3 Eternal Rock Songs About High School That Have Stood the Test of Time

There may be no formative time more impactful in our lives as young people than the years we spend in high school. When we ware walking down those hallways and spending time within the four walls of the classrooms, we are at an interesting stage of our lives. Both children and adults. We are figuring out the world, seeing where we get, and are at the same time energized by possibility.

Videos by American Songwriter

Given all this, it makes sense that some of the world’s best rockers would take advantage of these seminal moments and put them into song. Here below, we wanted to explore a trio of such tunes. Three songs that offer the blistering blast of classic rock music and remind us of what it was like to be there, staring at the chalkboard, wondering about the future.

[RELATED: No Skips: 4 Classic Rock Albums You’ll Never Have to Fast-Forward]

“Hot for Teacher” by Van Halen from 1984 (1984)

This song is about a part of high school that is often only whispered about. Students in their late teens raging with hormones end up staring at the same teacher for hundreds of hours a day, sometimes for years. And if that teacher happens to be attractive—well, a crush may form. Here, the hard rocking band Van Halen plays on that idea, writing a classic rock song about what it’s like to be hot for the person teaching you lessons. On the track, lead singer David Lee Roth offers,

Oh yeah, t-t-teacher stop that screamin’
Teacher don’t you see? Don’t wanna be no uptown fool
Maybe I should go to hell but I am doing well
Teacher needs to see me after school

I think of all the education that I’ve missed
But then my homework was never quite like this

Ow! Got it bad, got it bad, got it bad
I’m hot for teacher
I’ve got it bad, so bad
I’m hot for teacher

“School’s Out” by Alice Cooper from School’s Out (1972)

This song is about perhaps the most glorious time of high school—when it ends! Either upon graduation or just for the summer. All students (and faculty, for that matter) count down the finals days of the year as the summer approaches and the nice weather arrives. This song uses that feeling and turns it into a rollicking rock song. Cooper says he was inspired to write the song upon answering the questions, “What is the greatest three minutes of your life?” He says it’s both Christmas morning and as the final school day runs out. On the track, which is not only about the end of school for the year but forever, he sings,

We can’t salute ya
Can’t find a flag
If that don’t suit ya
That’s a drag

School’s out for summer
School’s out forever
I’m bored to pieces

“Rock ‘n’ Roll High School” by the Ramones from Rock ‘n’ Roll High School (1979)

This song is about a fantasy. What if traditional high school was replaced by one that was centered on the concepts of rock ‘n’ roll? What if music and parties and intermingling with the opposite sex was all there was to it? For most teenagers, this sounds like bliss, of course! So, in the track, the Ramones with their fast-paced punk rock demonstrate just what that would be. On the single, Joey Ramone sings,

Well, I don’t care about history
Rock, rock, rock ‘n’ roll high school
‘Cause that’s not where I wanna be
Rock, rock, rock ‘n’ roll high school
I just wanna have some kicks
I just wanna get some chicks
Rock, rock, rock, rock, rock ‘n’ roll high school

When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Photo by Cole Bennetts/Getty Images

Leave a Reply

5 Must-Hear Rock Songs from the First Half of 2024


Exclusive: Cirque du Soleil Goes Country, Songblazers Bridge the Genre’s Generations