I got my first real six string Bought it at the five and dime Played it till my fingers bled Was the summer of '69 Me and some guys from school Had a band and we tried real hard Jimmy quit and Jody got married I shoulda known we'd never get far Oh when I look back now That summer seemed to last forever And if I had the choice Yeah, I'd always wanna be there Those were the best days of my life! Ain't no use in complaining When you got a job to do Spent my evening's down at the drive-in And that's when I met you, yeah Standing on your mama's porch You told me that you'd wait forever Oh and when you held my hand I knew that it was now or never Those were the best days of my life! Back in the summer of '69 Man, we were killing time We were young and restless We needed to unwind I guess nothing can last forever Forever, no!! And now the times are changing Look at everything that's come and gone Sometimes when I play that old six string I think about you wonder what went wrong Standing on your mama's porch You told me that it'd last forever Oh and when you held my hand I knew that it was now or never Those were the best days of my life! Back in the summer of '69 It was the summer of '
The song went through a number of changes because neither Adams nor Vallance was convinced it was a strong enough song to be featured on the album. In their first draft, the lyric "summer of '69" appeared only once. At that time the two were planning to title it "Best Days of My Life" instead. While the lyric "Best days of my life" appeared seven times in the first draft, on the final draft it had been replaced by "summer of '69" and appeared only two times throughout the song. Adams mentioned once in an interview that "Jimmy" was one of his early drummers. On the song's very first demo, it started with a string riff, just like the breakdown section in the middle of the song, but they replaced it with a chunky 6-string intro on the second demo. The song was recorded three to four times, in different ways, with both Adams and Vallance still not convinced that it was finished.