Bryan Adams' Summer of '69Whenever Bryan Adams’ “Summer of ’69“ is played on the airwave or some drunken girls on the pub sing the tune, I always ask people nearby: Does the song refers to the year or the position?

Many people that I asked replied flatly that it was about the year, for obvious reasons: There’s an apostrophe before the “69”, a sign that people take for granted as a shorthand for writing a year. The lyrics clearly describe the year when the narrator (it does not have to be Bryan Adams himself, as he was only 10 years old in 1969) bought his/her first real six string from a five-and-dime and played it until his/her fingers bled. Those were the best years of his/her life. You know the rest. There’s nothing that can be interpreted as some couple performing a give-and-take and only a handful of people with a dirty mind like me would dare to think that the whole song is all about a whole summer full of the famous le soixante-neuf.

As for me, I have always been suspicious of double entendre, so I had always been suspicious of the nature of the song. Or maybe I just have a dirty mind. Anyhow, if you need proof that the whole song is all about THE position, just watch the videoclip and wait until minutes 2:59. Get back here and I’ll show you more.

Now that you’re back, you might not accept the fact that your favorite singer had a dirty mind when he wrote his signature song. So why don’t we just listen from the man himself.

Well…now that I have revealed to you the age-old question of whether “Summer of ’69” refers to the year or the position, I hope you can handle the truth now and still enjoy the song like before you know what it all means :p

Written by Tri L. Astraatmadja

After living for 10 years in Europe as a Master's student, PhD researcher, and a postdoc, in 2016 Tri L. Astraatmadja moved on to the United States for a second postdoctoral appointment at the Department of Terrestrial Magnetism, Carnegie Institution for Science, Washington DC. He is now in his third postdoc at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, MD.

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