gold!
The tune is about a a toxic relationship in which a man cannot get enough of a devilish woman. The beguiling narrator's ex-boyfriend finds her irrepressively attractive, and she torments him with the pleasure of heaven that feels hotter than hell. Their chemistry is explosive, and he remains obsessed with the vixen no matter how dangerous she proves to be.
6. "Burn" by Carrie Underwood
Long after their love affair has ended, the narrator in this 2022 country release finds herself wondering whether her ex pines for her anything like she aches for him. (Drinking alone is a clue that you're not over him.) The burn of whiskey brings back fond memories of a campfire and a long-ago beach weekend that they shared. The woman realizes that her former boyfriend's memory is always going to burn but never burn out:
Evеry time I think about you now
Even though our love diеd out
It's always gonna burn, burn, burn.
7. "Chattahoochee" by Alan Jackson
Native Georgian Alan Jackson recalls his childhood days coming of age on the muddy banks of the Chattahoochee River between Georgia and and Alabama where he
... learned how to swim and I learned who I was
A lot about livin' and a little 'bout love.
In this upbeat 1993 country crossover tune, the narrator fondly revisits memories of yesteryear's friendships, summer fun, and young love. If you're wondering what "hotter than a hoochie coochie" means it refers to sexually provocative belly dance-like moves that hail from the19th century.
8. "Summer in the City" by The Lovin' Spoonful
New York City, the famous city that never sleeps, specifically inspired this rock hit. With its realistic city traffic sounds, the 1966 Billboard chart-topper contrasts what urban living is like during the day and night. Days in the city are permeated with a hot, sweaty, and gritty feeling. People look half-dead and exhausted, "but at night it's a different world." The nighttime finds folks dressing up, cutting loose, and dancing for hours as some look for a love interest and others just have fun on the town.
9. "Burnin' for You" by Blue Öyster Cult
Life is all about timing. So is this 1981 hit hard rock song featuring a narrator who describes the frenetic pace of his music-making. Feeling like he's working against the clock, the singer knows that time is critical for his craft.
There is a season to everything, including creativity and popularity on the music charts. Therefore, he cannot afford to slow down, knowing how he doesn't have much time. He's not judging the phenomenon; he's just trying to pump out the songs while his window of opportunity is open, even if what he generates are B-sides. (B-sides refer to secondary tracks that received less attention in the days of vinyl records).
The narrator declares that he is burning (as in the candle at both ends) for the audience in order to satisfy the devil. Perhaps the identity of that devil is the music industry, his own greed for money, his lust for fame, or something else.
10. "Burn" by Ellie Goulding
When you're filled with a dream, don't hold back. Share your talent and vision with the world. In this captivating, uptempo pop song from 2012, Ellie Goulding likens one's passion in life to a candle light. You strike it with a match and allow the fire to burn brightly, sharing its bounty with all.
11. "Burnin' Up" by Jonas Brothers
Brothers Kevin, Joe, and Nick Jonas started out as Disney Channel stars, and this 2008 pop tune was their highest charting song until they came back with a vengeance in 2019 to top the Billboard charts with "Sucker". "Burnin' Up" describes the heat of infatuation when a guy first meets a young woman he is instantly attracted to. The fella in this ditty has trouble catching his breath, he feels knocked off center, and his temperature rises. Looks like he's toast.
12. "Hot Blooded" by Foreigner
Turn up the testosterone! The man in this classic 1978 hard rock is feeling the raging hormones pulse throughout his system as he looks to get his sexy on.
The song narrator is a rocker who is giving a concert later tonight. He's trying to line up some bedroom action after his gig. At a pre-show party he dances with a girl and propositions his potential love interest for a secret rendezvous after the show. Feeling the fire of lust, he complains of a 103 degree fever because he's hot blooded. Seems like a strange pickup line. His condition sounds dire.
For me, the song turns from hot to icky with these lyrics:
Are you old enough? Will you be ready when I call your bluff?
Is my timing right? Did you save your love for me tonight?
13. "Cruel Summer" by Bananarama
Everyone else is spending the summer at the beach, taking road trips, and vacationing overseas, but where are you? If you're the girl in this 1983 pop song, then you're stuck in the oppressively crowded metropolis without the benefit of friends or your boyfriend for company. The city air is heavy and dense, the cement bakes your energy like an oven, and together these make for a cruel summer.
14. "Hot" by Mark Chestnutt
Texas native Mark Chestnutt tells us just how hot the weather gets in this 2016 country track. Feeling like 100 degrees, it's so hot that a dog is chasing a cat and they're both walking. Meanwhile, kids are burning their feet like tater tots tip toeing on the asphalt. (Put some shoes on!)
Although this lazy song reluctantly celebrates the heat, there's nothing like ice cold sweet tea and the air conditioner turned on high on a hot summer day. Those sweltering Texas temperatures can easily top out at 100 degrees in July and August. And put on some sunscreen.
15. "Inferno" by Bella Poarch (Featuring Sub Urban)
Watch out for the dangerous woman in this deliciously dark pop ditty from 2021. The narrator relishes being a villain and thus issues a warning. She may be beautiful and taste sweet as caramel, but it's all a ruse: "Baby, I'm the reason why bad's so fun, Hell's so hot."
TikTok personality Bella Poarch shares with her fans that what motivated this song and video was very personal—a sexual assault and her desire to reclaim her personal power and control. The artist wishes she were the mighty, dominant woman who could have beaten off her attacker. We've got you Bella!
16. "Crying in the Club" by Camila Cabello
Let the music warm your body
Like the heat of a thousand fires.
What a great BFF the narrator is in this sultry 2017 pop song. Her friends (both a he and a she) are probably sloppy crying those uncontrollable tears with their noses dripping right there in the nightclub when she encourages them gently but firmly to stop their blubbering. She acknowledges that her brokenhearted buddies are engaged in catastrophic thinking (e.g., that they'll be alone forever, die lonely, and that no one will ever love them). Dry it up.
Seeming to identify with the experience of being dumped, the empathic narrator urges them to pack the ugly emotions up for now just let the music take them away until morning. They've got friends right here and they can dance all night in the soothing heat of the music and let it heal the pain.
17. "Black Hole Sun" by Soundgarden
If you were to take singer songwriter Chris Cornell at his word, the lyrics of this Grammy Award-winning 1994 alt-rock track don't mean anything. These are just a bunch of words thrown together. Sorry, but the psychologist in me doesn't buy that claim. It's hard to fathom that the mind works in completely random ways.
Cornell created the song title from a misheard news report and likely crafted its deceptively perky lyrics about the abuse he suffered as a child. The song alludes to sin and shame being affixed in the narrator's eyes, hidden behind various disguises he wears.
The narrator laments in this desolate song that he feels alone, afraid, and cannot find rest. The skies are dead, the heat of summer emits a putrid odor, and his name is screamed out several times, making it hard to escape even mentally. One must wonder if the summer heat has triggered a flashback of an early assault.
It seems wholly probable that a survivor of childhood abuse would brush off the meaning of this song if they weren't ready to publicly discuss their trauma. Ultimately the Soundgarden died by suicide in 2017.
18. "Solar Power" by Lorde
Disconnect from social media and just vibe like the gal in this chill 2021 indie folk song is doing at the beach. Looking "kinda like a prettier Jesus" the narrator gives into the heat of summer weather temperatures as she leads her group of friends onto the shore. As she does so, she urges you to let go of all of your sadness and dance, teasing that she'll tell you all her secrets.
19. "Heat" by Kelly Clarkson
In 2021, Kelly Clarkson's seven-year marriage to her manager Brandon Blackstock ended, with the singer citing "irreconcilable differences." The marriage produced two kids. With the benefit of hindsight, this 2017 soul-imbued pop song sounds like a marital warning shot that went unheeded for several years.
The tune features a narrator who confronts her partner about needing to feel more romantic sizzle in their relationship. She loves him but wants to feel more heat in the bedroom. What is motivating his loss of passion? The steamy romance they once shared has chilled substantially, and she's crying out for him to make her feel warm and wanted again before it's too late. She yearns to feel alive again in his arms before her love slips away. (Evidently, Brandon didn't get the memo.)
Clarkson won the first-ever American Idol in 2002. Since that time, she has won both Grammy and Emmy Awards and rocked the Billboard charts.
20. "Too Hot" by Kool & The Gang
The narrator in this 1980 R&B song looks back on a failed marriage that began when they were 17-year-old high school sweethearts. There is now only regret, not even blame. (It's okay to just want out.)
The divorcing couple were only kids when they started out with starry-eyed visions of lifelong commitment. Sadly, with the heated anger between them, they've now made such a mess of their love that nothing can salvage it. For sanity's sake, they must cool down separately in the shade of divorce. Let's hope there were no children born between them.
Even More Songs About Heat
21. In the Summertime
22. Heat of the Night
23. Hot Girl in Love
24. Burning Love
25. Hot Hot Hot
26. Hot Fun in the Summertime
Sly & The Family Stone
27. Hot Stuff
28. Hot in the City
29. Heat of the Moment
30. 99 in the Shade
31. I'm On Fire
33. Hot 'N Cold
34. Hot for Teacher
35. Girl on Fire
36. Summer Loving
Olivia Newton John and John Travolta
37. Some Like It Hot
The Power Station
40. A Horse with No Name
41. I See Fire
42. I Left Something Turned on at Home
43. Hotter Than Hell
44. Hot Lanta
The Allman Brothers
45. This Planet's on Fire (Burn in Hell)
46. Jump in the Fire
47. Skies on Fire
48. On Fire
49. Setting the World on Fire
51. Long Hot Summer
52. Too Hot Ta Trot
53. Ring of Fire
54. Hot Child in the City
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