Top 10 back to school songs


Graphics by Brianna O’Shaughnessy

1. Another Brick in the Wall (Parts I and II) – Pink Floyd

This song is a classic ‘we hate school’ jam for the listener that’s really reluctant to go back to school. It has an excellent rock and roll vibe to it, and can really stir up some anger about education (and not needing one) in most students. However, this song is ill-advised for students who even remotely enjoy school or respect their teachers. For those, it may cause slight fear of rebellion and getting caught for that rebellion.

Pink Floyd


2. Wonderful World – Sam Cooke

As this song so accurately proclaims, we students don’t know much about history, biology, or trigonometry, but we’re very good at pursuing romance. That’s clearly the most relevant part of devoting more than seven hours a day to education. On the other hand, there are some who would prefer to concentrate on succeeding, and they might prefer to simply enjoy this song for its status as a classic and upbeat tune. That’s fine, too.

Sam Cooke


3. ABC – Jackson 5

This song, again, completely overlooks the actual education aspect of school and focuses on romance instead. It mentions a few simple facts most people learned in elementary school, but the main goal seems to be learning how easy it is to love. Jackson 5 eases students into the back to school vibe easily with little tips like ‘I before E except after C’ and provides a great tune to dance to, given the correct mood.

Jackson 5


4Campus – Vampire Weekend

These lyrics, admittedly, probably won’t give the listener tons of positive or negative feelings about the education system. It’s mainly just a feel-good, cutesy song about seeing a good-looking girl on a college campus. If anything, the cheerful indie pop vibe will provide some motivation to get out of bed and drag yourself to school.

Vampire Weekend


5. First Day of School – Soulja Boy

This is an incredibly fun song about dressing nice for school. It reminds everyone that appearances matter, and it’s very important to wear your best clothes every day as long as they fit in the dress code. That means no athletic wear or leggings, girls. Just keep dressin’ fresh, and you’ll be okay.

Soulja Boy


6. Be True to Your School – Beach Boys

Maybe our football team isn’t first in state, like the song says. That’s not what’s important. The most important part is the sense of family and closeness in the underlying theme of the song. Maybe high school isn’t everyone’s favorite part of life, but it is an important one. So be proud of your school, and enjoy being young while you can.

Beach Boys


7. I Will Survive – Gloria Gaynor

It’s not actually a song about school, but instead a song of motivation. You can survive the school year. Maybe if everyone tells themselves this starting at the beginning, it’ll become true. Besides, a little bit of disco to start off the morning before coming to school can never do any harm.

Gloria Gaynor


8. September – Earth, Wind and Fire

Really, the only applicable theme to this song that applies to the beginning of a new school year is the fact that it’s called September. There’s just something about listening to a song in the month it was named after that makes it special. And the upbeat tune will hopefully cheer students up quite a bit – which, overall, is the theme for this playlist, because there’s no need to get upset before going to school. Students need all the cheerfulness they can get.

Earth, Wind and Fire


9. Start of Something New – cast of High School Musical

In honor of the greatest high school story of this generation, this song speaks of love and new possibilities in a new year. Technically, the “new” usually just means harder classes and a larger workload, but at least there’s hope.

cast of High School Musical



10. Boys of Summer – Don Henley

You may think this is a happy, summer song, but think again. Summer is referred to in past tense throughout the song, and the lyrics make it very clear that the days of summer are gone forever. Though the soft rock may fool you with the feeling of summertime euphoria, a closer listen reminds us all how upset we are that summer is over.

Don Henley