Ah, back-to-school time. Nothing says “new school year” like the smell of new school supplies, the rush of college students coming back into town—and music, for some of us here at Hammock.

For me, every time early September rolls around and I see the back-to-school deals in stores or hear people talking about heading back to the classroom, my brain starts playing “Real World” by Matchbox Twenty. When I was starting my sophomore year of college back in 1998 and moving into my first apartment, my roommate and I must have heard that song every hour on the radio as we were unpacking. So now, every fall when I see the college kids flooding back into Murfreesboro, that songs begins to play in my head and I can’t help but smile. (But then I immediately get aggravated because 25,000 people coming back into town at once is NOT good for traffic.)
I checked in with some other Hammorati to find out what song represents back-to-school for them, too:
Summer: My brain immediately started singing “You Give Love a Bad Name” from Bon Jovi’s “Slippery When Wet.” It sure ages me, but that album came out my freshman year in high school, and it was basically the soundtrack for the years that took me through to graduation. The theme to one of the proms I went to was even “Never Say Goodbye.” I sure miss my big ’80s hair sometimes!
Bill: “Maggie May” by Rod Stewart. It’s about deciding whether to go back to school or hang with your woman — in this case, Rod was singing about an older woman who, um, educated him. It was very popular in 1971 at the start of my senior year, when college was ending and i had no clue what to do with my life. And I was dating a slightly older woman in Florida, so it had been a long summer break.
“Thunder Road” by Bruce Springsteen is another choice song that came along about the time I was deciding what to do with my life. And “Boys of Summer” — again, spot on for the time of year.

Listen Up!
Check out some of our back-to-school songs on our MySpace playlist!

Ben: When I think about going back to school I can’t help but sing “Hot for Teacher” by Van Halen. Who didn’t have a crush on their 5th grade math teacher? And beyond that fact, let’s just say the best opening drum solo in the history of musicdom.
Another song that reminds me of school starting back up is “Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” by Aerosmith. The movie “Armageddon” came out the summer I moved to Tennessee, and I remember the first group of kids I met on my first day of school invited me to go watch that movie with them, and of course that song was playing everywhere at that time. Now when I hear that song I think about starting up at school again, and if alone, I sing along to it too.
“I could stay awake just to hear you breathing, watch you smile while you are sleeping…”… (tearing up)… Dang you Steven Tyler, you get me every time.
Emily: I would say that the song that reminds me most of back to school is the 1996 hit “Macarena” by the Los del Río. When I came back to college my junior year, the song was everywhere. It was played it at football games, in restaurants and at stores. You could hear it cranked up on stereos in the dorms or on the quad (back in the days before iPods). I’ve never been one to shake my hips in public, but I vividly remember doing the Macarena a handful of times in public places that year. Pretty ironic considering I went to a college that didn’t allow dancing. Maybe THAT is why it was so popular on campus!
Megan: When I was in high school my best friend and I were complete Weezer fanatics. I mean, it was ridiculous. On Friday nights we would listen to Weezer’s “Blue” and “Pinkerton” albums for a few hours after school until it was time to walk to the high school football game. Every year when we get the first cold snap, I always listen to “Pinkerton” for a few days straight. I don’t care what anybody says, that is a good album!