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In the Summertime


Mungo Jerry

Songfacts®:  You can leave comments about the song at the bottom of the page.

Ray Dorset, who was the group's lead singer and guitarist, wrote this song.
This was Mungo Jerry's first hit single. They had several other hits in their native Britain and in other parts of the world, but this was their only hit in the States.
This sold over 16 million copies worldwide and was Britain's biggest-selling single in 1970. Later on, it was used regularly in many different commercials and became one of the most recognizable songs. Many years later, it became the world's most-played radio song and the most successful summer song ever.
Reggae artist Shaggy covered this in 1995. His version reached UK #5. (thanks, Jerro - New Alexandria, PA, for all above)
The words "In the summertime" appear only twice: in the first line and near the end. (thanks, Gilbert - Brownsville, TX)
Mungo Jerry
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Comments (17):

Hey, is it just me, or does the keyboardist of Mungo Jerry look a lot like Wolfman Jack? I also used to think that there was a Mandolin in the music, but I guess it was the keyboard.....Interesting how a British band can sound like they came from a bluegrass hillbilly background, huh? This was a fav song of mine when I was a kid, I'd sing that over and over, not knowing what the words meant...Ah, Memories!
- Bruce, San Jose, CA
I had to rush to this sight after just hearing some of the music for this song on a 1931 MGM release Gems of MGM. During the opening credits about or more 12 bars of this song (instrumentally) played. I couldn't believe my ears.
The Brox Sisters, Marion Harris, Benny Rubin, Belcher's Kiddie Ballet were the acts featured on this film. Though the song wasn't credited it was there all the same. I'll check it out further to see what I can come up with.
- David Duggan, Los Osos, CA
Marvelous song! Surely I'm not the only one to notice the strong similarity of this to John Sebastian & the Lovin' Spoonful, particularly their 3rd single, "Daydream" (1966)? I adore both songs, BTW. The Spoonful started out as basically a skiffle/jug band, wouldn't you say?
- Fred, Laurel, MD
The perfect summer song even 40 yrs later. 6/23/10
- James, yucaipa, CA
fyodor, you pretty much have it right about what it means to "do a ton," although perhaps at the time of the song's writing, it might have referred to km/hr. I've heard it used in contexts which suggest it's long since morphed into general slang; the British equivalent to "hauling ass:" "He just went by here doing a ton."
- Steven, Los Angeles, CA
This song reminds me of a neighbor I had when I was 13. He was a long distance truck driver and I used to ride along with him in the summer. Good times!
- Phil, Tucson, AZ
One of my favorite songs, just because of the way it makes you feel. The sound toward the end of the song like a frog croaking is made in one of their early videos by blowing in the top of a big glass jug. Neat-o.
- Wayne, Crockett, TX
I remember hearing this song when I was a kid. I'll always associate it with a local channel that played it during the summer, advertising their summer programming lineup, I think mainly dealing with kids' shows.
- Patrick, Bremen, GA
hahaaha!! I like this song because it was in that kiddy movie...uhmm..."The Little Rascals" I remember watching that as a kid...
- Skyttles, poolpartytopia, Czech Republic
What an appropriate tune to play in the summertime!
- Frank, Brampton, Ontario, Canada
As previously mentioned, this has been used in several ads. The most memorable in the UK was as part of an anti-drink-driving campaign. The ad shows a group friends enjoying a summer evening at the pub, having a really great time, before driving off. As the song gets to the "Have a drink, have a drive" line, the song echoes away to leave the scene of their car wreck rapped around a tree, steam pouring from the engine, with their blood-streaked bodies hanging out of the broken windows. Hard-hitting stuff!!
- Kevin, Liverpool, England
Last Fourth of July, When we were all watching fire works, someone played this song. It may sound weird, but it is the best song to listen to while watching fireworks on 4th of July
- Joseph, Chicago, IL
"Have a drink, have a drive"! They don't write songs like THAT anymore! :-) My girlfriend hates how they advocate treating rich women differently from poor women! What do they mean by a ton or a ton and twenty-five? Does that mean they want to drive 100 to 125 mph?
- fyodor, Denver, CO
Mungo Jerry was a character from T.S. Eliot's Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats (which was later adapted and made into the musical Cats by Andrew Lloyd Webber).
- Don, Newmarket, Canada
There was actually a video of this song, featuring the band in what actually looked like the studio recording it. Very static. The group of them sat side by side with headsets and mikes and music stands, guitars, etc. It was similar in feel to some of the filmed studio performances you see in the Beatles movie Let It Be (which had come out just a few months earlier).... The weird thing about this song--no drums. Instead there's a guy making mouth sounds like you'd see 20 years later in the early rap performances.
- dirk, Nashville, TN
I have the original 7" single at home - it is DORSET!
- David, Gosford, Australia
Ray Dorset had his moment in the spotlight when his band, Mungo Jerry, recorded one of the biggest selling hits of 1970. A skiffle-style blues, "In The Summertime", sold more than thirty million copies worldwide and became a classic of the summer season. It topped the charts a second time when a version by Shaggy was featured in the film, Flipper. The song has also been recorded by Elton John and Bob Dylan. Dorset received two Ivor Novello awards as songwriter.

Dorset was already a veteran performer when he formed Mungo Jerry in 1969. His first band, the Blue Moon Skiffle Group, featuring Phil Collins on drums, was formed when he was eleven years old.
- John, South Bend, IN
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