10 Classic Songs for Fresh (And Not-So-Fresh) Grads

10 sniffle-inducing school staples to go with all the Pomp and Circumstance.

With graduation season in full swing, SPOT.ph presents 10 audio staples for those recognition days, songs whose words and melodies stay with us years after we've left the school grounds: some rebellious,   others profound, and a couple so cheesy we pretend we don't actually know them by heart.   Whatever the case may be, go ahead and have a blast with this graduation-inspired sound trip.

"Next in Line" by Afterimage

This song makes you want to whip out a lighter, raise it up in the air, and wave your hand in slow motion.   Admit it.   You get misty-eyed when Wency Cornejo belts out the weepy climax.

Killer lyrics: "So I sing this song to all of my age, for these are the questions we've got to face. For in this cycle that we call life, we are the ones who are next in line."

"School's Out" by Alice Cooper

This '70s rock track is the perfect post-grad anthem for those with anti-school sentiments.   Its mad guitar riffs and subversive words make it a fitting tune to mark the end of your so-called "academic imprisonment."   Alas, you'll soon trade your school desk for an office desk.   Same difference.

Killer lyrics: "School's out forever! No more pencils. No more books. No more teachers' dirty looks."

"Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)" by Green Day

Armed with a guitar and an off-kilter singing voice, Billy Joe Armstrong came up with a simple rock song that encapsulates the excitement and dread of growing up.   This tune should be played as you are dragged–kicking and screaming–into adulthood.


Killer lyrics: "It's something unpredictable, but in the end it's right. I hope you had the time of your life."

"Everybody's Free (To Wear Sunscreen)" by Baz Luhrmann

This spoken-word recording based on a 1997 essay written by columnist Mary Schmich of the Chicago Tribune dispenses both practical and quirky advice for new graduates.   The wordy track talks about respecting elders, believing in one's self, staying humble, and, most importantly, wearing sunscreen.   Because those UV rays are evil.

Killer lyrics: "Know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubblegum."

"Farewell (To You My Friend)" by Raymond Lauchengco

The ballad from Bagets–a 1984 coming-of-age film starring then-teen heartthrobs William Martinez, JC Bonnin, Herbert Bautista, Aga Muhlach, and Raymond Lauchengco–has its own cult following.   It should seem dated by now, but, surprisingly, it's one syrupy soundtrack that's got lasting power.

Killer lyrics: "Farewell to you my friends. We'll see each other again. Don't cry 'cause it's not the end of everything." And puzzlingly so, "The hypertension we gave to our peers..."

"We Are the Champions" by Queen

With or without honors, going up the stage to receive a diploma makes anybody feel like a certified champ.   But, yes, we all secretly curse those damn overachievers with their inhuman grade point averages.

Killer lyrics: "We are the champions, my friends.   And we'll keep on fighting till the end.   We are the champions.   We are the champions.   No time for losers 'cause we are the champions of the world."

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"High School Life" by Sharon Cuneta

Listening to a young Sharon Cuneta singing about her experiences as a student makes you believe that high school is made of rainbows and magical pink ponies.   No wonder it's such a nightmare for many people. Warning: The song is sung in buena familia Taglish.

Killer lyrics: "High school love, my one high school love.   Not infatuation or crush.   Tunay 'to, siya ang buhay ko di n'yo lang alam ako'y nagba-blush."

"In My Life" by the Beatles

Although this isn't exactly a song about school, it's a favorite for graduation montages.   It's got that nostalgic vibe that makes us think about the places we went to and the people who have touched our lives while we were in school–including terror teachers and crushes who didn't even know you existed.

Killer lyrics: "Though I know I'll never use affection for people and things that went before. I know I'll often stop and think about them. In my life, I love you more."

"Go the Distance" by Michael Bolton

Optimistic, positive, and moving–this Bolton track never fails to make at least one person bawl uncontrollably during the graduation ceremony.   As soon as this song plays, bring out your camera and capture the graduates' and/or their parents' different crying styles.

Classic lines: "I'll be there someday.   I can go the distance...   I know every mile will be worth my while.   When I go the distance I'll be right where I belong."


"Graduation (Friends Forever)" by Vitamin C

No list of graduation songs will be complete without this ditty.   It's a gooey bubblegum pop classic that talks about the last few days of school, post-grad jitters, and the long, nostalgic conversations with friends.

Classic lines: "As we go on we remember all the times we had together.   And as our lives change, come whatever.   We will still be friends forever."

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