What does That Summer mean?

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Garth Brooks: That Summer Meaning

Song Released: 1993

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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 widow woman
Hell-bent to make it on her own
We were a thousand miles from nowhere
Wheat fields as far as I could see
Both needing something from each...


    #1 top rated interpretation:
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    May 25th 2012 report

    It sounds like she was a middle aged widow, late 30s to early 40s, while he was a teenager, most likely 18 or 19 since he was living with and working for her. If you catch that much, you can pretty much get why she slept with him. She's been alone, unwilling to be with another since the loss of her husband, and now feels herself attracted to this young man that is by her side all day working. and then the whole hands of leather thing is because she's been working hard since her husband's death to make it on her own, as the song says, not because she's old and wrinkly. there was no rape, no molestation, simply two people, brought together by business,that found physical, passionate love in each other. So stop bein perverted and enjoy the song. morons.

  2. anonymous
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    Apr 22nd 2022 report

    It’s really not that hard to understand. “Hellbent to make it on her own” says she divorced him. “Watched her hands of leather turn to velvet” let’s you know she’s tuff because she had to be but let her gaurd down with the boy. “I have never” and “I have rarely held another” and all the memoies says he’s 17 MAYBE 18 but victims usually attract to the perp. Also “she had the need to feel the passion, chase the lightening from the sky” says her ex husband took something she could only get back throu the acceptance of a young man. Ex husband is a douchebag and probably didn’t think abut tequila making her cloths fall off, he really think if she’s lonely she’d be lonely long? She definitely wanted to hold a stranger but not the one at home

  3. anonymous
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    Jan 11th 2022 report

    LOL! I love everyone reasoning that the teenager was 18 or 19 because he was on his own. I absolutely love this song however I do believe it is realistic that if he "softly whispers I have never" I do find it difficult that a teenager on his own that has "never" would be 18 or 19 when the average age, statistically, is 17 for the first time.

  4. anonymous
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    Nov 28th 2021 report

    Let’s make it about a teenage girl who goes to work for a lonely man that summer. Still feel the same? Didn’t think so.

  5. anonymous
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    Dec 13th 2020 report

    This song is literally about how an older teen, went to work for a woman on a ranch or something and one day he can see the obvious longing in her eyes, because he husband is gone, so she's alone. And he can so easily notice how she wants to feel something like that again, so they did it. And he learned much because he was younger, and she was experienced but she never took advantage of him, later in the song it even says that we had the need to feel the hunger, so he was obviously agreeing to this and he wanted to. And during these intimates time she did seem younger, her leathery hands(whether from work or age) turned to a velvety touch. So she felt younger to him. And then he leaves and ends up missing her and even later in the song he says, And I have rarely held another
    When I haven't seen her face, so sometimes he imagines her when being intimate with another. He misses her and every time he sees the wheat fields, he's reminded of the summer he shared intimately with a woman he can't quite get off his mind.

  6. anonymous
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    Nov 16th 2018 report

    The 'hands of leather' does not make her old. If you had worked hard on the land for any length of time, chopping wood,mending fences, tending stock, etc., you would understand. When I worked the land in my twenties, I pretty soon developed 'hands of leather.'

  7. anonymous
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    Jun 24th 2018 report

    I think the boy (probabaly 18 or 19) goes to work for the woman (mid thirties or so). While he works for her, she is sort of distant, but then one night he recognizes the passion in her eyes and they have sex. Although some people think so, she did not rape him, nor molest him. It was a mutual agreement.
    Later on on the song, the boy, now around the age she was, is reflecting on what happened that summer. The old woman has passed away and he is sad, remembering the summer they spent together is helping him get over her death.

  8. anonymous
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    Nov 13th 2017 report

    With my expert knowledge of cattle farming and poetry, I would have to surmise Garth is talking about an affair he had one summer with a heffer. She had a need to feel the thunder refers to her need for a stampeding herd of beef cattle that she craved. All she could get was Garth and his seed. When he speaks of her hands of leather he is illustrating her mangled feces filled hooves. While talking about how much he learned that summer he's actually discovered his inner crave for beastiality and the difficulties of thrusting his shaft deep into the backside heffer. #surpriseabortion

  9. anonymous
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    Nov 9th 2017 report

    I think you’re all wrong. I think it’s about a race car. You’re a bunch of weirdos.

  10. anonymous
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    Jun 13th 2017 report

    My mom was a young beautiful widow woman hell bent to make it on her own. Children came first even before love. You would have to know a beautiful widow woman hell bent to make it on her own to fully understand the song.or know a handsome young widower to understand. Children always come first. Much like single mom and dads.its definitely not pedophiles.its about making everything work for your kids...ie...hell bent and beautiful drives alot of men and women crazy because they dont need you.

  11. anonymous
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    Oct 23rd 2016 report

    I was in my early 40s when this song came out. I instantly loved the deep passion that burned in it. I'd come from working on a ranch, followed by my own hobby farm. At the latter my own children were molested. This song is not about a woman taking advantage of, and molesting an innocent teen. Molesting is about power tripping and an expression of ugliness in the soul of the molester.

    That Summer speaks of the loneliness that can build working the land. There is a constant demand on her physically while surrounded by the passions of nature all around her. A longing grows, seeking release... but only seeking it in another who understands and feels life as she does. She saw something, and came to him. She put forth her longing, not in words but in gestures "that even a boy could recognize." The word boy is used because he was still an inexperienced virgin. He would have had his own longings by that age.

    Last Summer is the only song I stopped to learn the words to that year (or since). It draws the longing from a woman's heart to share the real love and passion that she is born with. Society knocks her down, church's say it's owned by a husband, etc. There, on the land it was free to be expressed in purity and power. This song touched me and still does over twenty years later. Those that cheapen its meaning are wounded souls that have not learned, dreamed of, or experienced the meaning of what this song describes. Let both the lyrics and the music penetrate your heart and this song will play within you for years to come.

  12. anonymous
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    Feb 7th 2014 report

    Garth had sex with his grand mother staying with her one summer away from his parents.

  13. anonymous
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    Feb 1st 2012 report

    I hate how people say she raped him or molested him....he was probably over the age of 18. This is an amazing sing that tackles a huge subject. if ya'll hate it listen to something else. although you'll find other songs tackling this issues. just saying

  14. anonymous
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    May 27th 2011 report

    It never says she was an old woman. She could have been a wife of an deceased soldier or something--you never know.

  15. anonymous
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    Jan 4th 2011 report

    uhm this is a great song, and you shouldnt think of it as nasty obviously he had feelings for her and yes she was older but so what, it was love.

  16. k_elly
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    Sep 24th 2010 report

    this songs about an old lady (a widow) having sex with a teenage boy. he went to work for her and they end up having a relationship. she came into his room one night and he could tell she was horny so he had sex with her. 'burning both ends of the night' means that they did it all night long. 'her hands of leather' means that she was really old, like how old people have leathery skin. i loved that song until i learned what it was about. gross.

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