Those magical days of reading, writing and arithmetic are just around the corner. Are you ready? If you’re anything like some of our friends here at MNHQ, it might take a little, shall we say, extra motivation to get back into school mode. Luckily we have just the cure to beat those end-of-summer blues and gear you up for another great term: the most fun-to-play back-to-school sheet music this side of homeroom.
We’ve explored the more than 260,000 arrangements at Musicnotes.com (oh, did we forget to mention we recently surpassed 260,000 arrangements!?!), and narrowed down 10 of our back-to-school sheet music front-runners. These anthems are guaranteed to punch the keys on your calculator, squeeze the juice in your juice box, put the point on your pencil… well, you get the idea.
10. “School Days” by Gus Edwards
The quintessential back-to-school song, “School Days” has been around almost as long as school itself! The folk tradition was written by vaudevillian Gus Edwards in 1907 for his Broadway production of the same name.
9. “Fifteen” by Taylor Swift
A single off her ‘Fearless’ album, Taylor Swift wrote “Fifteen” detailing events that happened to herself and her best friend, Abigale, their freshman year of high school. The country pop star was sure to get her BFF’s blessing before recording the song and even asked her pal to co-star in the music video.
8. “Harper Valley PTA” by Jeannie C. Riley
A tongue-in-cheek account of one outspoken school parent, “Harper Valley PTA” became an international country music hit in 1968. The record sold more than six million copies and made Riley the first woman to top both Billboard’s Hot 100 and the U.S. country singles chart with the same song. (Dolly Parton would repeat the feat with “Nine to Five” in 1981.)
7. “Expectations” by Belle & Sebastian
Voted ‘Scotland’s greatest band’ in 2005, Belle & Sebastian’s “Expectations” was featured on the soundtrack to 2007’s coming-of-age film ‘Juno.’ Interesting fact: the indie-pop sixsome named their group after a french children’s book.
6. “Rock ‘N’ Roll High School” by The Ramones
“Rock ‘N’Roll High School” was written for the 1979 musical comedy film of the same name. Punk rock legends The Ramones appeared as honorary students in the silly film, however producers originally wanted the band Cheap Trick to play the story’s unruly rockers.
5. “Another Brick In The Wall (Part 2)” by Pink Floyd
Containing one of the most recognizable bass lines in all of rock, “Another Brick In The Wall (Part 2)” is a rebellious cry against heavy-handed authority. Perhaps not the best call for structured education, the song has definitely left its mark on history and we just couldn’t leave it off the list. Plus, it’s great fun to play!
4. “(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (to Party)” by Beastie Boys
Another unlikely inclusion on our list, Beastie Boys’ parody-filled “Fight for Your Right” was almost a right of passage for restless teens of the late ’80s. This is another song whose hook is just so much fun to rock out with.
3. “We’re Going To Be Friends” by Jack Johnson/Jack White
Written by the White Stripes as a homage to the simplicity of childhood, “We’re Going To Be Friends”has been covered by a number of artists, including Bright Eyes and Jack Johnson. Johnson’s version was featured on the soundtrack for the 2006 ‘Curious George’ film.
2. “ABC” by The Jackson 5
The Jackson 5 knocked ‘Let It Be‘ out of the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1970 with their catchy classroom pop hit “ABC.” The song, and its ‘simple-as-do-re-mi’ title, also sits first alphabetically on all-time Billboard #1 singles and is one of the shortest top song titles of all time!
1. “No Such Thing” by John Mayer
Inspiring students to forge their own paths, John Mayer’s “No Such Thing” is a somewhat autobiographical song reiterating the popular theme of developing into what you want to become, even if that means taking the road less traveled.
Well, that’s all for our back-to-school sheet music list. Are there certain songs that come to mind when you think of going back to school? What are you most looking forward to in the coming school year? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below!