The month of July stirs up a lot of emotions. For others, it’s cause for celebration. For others, it’s an oppressively hot summer month. So in this article, I’m going to share my favorite songs about July, which hopefully you can blast all throughout the summer—or perhaps even year ‘round.
Songs About July You’ll Absolutely Love
Let’s begin with a song by Fall Out Boy.
1) Fourth of July by Fall Out Boy
This song uses the image of fireworks to talk about the explosive and ephemeral nature of a summer romance. What is jarring, though, is the fact that this parallel is drawn using a direct metaphor. “You and I were fireworks” is repeated over and over before the first verse even tells us that the story in this song takes place on the Fourth of July.
The odd timing of this song’s structure speaks to the nature of the relationship—the lyrics go on to specify that the two people in the relationship were fireworks that “went off too soon.” This implies that although the relationship was spectacular in its own way, something was disjointed in their dynamic that led to the relationship’s fast and inevitable end.
If you’re searching for a song about an emotionally complex summer fling, this song might just hit the spot.
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2) July by Sir Chloe
This song is about a relationship that’s ending in late July, with the end of the month paralleling the end of the relationship. Sir Chloe’s feelings about this relationship are complicated; it sounds like leaving the relationship is the best choice, but she still feels really sad about it.
The relationship’s ending feels just as inevitable as the changing of the seasons. Summer gives way to fall, a season where things die and the earth starts to go cold, and this song applies that imagery to the relationship. If you’re looking for a song about summer romance turned sour, this song might be perfect for you.
3) Even by Julian Baker
This song is about a relationship that is going downhill, with a conflict that goes down on July Fourth. The relationship is implied to be toxic (bordering on abusive), with Baker being the one most severely impacted by its toxicity. The person she’s with is intent on making her just as miserable as he is.
The image of the July Fourth fireworks implies a similarly explosive dynamic in their relationship, with that standout moment in the lyrics conveying the violence and danger of being in that relationship. It’s safe to say that the meaning of Fourth of July fireworks have forever been changed for Baker by the person she now associates with them.
If you can’t look at fireworks without thinking about someone who hurt you—or who still is hurting you—maybe this song will urge you to pursue something better.
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4) Fourth of July by Sufjan Stevens
When you lose someone you love in a particular month, that month always reminds you of them, and reminds you about what you lost. Stevens’ gentle instrumental and soft, dreamy vocals perfectly capture both the sadness of having lost someone and the joy you can still get from their memory.
He uses classic July imagery—fireflies, fireworks, and dragonflies—to describe his relationship with the person he lost. If you’re looking for a song about dealing with the annual grief of remembering a lost loved one in the summer (or July specifically), this song might describe your feelings. For Stevens, this song is about his mother, but the feeling of grief that he articulates is vast and relatable.
5) My City by Better Oblivion Community Center
Phoebe Bridgers and Conor Oberst collaborated under the name of Better Oblivion Community Center to create an album that challenges narratives of American exceptionalism, particularly as it pertains to individual narratives of success in the music industry. This particular song is about going for a walk around your city (in this case, the city of Lose Angeles) on the Fourth of July.
The empty promise of American freedom represented by the holiday is paralleled with the way their relationships with their hometowns have changed over time. The Fourth of July fireworks are explained in intentionally abstract terms—“Things explode” and “Some sad independence”—to illustrate what the fireworks represent, not just what they look like. If you have sad or complicated memories connected to that holiday (or July in general), this song is a perfect fit for you.
6) July by Beach Bunny
This coming-of-age song is about two people spending the month of July together and trying to figure out who they are. Like many summer flings, the relationship seems uncertain, but somehow beautiful in that uncertainty. The summertime imagery that fills the lyrics—tidal waves, sunburns, freckles, and hurricanes—occurs in such quick succession that it almost seems like the couple becomes one with the month of July and with the world around them.
The song ends on a positive note, but whether or not this means that the relationship survived is up to your interpretation. If you’re looking for a song about a July summer fling that’s maybe more than a fling, this song should fit.
7) The 5th of July by Owl City
If you were born in the month of July—particularly in close proximity to July 4th—you probably have strong feelings about the month as a whole. In this song, Owl City’s Adam Young reveals that he was born on July 5th, and talks about his family and childhood through the lens of all the things that have happened in that month in his life.
The song isn’t quite sad, but isn’t quite happy either. It’s full of nostalgia, both the sadness at the things he’s lost and his gratitude to the people who brought him into the world. This song is the perfect anthem for anyone with a July birthday.
8) July by Noah Cyrus
One interesting thing about this song is that although the month of July is never named in the lyrics, it still remain one of those songs with July in the title. It’s a song about knowing that a breakup is inevitable, but not having the strength to initiate it yourself.
Cyrus mentions being afraid of change in the lyrics, which very much reflects the intense and seemingly unchangeable heat of July: even though you know that the summer will end, in the July heat, it really feels like it will continue on forever. If July is synonymous with a failed or failing relationship for you, then this song might capture how you’re feeling.
9) July, July! by The Decemberists
Sometimes, it only takes one particularly strange July to shape your perception of that entire month forever. This song is about the July when lead singer Colin Meloy lived in an only slightly revamped slaughterhouse in Portland. It’s full of vivid imagery from that time, and the ever-present feeling he experienced of being haunted by the ghosts of dead chickens.
If you’re looking for a July song full of jarring imagery and winding lyricism, perhaps looking for a song that positions the month of July as a strange and uncanny time, this song will do the trick.
10) Cold Day in July by The Chicks
Summer romance has become such a common trope that a relationship coming to an end in the middle of the summer can feel unnatural and uncanny, because that’s not how the story is supposed to go. This song captures that particular feeling. The Chicks sing about a relationship where a guy promises his girlfriend that it would be a “cold day in July” when he’d leave her, supposedly implying that this day would never come.
In the aftermath of their breakup, the girl remembers this promise, and reflects on it sarcastically, declaring that because they’re now broken up, it must be a cold day in July. The vocals and the sad, slow acoustic guitar aren’t snarky, though—they’re really sad, almost as if she believes that it actually is a cold day in July, because she can’t come up with a better explanation for why their relationship came to an end.
These songs all reflect a multitude of experiences, but express those experiences using similar imagery that’s very much rooted in the month of July. Whether July for you is a time full of nostalgia, mourning, or summer romance, one of these songs about July is sure to capture your imagination.
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