As Alice Cooper once sang, "School's out for summer." And we've heard that song played again and again and again on the radio on the last day of school ad infinitum every year since. And I'm sure we'll here it today, somehow, someway, somewhere...And just as you can't really avoid putting "Rock You Like a Hurricane" on your storm-party jam list, you really can't have an end of the school year playlist without "School's Out," so yeah, there it is. The same goes for Green Day's "Good Riddance (The Time of Your Life)."
So with those two chestnuts out of the way, here are five slightly less clichéd tunes to jam on this most momentous of days. (Momentous, at least, for those of you who get three months off.)
"My Old School," Steely Dan. To me the vibe of this song has always reeked of a sort of East Coast privilege that I would imagine is easily decipherable to St. John's and Kinkaid grads. William and Mary won't do? For who? But everybody can relate to the line "And I'm never going back to my old schoooolllll."
"Summertime," DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince. I refuse to call this a guilty pleasure. The track just sounds like summer, whether you're in West Philly or on the Seawall.
"Hot Fun in the Summertime," Sly and the Family Stone. Part of Sly's genius was in his ability to get you to do something delightfully goofy every time you sang along with one of his songs. He did it on just about every one of his hits -- he's got you going "Boom-lakka-lakka-boom-lakka-lakka" on "I Want to Take You Higher"; on "If You Want Me To Stay" you have to go all McGruff the Crime Dog when you sing "to take this message over to you now." Here he's got you right from the get-go with that "Hi-hi-hi-hi-hiiii there" chorus, and there's also that giddy "Boop boop da boop boop when I want to" line.
"I'm Free," The Who. Back in my school days, this was always running through my head on the last day of school. (Some of you oldsters might have been at this show - the footage was shot at their 1975 Houston show.)
"My Summer Vacation," Ice Cube. Looks like even crack dealers get a summer break (of sorts). Looks like I'm in the wrong line of work.