CC Issue 06 / Music

Back to School Mix

It’s back to school y’all! Nothing is quite like the mixed bag of feelings that emerges, as the first day of school gets closer, or when that ungainly phase of re-acquaintance with pupils, teachers, and classrooms begins. In order to commemorate this grand time of stationary sales and last minute prayers for snow days until next summer, I’ve compiled a short list of songs that all have something to say about school.

Feel free to add onto this list in the comments section.

Beach Boys – Be true to your school

Incorporating University of Wisconson’s fight song, “On Wisconson,” Brian Wilson and Co. unashamedly takes on the all-American sound and image as they sing about school spirit. Filled with references to Lettermans sweaters, football games, girls with poms poms—this song belongs in an Archie’s comic.

The Replacements – Fuck School

Inevitably, the Beach Boy’s immaculate sound and utopian vision of school life would be met with a rebuttle. Enter: The Replacements. In true punk fashion, The Replacements shred through barely a minute and a half of pure energy about a sentiment I’m confident the majority of people who’ve gone through school feel—especially during finals week or when you’re number one the waitlist for a whole week  for a class you need in order to graduate only to be informed by a cold and lifeless email from the registrar that the waitlist period is officially over and so is your chance of finishing school.

Kanye West — All Falls Down

Spending three albums on the theme of college—College Dropout, Late Registration, and Graduation—it’s safe to say that Kanye West has contemplated about school quite a bit. It is no surprise then, that West digs a little beyond the tug of war between the sentiments of “I like school” and “I don’t like school,” as he drives straight to the heart of the matter: why are we in school in the first place? Is it for an academic experience? Self-betterment? West seems to think otherwise as he raps: “Man I promise, she’s so self conscious/She has no idea what she’s doing in college/That major that she majored in don’t make no money/But she won’t drop out, her parents will look at her funny/Now, tell me that ain’t insecurrre/The concept of school seems so securrre.”

The White Stripes — We’re Going to Be Friends

In this gentle number, The White Stripes take a stroll down memory lane as Jack White plucks away a simple guitar line, while singing, in an earnest and naïve melody, lyrics about the best part of elementary school: meeting friends. Meg doesn’t seem to make a musical appearance in this song, but if the music video indicates anything, she was probably the muse for this lovely tune.

James Brown and the Famous Flames — Don’t’ Be a Dropout

In this old school track, the king of soul and funk drops a major PSA bomb on his fans. Brown gives it straight to his listeners: “Without an education/You might as well be dead.” Heavy words. But in today’s tech-savvy culture led by individuals like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and that Facebook guy, it’s more like without learning how to use a computer; you might as well be dead.

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