10 Songs Every Student Needs To Listen To Before Class
YouTube / Cesarwm87
Loathing school is one of those things that’s grouped with taxes- you just gotta do it. Sometimes you need to let some steam off. Here are 10 songs that have nothing to do with your ABC’s and everything to do with the spirit of anti-authoritarianism.
10. Brownsville Station “Smokin’ In The Boys Room”
The band’s front man, Cub Koda, wrote the song in 30 minutes for Brownsville Station’s Yeah! (1973) Album. He found inspiration from his own life as a student. Koda would get caught in his school’s bathroom with his friends smoking cigarettes and quickly made his experience into an anthem for frustrated youth. “Smokin’ In The Boys Room” was released in 1973 and reached # 3 in Canada, then charted on the US Billboard 100. This was the band’s biggest hit- covered endlessly.
9. Supertramp “The Logical Song”
Keyboard player and singer, Roger Hodgson, wrote the song about losing the innocence of your younger self and falling victim to the anxiety of adult pressures. He says, “They (school) teach us how to function on the outside and to be very intellectual, but they don’t tell us how to act with our intuition or our heart or really give us a real plausible explanation of what life’s about. There’s a huge hole in the education.” The track was released on Supertramp’s Breakfast In America (1979)- it reached #6 in the US and #7 in the UK.
8. The Police “Don’t Stand So Close To Me”
Before he became front man of The Police, Sting was a teacher. He denies that any inspiration from the song comes from personal experience and it’s just a take on the novel Lolita. Everyone seemed to ignore the lyrics about a teacher getting the hots for his student, and The Police won a Grammy for Best Rock Vocal Performance by a Group in 1981 for this track. Released off their Zenyatta Mondatta (1980) album, “Don’t Stand So Close to Me,” reached #1 in the UK and #10 in the US.
7. Paul Simon “Me and Julio Down By The Schoolyard”
This is another amazing Paul Simon jam, released in 1972 on his self-titled album. It’s a story about Julio, a NY neighborhood kid, and apparently a little Simon playing in the schoolyard. He’s said many times he has no idea what the song is about… ok Paul. Whatever it’s about– Paul Simon has one of the best whistling solos of all time in this song and proves he can hang in the hood. The song charted #15 in the UK and #22 in the US.
6. The Ramones “Rock ‘n’ Roll High School”
The song was written for the the movie Rock ‘N’ Roll High School. The track has an ode to the 1950’s cookie cutter American life in an ironic sort of way, and it’s catchy as hell. Simply, it’s about a student leading a rock rebellion against the school administration. Phil Spector helped produce the Ramone’s End of the Century (1980) album. He was so hard on the band that Joey Ramone once had to play the riff for 8 hours straight. When he walked out of the studio he told Spector, “What are you gonna do? Shoot me? ”
5. Twisted Sister “Be Chrool To Your Scuel”
This song is so bad ass, didn’t even spell out School. The track is basically about busting out of the mundane school routing. Even zombies were used in the music video. The song was released in 1985, off Twisted Sister’s Come Out and Play album.
“Cause hey, I gotta know what I’ll have to show, When I hi hi ho it from here, Do abc’s and 123’s, Mean that much to me”
4. Queen “I Want To Break Free”
Bass player John Deacon wrote the song for Queen’s 1984 album, The Works. The track is a protest song in itself. It was used in the liberation movements for women and even in South Africa’s government apartheid. You can listen to “I Want To Break Free,” in any pro-establishment situation, including school, to let out some of that angst. The song reached #3 in the UK and #45 in the US.
3. Bob Dylan “Like A Rolling Stone”
“You’ve gone to the finest school all right, Miss Lonely, But you know you only used to get juiced in it, Nobody has ever taught you how to live on the street, And you find out now you’re gonna have to get used to it,” sings Dylan in the 1965 song off his Highway 61 Revisited album. The song is about a debutante who becomes a loner when she loses her place in society. What a student can get out of it, is that no matter what you’re taught in school- if you can’t survive in the streets all that knowledge is useless. The track charted #4 in the UK and #2 in the US.
2. Alice Cooper “School’s Out”
The song is inspired by the Bowery Boys movies where it’s often declared “school’s out,” meaning “wise up.” Appropriately, the song was released in the summer of 1972, school was actually out for break. Instantly the song became an anthem against establishment, specifically school. The track hit #1 in the US and #7 in the UK, off the album School’s Out.
“”School’s out for summer, School’s out forever, School’s been blown to pieces!”
Pink Floyd “Another Brick In The Wall II”
What else? This is the ultimate F the education system song. Roger Waters wrote the song about building walls around himself because reality wasn’t something he was interested in. His inspiration came from his observation that his grammar school teachers were more focused on keeping students quiet and obedient, rather than their education. Released on The Wall (1979), Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick In The Wall,” hit #1 all around the world.
“The song is meant to be a rebellion against errant government, against people who have power over you, who are wrong. Then it absolutely demanded that you rebel against that,” confirms Waters.