My top ten pop and rock songs about school are mostly anti-establishment tunes. Yes, most of my top ten pop and rock songs about school aren’t highly praise-worthy of the educational system. Here’s my top ten pop and rock songs about school, listed alphabetically.
Another Brick In The Wall (Part II), by Pink Floyd (1980)
Pink Floyd’s Number One smash hit rant against the British education system may be the most famous anti-school song out there, and it also makes my personal top ten list for pop rock songs about school. Pink Floyd’s using of children to sing:
We don’t need no education
We don’t need no thought control…
Teachers leave them kids alone…
…says it all! This song is part of the legendary and larger concept Pink Floyd work The Wall.
Beauty School Dropout, by Frankie Avalon (1978)
Didi Conn, who plays one of the Pink Ladies named “Frenchy” in the movie Grease, wants to quit high school to go to beauty school, but wishes for a guardian angel to advise her. Her wish comes true in the guise of Frankie Avalon singing to her in a fantasy sequence advising her in a pop rock way to go back to high school so she won’t end up being unemployable and having to possibly resort to being a hooker! Grease is such a great film that its songs and the movie itself are a part of some of my top ten articles at Associated Content including this one!
Hang On Sloopy, by The McCoys (1965)
Not only is this a chart-topping tribute pop rock song that’s named after musician Dorothy “Sloopy” Sloop, but it’s one of the most identifiable songs of Ohio State University, especially its marching band; and thus, it makes this tune a school-themed song! Hang On Sloopy is a really fun-sounding and emphatic song about the love for a poor girl. Dorothy Sloop herself was born in Ohio, as were The McCoys band members Rick and Randy Zehringer. Ironically, the pop rock group itself was formed in Indiana.
High School Confidential, by Jerry Lee Lewis (1958)
This Top 40 pop rock hit contains some great piano-playing by one of the pioneers of rock ‘n’ roll and secures a top ten spot concerning my favorite school-themed songs. While this song alludes to a high school dance, I wonder why Lewis has the word “confidential” in the title, though I would gather that he wished he’d kept his marriage to his pre-high school-aged cousin confidential!
Hot For Teacher, by Van Halen (1984)
In a time with all these sex scandals involving teachers, this isn’t really a song that does anything to combat those terrible happenings. But when I was in school, this personal top ten pop rock song was looked at much differently in a light-hearted matter because of the hilarious music video where Van Halen’s members are kids who get a really hot-looking teacher for their term. They even make sport of a nerd named Waldo.
Saved by the Bell, Television Theme (1989-1993)
Whenever I hear this pop-sounding tune, I think of Zack, “Screech”, Mr. Belding, and all the gang from Bayside High. While this show had many incarnations, I like the 1989-93 series (when they attended high school) the best. As I listen to my personal top ten tune’s lyrics, I theorize that it was written for the scheming Zack and his constant shenanigans during his pre-college days.
School’s Out, by Alice Cooper (1972)
This was probably the first pop rock school-related song that I heard, especially toward the end of the school year for many years, as some kids in my classes would sing these lyrics:
School’s out for summer
School’s out forever
It netted a Top Ten hit for the zany Alice Cooper, and maybe kept him from biting off a few less heads of live chickens (allegedly)! I like the sound that’s conveyed from this rather intense but rather humorous tune.
Smokin’ In The Boys Room, by Mötley Crüe (1985)
Motley Crue’s version is much more lively and crisp than the original version released by Brownsville Station in 1973. I abhor smoking and when I first heard this song via the MTV music video, I hated it, but this is one of those top ten personal songs about school that worked over my will. I finally came to appreciate the song’s humor and jab at the establishment as an adult, and so did many other pop rock fans since this hit smoked its way into a Top 15 chart place.
Teacher Teacher, by 38 Special (1984)
A Top 40 Southern-fried rock tune makes my top ten list for pop rock songs about school. Teacher Teacher came from the 1984 movie Teachers, and this tune is a rhetorical plea for the teachers to prepare students for life, even though the lyrics and tone suggest that it will fail miserably. Still, I love the emotion and flow of this school-themed tune.
To Sir With Love, by Lulu (1967)
Lulu’s touching rendition of this personal top ten song of mine is one of those tear-jerking songs that didn’t quite make my Associated Content article about tear-jerking songs. Still, it’s quite memorable as student Barbara Pegg (Lulu) sings this chart-topping pop rock smash hit of 40 years ago in the movie of the same title as her way of saying “thank you” to teacher Mark Thackeray (Sidney Poitier), who helps give her and a bunch of East London misfits some direction in life.
Chart Information Sources for this top ten school-related pop and rock songs article:
Joel Whitburn, The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits, 6th Edition (1996)
Joel Whitburn, Joel Whitburn’s Top Pop Albums: 1955-1996 (1996)