Summer Sounds: Campfire Songs Our Summer Sounds series highlights the sound of summer camp campfire songs with this entry from writer Tom Manoff. He's now ashamed at the poor quality of the singing.
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Summer Sounds: Campfire Songs

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Summer Sounds: Campfire Songs

Summer Sounds: Campfire Songs

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(Soundbite of sound effects and song, "Summertime, Summertime")

THE JAMIES (Band): (Singing) It's summertime.

ROBERT SIEGEL, host:

Now, the latest in our series on the Sounds of Summer. Today, writer Tom Manoff celebrates a campfire from long ago.

Mr. TOM MANOFF (Writer): Mohegan Beach, 1961, six teenaged boys sitting around a fire late into the night; stars everywhere, shining above the darkness of the lake, and the sound of the fire, soothing but alive with the energy of (unintelligible).

(Soundbite of a crackling fire)

Mr. MANOFF: After some baseball talk, someone would start up a discussion about the meaning of life. Fourteen-year-old philosophers we were and at that age we didn't talk about girls. Late-night fires were a boy's thing. Inevitably, a few guitars came out and six young teenage boys with cracking voices sang tunes from the Joan Baez songbook.

(Soundbite of song, "Kumbaya")

IN UNISON: (Singing) Kumbaya, my Lord...

Mr. MANOFF: Whatever the meaning of life was, there seemed to be more of it with guitars.

Today, I'm a little embarrassed at the in memory of that guitar sound, especially the songs that began with a D-chord - which were all of them. I guess I've become a more lofty person.

When it comes to sounds around the campfire at Lake Mohegan, it's the gentle whoosh of the flames and the sputter from wood that sings in my memory.

(Soundbite of a crackling fire and a guitar)

SIEGEL: Summer Sounds from writer Tom Manoff.

Tell us what your summer sounds like, whether it's now or in the summer of your memories. Go to NPR.org and click on Contact Us. And please remember to write Summer Sounds in the subject line.

Next week for the solstice, we'll read some of your responses on the air.

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