Music on a Monday // Back-to-School Songs

Where-oh-where did the summer go???

It is gone toooooooo fast.  There were so many more little pool parties and popsicle treats to enjoy with the grandbebes.  Of the 8, the first 5 are all in school now, again (or for the first time).

hunter third

Hunter walking in to 3rd grade…Tara posted this, she has homeschooled him until now.  Big change!

hunter at school

Gavin is a 5th grader, which makes him a full-fledged “middle-schooler” with a locker!  My little man is growing up on me!  Guinivere and Hunter are in third grade this year and Gemma goes all day now, a first grader.  Averi is an official school girl, she is in Kindergarten and I sure miss having pre-school with her!

averi school

Hearing my daughters plan and talk about all the school supplies lists and routines and buying new clothes and uniforms and having to get kids to bed because it’s a school night now got me thinking of all the music that has been written about school over the years.  There must be thousands of songs, but I thought I’d pick my favorites for a BACK-TO-SCHOOL TOP TEN playlist  (not in order of my love for them, just as they came to me)~

  1. To Sir with Love, Lulu // This song is from a movie with the same name (starring Sidney Poitier in 1967) and I have loved it since I saw it as a child.  It’s pouffy hair and frosted lipstick, dark eyeliner and blue-eyeshadow.  It is all the strong feelings a young girl has, poured out in song.  LOVE!
  2. My Eyes Adored You, Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons // If you could have known the 1974 me, the one who was in love with love, for whom each and every song had profound meaning…well, yea.  Then you’d know that the junior-high me was in love with this song and daydreaming about some boy who would someday say, “I loved you way back when….”  Haha.  Such a pretty and sweet song, though, really.
  3. Coat of Many Colors, Dottie Parton // You have to listen to this one to see how many words that woman can get into a song.  And it actually charted, in part, I think, because everyone can relate to being made fun of in school over something or another.  Kids at school can be cruel.  My mom made me a dress from old kitchen curtains once.  I still haven’t written a song about it, though.
  4. I Wish, Stevie Wonder // Part of my Hammond High School, fish-out-of-water, Iowa girl in Louisiana story soundtrack, is characterized by the Songs in the Key of Life 2-album set by Stevie Wonder.  Still one of my favorites, this song was fun. to. sing!  I was going to school with the boy in the song, I am certain of it!
  5. Harper Valley PTA, Jeanne C. Riley // As story songs go, this has got to be one of the best!  I was in 3rd grade and couldn’t get enough of hearing it.  That was one sexy mama!
  6. Spiders and Snakes, Jim Stafford // Um, yes – the boys I knew during junior high were at about this level.
  7. Check Yes or No, George Strait // Do you like me?  Check yes, or no….Aw, sweet.  A little country tune about 3rd grade love that lasts!
  8. Crayola Doesn’t Make a Color for Your Eyes, Kristen Andreassen // I just happened across this one a few years ago and like to sing it to my grandbebes.  The video takes place in a 2nd grade school room.  It is a happy tune and so appropriate for going back to school!
  9. Teacher’s Pet  (Doris Day) // So, in light of all the weird student-teacher relationships that hit the news these days, a bit of the innocence of this song is gone, long gone!  And while the original movie (Teacher’s Pet, 1958) with Doris Day and Clark Gable was sweet, the Waiting for Guffman movie (1996) audition scene with Parker Posie hilariously takes this song down the slippery slope of ickiness.  But it sure is memorable.  I have included Doris, whose uprightness and purity in the singing are unquestionable!
  10. ABC, The Jackson 5 // The very first song on my iTunes song list, I can actually remember where I was sitting in my 4th grade class on bring-a-record day at Wallace Elementary School in Des Moines the first time I heard this glory.  The sun was shining through the windows, a whole new world was opening up to me – this Michael Jackson had dawned – oh my goodness, it was historic – LOVE!!!

8 Songs that didn’t quite make my cut:  Back to School Again, from Grease 2 because I really liked Grease, the first movie, better;  Another Brick in the Wall by Pink Floyd because even as a teenager when it was charting, I felt a pang of weirdness at the blatant rebelliousness of it.  I was trying to conquer rebellion, conquer it!;  Getting Better, The Beatles, and again, a little rebellious and also that psychedelic sound that I think you had to be high to really appreciate, and I wasn’t; See You in September by The Happenings is a very classic song, but it didn’t make the list because it’s a little too easy listening for even me, :) ; Graduation Day, The Beach Boys because it is about graduating from school, not going back to school;  Class of ’57 by The Statler Brothers which I have actually always loved because it is the year my mom graduated, but it is more about graduation, too;  Schoolboy Crush, Cliff Richard and the Drifters because even though I love Cliff Richard, doo-wop isn’t my thing; Teach Me Tonight by Etta James or lots of other artists who have recorded it because I have pictures of my grandbebes in this post!  Too sultry!  School of Rock by Jack Black is an awesome song, but had to get cut because I was keeping my list at 10!  I love watching the movie with my grands, though because he is cute and hilarious and kids get him – I guess because he is a big kid.  The giggling is contagious!

kelley school 2

The K-kids, first day of school

There you have it.  GET SPOTIFY to hear them all!!!

There are SO many songs.  Which school-themed songs did I miss?  Which ones belonged on my list?  Is everyone back to school at your house?

kelley school

1 thought on “Music on a Monday // Back-to-School Songs

  1. My eyes adored you at school. It was school in North Dakota and we were learning about life and love and set to conquer the world. It was the close of the 70’s, aka: the Decade of Greatest Rock Songs, The Decade of All Decades, The Decade of Fashion and The Me Decade.
    For me, it was The Decade of You.
    Seeing you walk across campus as I was sitting on the fountain talking to Duane, we both saw you, but I must have viewed you through lenses of destiny, which Duane wasn’t wearing that day.
    I think you were going into the Admin building or maybe back to the dorm. The North Dakota trees were full and green and the sun was shining a spotlight on your hair. (People that have not lived in North Dakota don’t realize what a beautiful state it is, with a very wide swing of weather. Cold, yes, but also beautiful summers. This week they had to close the schools for a few days because it is so hot and of course, no air conditioning in the schools! Who’d a thunk.) You were wearing the fashion of the day, split skirt with one pantyhose covered leg peeking out as you walked. You always knew how to attract attention in high heels.
    I loved the fashion of the latter 70’s and the 80’s, so sue me.
    It was one of those When Harry Met Sally moments; although I didn’t let Duane in on the conversation with myself, it went something like this: “I would like one of those for my very own.” :)
    So I would say, Yes, Back to School holds fond memories for me also.
    “I loved you way back when…”
    And still do…
    Good thoughts, Honey.

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