"The Boys of Summer" is a song by Don Henley, with lyrics written by Henley and music composed by Henley and Mike Campbell, longtime guitarist for Tom Petty. It is the lead track and first single from Henley's 1984 album Building the Perfect Beast. The song's music video won many awards. "The Boys of Summer" was also performed live by Henley with the reunited Eagles; such a version is included on the group's 2005 Farewell 1 Tour-Live from Melbourne DVD.
Henley's song has a haunting rhythm and timbre, cemented by Campbell's iconic major-major7-major6 repetitive riff over a relative minor-V-IV-V chord pattern. Superficially, the song appears to be about the passing of youth and entering middle age, with the obvious theme of 'summer love' apparent in the choruses, and of reminiscence of a past relationship. The line, "My love for you will still be strong, after the boys of summer have gone" can be construed as a realization that relationships are often destroyed by one's own restless youth, even though there is a conflicting internal desire for that love to flourish.
In a 1987 interview with Rolling Stone, Henley explained that the song is more about aging and questioning the past—a...