Mediafile/Music: Back-To-School Jams

August is usually a hectic time for Florida parents. Don’t we all remember having to get enough No. 2 pencils, college-rule paper, and Trapper Keepers to last the school year? Well, while crossing town to Staples, Wal-Mart, and Target to get the best deals, here’s the perfect soundtrack—just in time for the first bell.

1. “Another Brick In The Wall, Part 2” by Pink Floyd
Sure, I know this isn’t a positive song about school, but you can’t deny its popularity. This 1979 anthem from The Wall is No. 375 on Rolling Stone’s list of the “500 Greatest Songs Of All Time.” The Korn version is pretty good, too.

2. “School Days” by Chuck Berry
The subject of this song is “studyin’ hard, hopin’ to pass” and is done with his “burden” of school at the 3 o’clock bell. Yup, probably not the school’s valedictorian. This 1957 classic has also inspired notable covers by AC/DC and Bart Simpson. Really.

3. “Be True To Your School” by The Beach Boys
This is the ultimate pep rally song, full of spirit and school pride. Maybe too much, since the hero of the song wants to pick a fight with a rival school. In a bit of trivia, the background melody is the University of Wisconsin’s fight song.

4. “Teacher, Teacher” by 38 Special
The Southern rockers glossed up their sound for this minor chart hit from Teachers, the 1984 film starring Nick Nolte.

5. “My Old School” by Steely Dan
This semi-autobiographical flop single about a drug raid gone bad from 1973’s Countdown to Ecstasy has since become a concert staple for the band. More trivia: the assistant district attorney who prosecuted the kids in real life was G. Gordon Liddy.

6. “High School Confidential” by Jerry Lee Lewis
One of rock ‘n’ roll’s early classics from 1958. Of course, the title would later also refer to Lewis’ predilection for underage girls.

7. “Teacher” by Jethro Tull
This folk/rock hit from 1970’s Benefit album features an instructor whose lesson is to “find yourself some fun.” Not exactly teacher-of-the-year material.

8. “Good Morning Little Schoolgirl” by Sonny Boy Williamson
This simple blues song from 1937 still holds up today. Notable covers by Jonny Lang, The Yardbirds, Ten Years After, and Muddy Waters keep this simple love song current.

9. “School” by Nirvana
Speaking of simple songs, this alt-classic from 1989’s Bleach relies mostly on attitude since it contains only 15 words. Here’s more than half the song: “Won’t you believe it? It’s just my luck. No recess.”

10. “Homecoming Queen” by Hinder
This newer hit discusses a fallen homecoming queen who went to L.A. to find love. See? Popularity isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

More School-Inspired Jams

  • “An Apple For The Teacher” by Bing Crosby

  • “At The Prom” by The Flamingos

  • “Homework” by Otis Rush (check other excellent versions by Fleetwood Mac and J. Geils Band)

  • “Hot For Teacher” by Van Halen

  • “School’s Out” by Alice Cooper

  • “School” by Supertramp

  • “Teacher I Need You” by Elton John

  • “The Teacher” by Big Country

  • “Too Cool For School” by Fountains Of Wayne

Style Editors Dean Blinkhorn and Amy Mangan and Creative Director Trevor Byrne have many opinions on music, books, and movies, respectively. This special rotating column highlights a different writer and a different topic each month. Agree? Disagree? Have something to add? Drop us a line at or and we’ll print the best responses in the next issue. Next up: Trevor recommends foreign films even casual fans of the genre can enjoy.

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