85 Tracks For Your Back-to-School and Labor Day Playlists

Yes, it’s that time of the year. I have to leave for my training clients’ house 5 minutes earlier in the morning because if I don’t and get stuck behind the school bus, it will mean being 15 minutes late. I love to see the neighborhood children riding their bikes to school; here in the Rocky Mountains you’ve got to relish it while it lasts because when it’s below freezing with a foot of snow, those little bikes will be hanging in the garage.

Many of you have kids in school, some in elementary or middle school, some who are at that obstinate or rebellious age of high school, and some heading off to college. Many of our students are adapting their schedules to include dropping kids off to school and picking them up, or reminding them to do their homework. The topic in the locker rooms is changing as their kids go back to school. It’s always fun to put together a playlist that echoes their immediate concerns and makes light of it—why not put together a profile and playlist of back-to-school songs? In the attached list we’ve got 50 fun back-to-school songs. Some are pro-school (“Be True to Your School”), some are anti-school (“Another Brick in the Wall”), some are about the awkwardness of being a teenager (“Awkward”), some are about teacher-student relationships (“Don’t Stand So Close to Me”) or student relationships (“We’re Gonna Be Friends”), some are about the crazy things school kids do (“Smokin’ in the Boy’s Room”) and some are just a plain mockery of school (“Fight For Your Right”).

It’s also almost Labor Day! At least here in the US, families are gearing up for the final big vacation day of the summer on Monday. Thoughts will be on families, barbecues, and sports. This particular list of 35 songs focuses on the concept of working and jobs. Celebrating the economic and social contribution of workers is the original idea behind Labor Day. There are a lot of great songs that you can use for your Labor Day profile.


  1. Here’s a few more: Walk This Way/Aerosmith, The Future’s So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades/Timbuk 3, Hollaback Girl/Gwen Stefani, Charlie Brown/The Coasters, School Days/ACDC, TO Sir With Love/Lulu or Michael Stipe and Natalie Merchant, (What a) Wonderful World/Sam Cooke

  2. A couple more: Work theme: Ready for the Weekend, Icona Pop; Vacation, Go Go’s; The Way It is, Bruce Hornsby; Career Opportunities, The Clash (super short); Money for Nothing, Dire Straits; Sixteen Tons, Tennessee Ernie Ford (Excellent recovery tune or use it as a fun intro to the theme; More than a Paycheck, Sweet Honey in the Rock (great cool down/stretch). I have only one for the back to school theme – Oh Yeah, Yello (Ferris Bueller)

  3. Jennifer,

    You missed Get a Haircut, George Thorogood, Money, The Rolling Stones,

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