Friday Five: School Songs

Juli Thanki | September 11th, 2009

School’s back in session! Maybe you’re a student, maybe you’re a teacher, maybe you’re a parent who’s thrilled to shove your spawn out the door every morning. Maybe you’re none of these things; listen to these songs anyway.

    james-bonamy-what-i-live-to-do5. “Heartbreak School” – James Bonamy
    Remember this smooth-voiced ’90s singer? “Heartbreak School,” written by Skip Ewing and Donny Kees, is from Bonamy’s major label debut. He invites the listener “Come enroll if you’ve been mistreated/Get extra credit if your baby cheated/All you need are tears and misery/To start working toward your Ph.D.

    4. “In My High School” – Blaine Larsen
    High school has lots of different types of kids. Who knew?

    3. “Late For School” – Steve Martin
    This fanciful tale from The Crow is just so darn likable. The lesson here? It’s all about the journey, not necessarily the destination. Also, calendars are important.

    2. “Old School” – John Conlee
    Teenage sweethearts see one another again at their high school reunion; he’s now a truck driver, she’s an ex-trophy wife whose shine has worn off. Reunited and it…well, kind of sucks. For her, anyway.

    1. “Blackboard of My Heart” – Hank Thompson
    Love is like writing on a classroom chalkboard: sometimes tears will wipe those pretty words right off the slate.

  1. Michael
    September 11, 2009 at 2:07 pm

    Awwwww… I loved John Conlee’s “Old School”. Nice to be reminded of it again after all these years.

  2. Collin
    September 11, 2009 at 2:40 pm

    Newsflash: school’s been back in session

  3. PaulaW
    September 11, 2009 at 2:47 pm

    “School Day” ……. Chuck Berry

    Up in the mornin’ and out to school
    The teacher is teachin’ the Golden Rule

  4. TenPoundHammer
    September 11, 2009 at 3:06 pm

    I had a dream last night about finding James Bonamy’s debut album. And the retro chart in this week’s Country Weekly was from the week “I Don’t Think I Will” was at #2. Wonder what he’s doing now?

  5. Mayor Jobob
    September 11, 2009 at 4:02 pm

    All I can think of is “School” by Nirvana. But that’s kind of stretching it for this blog.

    Aren’t most of Taylor Swift’s songs about school?

  6. Mayor Jobob
    September 11, 2009 at 4:04 pm

    P.S. Tenpoundhammer.
    That dream becomes reality every time I look through the CD clearance bin.

  7. Kelly
    September 11, 2009 at 4:06 pm

    “Bobbie Ann Mason” – Rick Trevino: It took place in school. I mean, he expressed concern over not learning anything cuz Bobbie Ann was so damn fine and all…

  8. Juli
    September 11, 2009 at 4:35 pm

    Kelly, maybe that’s why he had so much trouble catching on in “Learning As You Go.”

  9. Kelly
    September 11, 2009 at 4:48 pm

    Juli – I bet you’re right…she was both way too cute and way too cool, afterall.

  10. agent713
    September 11, 2009 at 4:56 pm

    Yeah! I’m glad to see Blaine on that list :)

  11. Matt B.
    September 11, 2009 at 5:02 pm


    According to a friend who lives in the Houston area, James Bonamay is happily a family man working a ‘day job’ like the rest of us.

  12. Mike Parker
    September 11, 2009 at 5:11 pm

    “Love With a Capital U” by Joe Diffe

    and a little farther from obvious, I would put “No. 29″ in this category.

  13. Leeann Ward
    September 11, 2009 at 6:34 pm

    Ten Pound Hammer, are you the “Bobby” who asked about that Bonamy album awhile ago? If so, I offered to send my copy to you (since I never listen to it), but I never heard from you about it. If you want it, email me at
    and I’ll get it right out to you. If I’m wrong about who you are, disregard this email.

  14. Noelle
    September 11, 2009 at 6:47 pm

    Love Conlee’s “Old School” – great track. Also, thanks for the Trevino mention – I’m a huge fan of his stuff, so that’s a cool one. I’ll throw out George Strait’s “Check Yes Or No” out there as another option…

  15. Rick
    September 11, 2009 at 7:19 pm

    Its not country but I’d like to dedicate a school song to the National Education Association and teacher’s unions as it describes the results of their efforts so well: Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick In The Wall”.

    Other great non-country school related songs:
    Alice Cooper’s “School’s Out”
    Brownsville Station’s “Smoking In The Boys Room”

    Could the lack of school related songs in country music have some kind of sociological significance? I doubt if there are many in Hip-Hop/Rap music either, unless it has to do with selling drugs there…

  16. Vicki
    September 11, 2009 at 7:41 pm

    Oh I was thinking of school songs:
    “Comet…it makes your mouth turn green
    Comet, it takes like gasoline
    Comet, it makes you vomit
    So try to comet
    and vomit

    School days, school days, dear old golden rule days,
    Readin’ and writin’ and ‘rithmetic,
    Taught to the tune of a hickory stick.
    You were my queen in calico
    I was your bashful, barefoot beau.
    You wrote on my slate, “I love you, so”
    When we were a couple of kids.

  17. Vicki
    September 11, 2009 at 7:42 pm

    Rick, What about “Hot for Teacher”

  18. Rick
    September 11, 2009 at 8:22 pm

    Vicki, I’m not familiar with “Hot For Teacher”? Was it written by a pecocious boy in Karen Fairchild’s kindergarten class?…(lol)

    PS – I love the Comet song.That’s a new one to me.

  19. Nicolas
    September 11, 2009 at 8:44 pm

    “Harper Valley PTA” =) I love that song… sung by Jeannie, not the cover versions

  20. Vicki
    September 11, 2009 at 9:26 pm

    Rick, the Comet song is what we would march to at band camp from the hotel to the stinky, wet, muddy field each day.

    Van Halen did “Hot for Teacher”. Bad…so Bad, Got it Bad…I’m hot for Teacher..

  21. Jessica
    September 11, 2009 at 11:58 pm

    The video of “Old School” of John Conlee from the Opry is really neat…especially that it was Johnny Paycheck’s Opry induction night too.

    James Bonamy – wow, I remember just pulling out his cd out of my collection to listen to the other day. So funny we all are thinking of him. Someone else I’ve always wondered what happened is Brian McComas – anyone know what’s happened with him since his last record didn’t do too well?

    Other school songs that come to mind..
    Check Yes or No – George Strait
    Sorority Girl – Luke Bryan
    Famous In A Small Town – Miranda Lambert
    Pretty much any Kenny Chesney song is a frat-boys dream

  22. Steve Harvey
    September 12, 2009 at 2:45 am

    Chuck Berry’s School Days is the ultimate school song, but it’s the epitome of rock’n’roll (like everything else Berry cut) so I can understand it’s omission here.

  23. Mayor Jobob
    September 12, 2009 at 3:05 am

    Don’t Forget Pat Green & Brad Paisley’s duet “College” & Letter to Me is mostly school related.

  24. Rick
    September 13, 2009 at 2:59 am

    Vicki, “band camp” and “hotel”? When I was in our high school marching band (I played trombone, poorly I might add) we never had anything like that! Coming before school started in the morning to practice on athletic fields was all we ever did. Band camp sounds like fun! Darn…

  25. T. Scott
    September 14, 2009 at 1:20 pm

    no one mentioned “Spiders and Snakes”

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