Senior Song

Do all graduating high schools classes have a “senior song?” Or is this just something we did out in the suburbs to compensate for the lamentable fact that were we raised in the suburbs?

My buddy Matt and I lobbied hard for “Road To Nowhere” by the Talking Heads. But, in the end, the popular kids convened a secret meeting and chose this.

I’m not bitter. But I would like to point out that our selection has proven to be more considerably accurate than theirs.

* * *

64 comments.

  1. Thankfully my senior class picked a more appropriate song.

  2. Our high school song was this:

    ‘s on the backline,
    ‘s on the wing,
    kicks to and kicks it in.
    Is he good? Fucking oath.
    Is he good? Fucking oath.
    Snakes in the long grass,
    oo oo oo.
    Skulling is what he can do so
    SKULL SKULL SKULL SKULL SKULL SKULL… (and so on until said person skulls something).

    I know, I know, not exactly a song, but that was our chant. Works best with a large group of people and an unsuspecting person (e.g. the principal at graduation, when he made a speech).

  3. Considering that the current senior song of choice is probably the trance remix version of “Forever Young,” I’m okay with my peers’ choice of Boyz II Men’s “End of the Road.” It was a fitting depiction of our obsessive, passive-aggressive relationship with our high school education.
    Gets stuck in the head, too.

  4. My best friend Alice and I felt that Bob Dylan’s “Like a Rolling Stone” was the only song that truly expressed our bitterness over the whole high school debacle. Apparently, though, the popular people had reached a consensus among (amongst?) themselves before the day the voting slips were handed out in English class, and what we ended up with was “(Party Like It’s) 1999,” by Prince.

    Adding still more acid to that sour draught were the facts that a) the previous year’s graduating class song had been the Rebel Theme from *Star Wars* (published lyrics in the school newspaper: dun dun dun dun DUN dun dun dun DUN DUN dun dun dun DUN DUN dun dun dun dun), which is frankly the COOLEST CLASS SONG EVER; and b) my dad’s class song was “Kodachrome,” by Paul Simon, which of course includes the lyrics “When I think back on all the crap I learned in high school / It’s a wonder I can think at all.”

    Apparently he and many of his classmates felt much the same way I did about high school.

  5. My high school (in the suburbs of Toronto) had no senior song. But then, my school didn’t have school dances, and we barely had a formal (ie prom) at the end of the year, so we weren’t what you would call a typical high school.

  6. We too lobbied for “Road to Nowhere”, but it was vetoed by teachers. We ended up with “We Go Together” from Grease. Again with the less than accurate.

  7. Lovin’ Every Minute of It

    Does anyone remember any other lines from the song but the title line?

  8. We had a large push for Party Like It’s 1999 as well, but thankfully we got Green Day’s Good Riddance (Time of Your Life).

  9. “We’ve only just beguuuuuun to flyyyyyyyyy…”

    Can’t remember what the other choices on the ballot were, but I sure as hell didn’t vote for THAT one. They should have offered insulin shots at the door at graduation for people having trouble processing all that sugary fluff.

  10. In the burbs of Atlanta, we got some unfortunate song by Mariah Carey. Oh, class of ’95, why didst thou forsake me with such dribble?

    My husband, being from the class of ’86, had THE quintessential senior song (in Pasadena, MD no less): Don’t You (Forget About Me) by Simple Minds.

  11. Trish, that’s one kickass senior song.

    Ours was “It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday” by Boyz II Men. In 1999. To this day, I still want to shoot myself whenever I hear it.

  12. Pervygirl,
    according to thos published lyrics you guys had the Imperial Theme as your class song. Now THAT’s frightening!

    The Rebel theme is: Dunna na na dun Dunna na na dun Dunna na na nahnanah nahnana!

  13. Time in a Bottle.

    Yes, I’m old.

  14. I graduated in 1995 and we didn’t pick a class song. And after hearing the two options I’m thankful for that small favor. “Forever Young” is an awful reminder of 7th grade slow dances with terrible lighting. Now it just makes me want to punch babies.

  15. I’m quite happy to say that mine was “End of the World as We Know It” by REM. Nothing brings back wistful memories of youth quite like screaming “Leonard Bernstein!” at the top of your lungs.

  16. Only about five people in my class cared enough to vote, and they picked a song the other 495 had never heard of. I don’t even remember what it was. They printed the lyrics on the class T-shirt, which I also didn’t buy. Class of ’95 pride!

  17. A real tear jerker. I grew up in a small farm community in the midwest. I think if we would’ve chosen a senior song (which we didn’t) and if it had been that one, we would’ve been forced to kick our own ass. It’s very evocative and has a synthesizer in the background. That just won’t do.

  18. Ours was “Take It to the Limit,” which was glaringly prophetic.

  19. Ugh! Forever Young reminds me of the execrable debate movie with Kirk Camereon (Listen to Me?) that for some reason I enjoyed watching and rewatching as a young’un.

    My class showed a modicum of brains in choosing Beatles’ With a Little Help From My Friends. Also, our homecoming king was not particularly handsome, but was far and away the smartest guy in the class and nice too. Strange, eh?

  20. Dunno if it was an official decision, but ours was Another Brick in the Wall. Sing along, everybody: “We don’t need no education….” And the part where everyone yells: “Hey! Teachers! Leave those kids alone!” Yeah, that was the extent of our suburban teenaged rebellion.

  21. I’m “old”. We picked Elton John’s “(Making) Friends”. Not too bad a song, but I’ll be damned if I’ve kept in touch with anyone in my class in the past 33 years.

  22. Man, it’s only been five years, and I can’t even remember what our song was. I’m going to bet that, like zeekster and everyone else who graduated around that time, we did Good Riddance.

    I went to another prom at a nearby school with a friend of mine. Their song was Hanging By A Moment, by Lifehouse, which was possibly the least dance-to-able song I’ve ever heard at a prom. They played it like six times.

  23. Our song was “Welcome To The Jungle” by Guns n Roses. I didn’t particularly like it, but I haven’t thought of it until just now so I guess it only has so much impact.

  24. In the experience of myself and my friends, every western Canadian high school graduating class from 1998 and 2000 (inclusive) had Good Riddance (Time of Your Life) as a grad song.

  25. we just added words to “american pie”:

    “So bye-bye, miss american pie.
    Drove my chevy to the levee,
    But the levee was dry.
    And them good old boys were drinkin

  26. Ah, Alphaville! I spent many a dark night singing my heart out to this song…

  27. I wonder how many Christian high schools had this Michael W. Smith ditty as their senior song?

    Pray for me, and I’ll pray for you,
    Pray that we will keep the common ground.
    Won’t you pray for me? And I’ll pray for you,
    And one day love will bring us back around again.

    Someone (okay, me–bleah) sang it at our graduation dinner (1991). Not a pleasant memory.

  28. I don’t remember us having an official senior song, but I remember all of the chalk boards on the last day of school said, “Senior song: BOWK-CHIKKA BOWK BOWK”

    I kind of imagine it was one of my friends since we were in this group called Students For Safer Sex that was fighting the school board on their decision to remove condom education from the curriculum…

  29. I still have a big old soft spot in my heart for Alphaville and that song in particular. I know it’s cheesy, but it went well with my adolescent depression. My parents took me out of my suburban high school after 10th grade and dragged me to central Asia where I got culture and then got to travel in Europe instead of going to proms. Although I was sad about missing that (at the time), I have since concluded that I didn’t miss anything.

    So, since I did independent study and was the only person in my class (valedictorian, baby!), I would have gotten to choose the song. And although I was deeply in a Doors phase, I also had my Alphaville cassette in heavy rotation and quite possibly would have picked the same song your classmates did.

    Luckily, I am nowhere near as dumb as I was in high school. And now that I’m a teacher I tell all the kids like me to just get through it. Life is so much better afterwards. Thank God we’re not forever young.

  30. Oh Lord. Our class song? “Born to Run” by Springsteen. We also had the distinction of having the WORST graduation ceremony in the history of the school, and as soon as we left, they changed all the whole mess, figuring out that 3 days off before graduation = way too many drunks in mortar boards and bikinis on graduation night.

  31. Hey, LOD! Same era as you — urs was “Sailing” by Rod Stewart. High school in Virginia Beach — what can you expect?

  32. We lobbied hard for REM’s “End of the World as We Know it.” Unfortunately we ended up with “Imagine.” Not that it’s a bad song, but it was sort of ruined by the class Neanderthal who fancied himself a musician singing it half drunk on stage at graduation. It would have been alot funnier to see him try to sing End of the World.

  33. We had “Graduation (Friends Forever)” by Vitamin C.

    At our school there was no vote, I think the kids who put together the senior video just picked it.

  34. Holy crap, what a depressing song for graduation.

    It’s not only the suburbans but the Mennonite boarding schools as well that pick senior songs. Ours was “Stand” by R.E.M.

  35. My class of 1997 picked Going to California by Led Zeppeling. Our t-shirts said “wonder how tomorrow can ever follow today”. I think that is pretty cool. Of course, I was always a huge LZ fan, so I would think that.

  36. Urgh. The cool kids in our senior class (’86) picked Joe Jackson’s “Steppin’ Out.” To this day I can’t hear that song without feeling vaguely ill.

    Still probably beats “Forever Young” though.

  37. I like YOUR song. Yeah, I agree. It probably goes over better with a group. I’ve linked you. Fun!

  38. I was always annoyed that my class chose “Join Together” by The Who. Now I think its a good song but I graduated in 1992. Certainly the song has aged better than the contemporary songs of 1992 but that is a given since it was already a classic by the time we chose it. I wanted something recent that would be seen as humourous and actually remind us of the early 90′s.

    The runner up for class song was “I’m too Sexy” by Right Said Fred. Now that song says 1992 much better than “Join Together”

  39. I don’t remember what our “official” song was (this was 1996). The winner of the school vote was “Let’s Get It On” by Marvin Gaye, but The Man nixed it. I think it might have been “End of the Road.” It didn’t matter much; they played “Let’s Get It On” roughly 47 times at the actual prom, and if they played “End of the Road,” I don’t recall it.

  40. Our stupid class voted to sing “Free Bird” at the senior assembly, and they weren’t even being ironic. I told a friend in the next class down to yell “Free Bird,” but she forgot. We marched out of our graduation ceremony, based on another misguided vote, to “Life’s Been Good” by Joe Walsh, which seemed more apt. And really depressing.

  41. Ours was the Theme from Freakin’ Ice Castles. Instead of “Don’t let this feeling end…” my friends and I sang, “Please let this feeling end…” because we were wiiiild. Catholic Girls School. Psssssh.

  42. I don’t remember if my senior class had a song, although I think not. I remember my 6th grade (graduating from elementary school) class song though: “Consider Yourself.” I think most of the students wanted “Lean on Me” but the teachers didn’t like that choice and favored Consider Yourself. Which is from Oliver! the musical based on Oliver Twist, so I don’t know what they were trying to say about school. :p

  43. Hah! I am so old that I predate class songs!

    No, really, this is depressing the fuck out of me. We didn’t vote for a song in 1975, but if we had, half the class would have probably gone for “And You And I” by Yes, and the other half would have gone for “In Memory of Elizabeth Reed.”

  44. Hey! My school had “Road to Nowhere”! I guess we had better popular kids than you did…

  45. Well, at least you had the single best pop song of the 80s.

  46. Man, I thought my class was original, until ken goes posting his class’s choice. Ours, though, was officially “Another Brick in the Wall (Part 2)”.

  47. I don’t think we had a “senior song”, but I think we had a “class of 1983 graduation song”. Whatever it was called, we had a song–”Celebrate” by (I think) Kool and the Gang–and I remember not knowing how it was picked. I don’t think there were too many people in my graduating class who would have been huge fans of Kool and the Gang or that song in particular, so I don’t think it was by popular vote. Probably by some party committee or faculty “class advisor”.

  48. Gah, I’m a senior this year and our grade just selected the new version of that for our song. XD (Not a true senior song, but the song to be played out our final chapel service. Christian school, you know. Blah.) I… don’t remember what I voted for. It wasn’t this though. XDDD

  49. We didn’t have a senior song that I recall, but the theme of our prom was ‘Unforgettable’, with the big song being the Natalie Cole/Nat King Cole duet of the same name.

  50. We got saddled with “We’ve Only Just Begun” on the song vote, but we showed the namby-pambys what for when it came time for the class motto: the winner by a landslide was “Roll Your Own.”

  51. i first read this title as Senor Song.

  52. Alison, I thought the MWS song that Christian school kids picked as class song ad nauseum went a little something like this:

    And friends are friends forever
    If the Lord’s the Lord of them….

  53. Our class song in white suburban CHicago was “Lonesome Road” by James Taylor. I felt kind of set up.

  54. Isn’t “Forever Young” a song about dropping the bomb? Kinda appropriate for high school…

  55. April,

    Although I figure you have probably looked these up already if you really cared, I couldn’t resist answering your question. Yes, I do.

    Turn that dial all the way
    Shoot me like a rocket into space
    Lovin’ every minute of it
    Alright!
    Kick me like a motor
    Make me run
    Lovin’ every minute of it
    Lovin’ every minute of it

    And yes, sadly, that is from memory. :)

  56. This was MY senior song also! Class of ’90!

  57. They played “Forever Young” at my Junior Prom, Senior, Prom, Homecoming (all four years). Had I attended my graduation, in ’89, and they played that I think would have had to walk out. On graduation night I probably spent it listening to the Cure with my girlfriend. If I could now choose the song I listened to in celebration it would be Play for Today. Kind of depressing.

  58. My senior class’ song was the first to break the “Free Bird” streak of the 4 previous years. We chose “Tuesday’s Gone”, for a little variety.

    If you haven’t guessed, I grew up in Tennessee

  59. I graduated in 2001, and our song was In My Life by the Beatles.

    Before you go thinking we were some pretty cultured kids, our class motto was “peace out”.

  60. Kevin–

    Really? There are published lyrics? That’s awesome. Where’d you find them?

    No, it was definitely the Rebel Theme. The Imperial Theme is safely reserved for my spouse’s and my simultaneous exit from the place of ceremony as soon as we’re married.

  61. Our senior class song was “Friends in Low Places” by Garth Brooks. Why, yes, I’m from a small town in the midwest.

    On the bright side, I was out of the country that year so I don’t feel any responsibility for that decision.

  62. class of 1999… about 135 students (only 120 *actually* graduated)… southern maine…

    any thoughts? no. it wasn’t prince.

    because all the “cool” kids were the ones who didn’t give a crap… us “actually smart” kids decided to go with the ever popular whitesnake… ‘here I go again’. we had the guitar, drums, bass… the whole deal.

    and we partied like it was 1999.

  63. We were denied our first choice of Pink Floyd’s Another Brick in The Wall (Part II) by our principal. We ended up with Twisted Sister’s We’re Not Going to Take It. As it turns out our principal liked cross-dressing more than anti-authoritarianism.

  64. Sad to admit, my Class of ’87 Senior Song was indeed, “Forever Young.”

    Let’s dance in style, lets dance for a while
    Heaven can wait we’re only watching the skies
    Hoping for the best but expecting the worst
    Are you going to drop the bomb or not?

    Bwahahahaha!