5 tunes that might transport you back to the old schoolyard

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This week, The Funhouse is taking us back to that formative, fearful time in all of our lives.

Exam time.

That time when we agonised over study, while the taste of freedom lingered on the horizon.

This week on The Funhouse, Richard Kingsmill brings you some of the tunes you may have turned to as we slogged through hours of revising and waited for the sweet sound of that final bell.

Here are a few choice tracks to get you in the mood for The Schoolhouse.

Kate Bush – ‘Wuthering Heights’ (1978)

Ever read Wuthering Heights? Turns out Kate Bush hadn’t read it either before writing this song. She got her inspiration from the 1967 BBC mini-series, wrote the tune when she was 18, then read the novel. And there’s nothing like a cheeky movie cheat if you haven’t read the book the night before an essay’s due.

Nada Surf – ‘Popular’ (1996)

Heartache and angst often joined a smorgasbord of study and assessment. This song contains actual (sarcastically delivered) lines from a 1964 advice book for teenagers. It’s called Penny’s Guide to Teen-Age Charm and Popularity.

Choice lyric?  ‘Make sure to keep your hair spotless and clean’ Damn. If only someone had told me.

Death Cab For Cutie – ‘Long Division’ (2008)

Well this takes maths to a new and slightly more depressing level. Death Cab For Cutie on relationships hitting a syntax error.

Using the standard arithmetic procedure for dividing lengthy numbers, the band has crafted a metaphor for the frustration that ensues when you just cannot get to the solution. 

Beastie Boys – ‘Fight For Your Right’ (1986)

This song started out as a pisstake on party anthems and frat culture. Despite all intentions, it’s become an anthem unto itself.

Adam Yauch told NPR in 2006 the tune ended up attracting a fan base of “college kids wanting to party and drink beer and go see a Beastie Boys show.” Can’t blame the them, really. 

The White Stripes – ‘We're Going To Be Friends’ (2001)

How good is meeting that one friend that makes everything less awkward? The elusive ‘Suzy Lee’ pops up on this track, and elsewhere in The White Stripes’ discography. We have no idea who she is…  But this tune gives us an idea of who she could have been.

Hear all these tracks, and more, on The Funhouse. Saturday night from 6pm, repeated Friday afternoon at 2pm and available at any time online.

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