Top Ten Back-to-School Songs

Top Ten Back-to-School Songs

An incomplete list of some of the best songs ever written about school.


For many students, September is an exciting time—new friends, new teachers, new schools, new experiences. For others, it’s a dreadful month: the resumption of homework, routine, detention and cafeteria food. Laments about school have been sung by students for as long as there has been formal schooling. Wikipedia reports that examples of such literature can be found dating back to medieval England. Here, I’ve tried the highly dubious task of trying to highlight ten of the best such songs ever written. I’m not nearly as down on institutional learning as this playlist might suggest. I think teachers are among the true heroes of our society! It’s just that songs bemoaning school far outclass tunes celebrating it. Just listen…

1) Pink Floyd, Another Brick in the Wall

2) The Kinks , Education

3) Bruno Mars, The Education Song

4) The Ramones, Rock and Roll High School

5) Belle & Sebastian, We Rule the School

6) The Replacements, Fuck School

7) The Smiths, The Headmaster Ritual

8) Chuck Berry, School Days

9) Pete Seeger, What Did You Learn in School Today?

10) Vampire Weekend, Campus

BONUS TRACK: The Beach Boys, Be True to Your School

Thank you for reading The Nation

We hope you enjoyed the story you just read, just one of the many incisive, deeply-reported articles we publish daily. Now more than ever, we need fearless journalism that shifts the needle on important issues, uncovers malfeasance and corruption, and uplifts voices and perspectives that often go unheard in mainstream media.

Throughout this critical election year and a time of media austerity and renewed campus activism and rising labor organizing, independent journalism that gets to the heart of the matter is more critical than ever before. Donate right now and help us hold the powerful accountable, shine a light on issues that would otherwise be swept under the rug, and build a more just and equitable future.

For nearly 160 years, The Nation has stood for truth, justice, and moral clarity. As a reader-supported publication, we are not beholden to the whims of advertisers or a corporate owner. But it does take financial resources to report on stories that may take weeks or months to properly investigate, thoroughly edit and fact-check articles, and get our stories into the hands of readers.

Donate today and stand with us for a better future. Thank you for being a supporter of independent journalism.

Ad Policy