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Five Songs For Teachers

List Of The Day

Teachers can really make your life hell. The good ones inspire and encourage and everyone walks away happy, but the bad ones ruin you for life. I still resent the ones who graded me unfairly and stuck me with detention for something someone else did. Honest.

Not surprisingly there are many songs about teachers that discuss the different aspects of teacherhood. Naturally, musicians often focus on getting with their teachers. But then musicians would sing about getting with their dog. They don't have standards. That's why they're musicians.

Van Halen--"Hot For Teacher": David Lee Roth looks for any opportunity to scream. Guitar solo? WHAAA! Drum solo?  Whoo-oo! Bass solo? Look out--aaahhhh! Time to sing? EEEE-IIIII. You'd think this guy was felling trees in the woods with all the hoopla. So you can imagine what happens when he gets, uh, excited.

The Police--"Don't Stand So Close To Me": I read somewhere that Sting was once an English teacher. Great. We did schoolkids throughout England a big favor then by making this lute-toting lunatic a star. This tune has some sort of teacher fantasy somewhere but I still hear it as a deodorant commercial. As a smelly person, I'm wired this way.

Rockpile--"Teacher, Teacher": The repetition in the title is in case you didn't pay attention the first time or because it's assumed that most people don't listen and need to be told everything twice. Teachers often repeat themselves because they know the kids never listen. And considering it's a long school year, they've got to stretch their material as much as they can. This group had several guys--Dave Edmunds, Nick Lowe--who were equally unsuccessful in their solo careers. But they wrote some great songs in the process.

Rufus Wainwright--"The Art Teacher": Now this is a song with brains. The singer, Rufus, sings in the character of a middle-aged woman who's married a rich guy because that way she can buy fancy art, which reminds her of her art teacher from when she was young who sort of turned her on to art but really she was turned on by, you guessed it, the art teacher. Does this sound complicated? Obviously Rufus or this woman, whomever we should be addressing here, never went to my high school, because our art teachers were a bunch of airheaded old guys who could never remember where they put the hallpass book. But at least they let the kids sleep in peace at their desks.

Venom, GG Allin--"Teacher's Pet": Two songs both called "Teacher's Pet." Both recorded by upstanding and righteous positive thinkers working for the betterment of a new tomorrow. Don't leave it to me to decide which is better. It depends upon your own point of view. Venom's song finds a deep and abiding love. GG Allin's is more concerned with anger management issues and working through a problem towards a real solution. Both songs, however, indicate pretty clearly where our education system is headed if we continue to fund it. Money is the root of all evil. We need to rid our schools of that evil today.

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