Music

'That Summer': The Story Behind Garth Brooks' Summer Romance Song

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Is there a better country song about a steamy summer romance than "That Summer" by Garth Brooks?

Co-written by Garth Brooks, his wife at the time Sandy Mahl, and guitarist Pat Alger, the song was released as Brooks' final single on this 1993 album The Chase. It reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart.

On the 1996 television special, The Garth Brooks Story, Brooks' tells the story behind the song:

"'That Summer' started out as a single guy and a married woman meeting at a party. The married woman was being ignored by whom she was with and they snuck off together. Allen Reynolds told me, "Man, I just don't find myself pulling for these characters. It doesn't seem innocently cool." I was thinking that he was right. Going home that night in the truck I started singing she has a need to feel the thunder. Sandy started helping me write the chorus and we got [it] done. Probably one of the neat things that I love about That Summer is that I think the song is very sexy."

Read More: 'The River': Garth Brooks' Poetic Hit Was Indirectly Inspired By James Taylor 

'That Summer' can be found on any playlist of Garth Brooks songs, next to hits like "Beaches of Cheyenne," "Friends in Low Places," "If Tomorrow Never Comes," "Unanswered Prayers," and "The River."


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'That Summer' Lyrics:

I went to work for her that summer
A teenage kid so far from home
She was a lonely widowed woman
Hell-bent to make it on her own
We were a thousand miles from nowhere
Wheatfields as far as I could see
Both needing something from each other
Not knowing yet what that might be

'Til she came to me one evening
Hot cup of coffee and a smile
In a dress that I was certain
She hadn't worn in quite a while
There was a difference in her laughter
There was a softness in her eyes
And on the air there was a hunger
Even a boy could recognize

She had a need to feel the thunder
To chase the lightning from the sky
To watch a storm with all its wonder
Raging in her lover's eyes
She had to ride the heat of passion
Like a comet burning bright
Rushing headlong in the wind
Out where only dreams have been
Burning both ends of the night

That summer wind was all around me
Nothing between us but the night
When I told her that I'd never
She softly whispered that's alright
And then I watched her hands of leather
Turn to velvet in a touch
There's never been another summer
When I have ever learned so much

We had a need to feel the thunder
To chase the lightning from the sky
To watch a storm with all its wonder
Raging in each others eyes
We had to ride the heat of passion
Like a comet burning bright
Rushing headlong in the wind
Out where only dreams have been
Burning both ends of the night

I often think about that summer
The sweat, the moonlight and the lace
And I have rarely held another
When I haven't seen her face
And every time I pass a wheat field
And watch it dancing with the wind
Although I know it isn't real
I just can't help but feel
Her hungry arms again

She had a need to feel the thunder
To chase the lightning from the sky
To watch a storm with all its wonder
Raging in her lover's eyes
She had to ride the heat of passion
Like a comet burning bright
Rushing headlong in the wind
Out where only dreams have been
Burning both ends of the night

Rushing in long in the wind
Out where only dreams have been
Burnin' both ends of the night

 

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'That Summer': The Story Behind Garth Brooks' Summer Romance Song