The Story Behind The First Day of Summer

The First Day of Summer is a song about peace. More specifically, it’s a song about finding peace by the ocean.

I wrote The First Day of Summer many years ago when I was in my early 20s. Six months earlier, in the dead of winter, I had moved to New York City for the first time to seek fame and fortune as a musician. Although I was thrilled to be in New York and found the craziness and hectic pace of the city exciting and stimulating, it was also pretty stressful. I found myself living at a heightened speed and alertness; everything was hyper-real.

Late in June, I decided to spend a week at the beach, as I had often done with my family in the past. I arrived in Ocean City, New Jersey, on what happened to be the first day of summer. Of course, I had been there many times before; but after six months of living in New York City fighting to make inroads into the music business, this was a completely different experience. The contrast between the two ways of living left me stunned.

That afternoon I had a conversation with a young woman who was lying on the beach. I asked her what she wanted to do with her life. She said she wanted to lie on the beach. No, I said, trying to clarify, “I mean, what are your goals? What do you want to do with your life?” She repeated her previous answer: She wanted to lie on the beach.

The overwhelming sense of peace that enveloped me that day and in the days that followed led me to write The First Day of Summer. To this day, a visit to the beach—especially to Ocean City—drains away my anxieties and tension. It has become one of the places I can go in my mind and feel a measure of peace when the world seems overwhelming.

That deep sense of peace is what I wanted to capture in The First Day of Summer. I hope that when you hear the song, it carries you to that same place—at peace beside the ocean.