Many of us remember our schools as torturous, locker-lined purgatories. (Chip on my shoulder? Me?! Never!). Nonetheless, the school setting has proved attractive to a lot of artists, and they often make them look more like heaven than hell. I certainly wish there were dance troupes parading through the corridors of my school while I revised for my GCSEs.
These lengthening May days are ones of transition: the summer weather is struggling to prevail against the cold and wet; some of us are chained to our desks afflicted with revision and some of us are free for the summer. It seems a perfect time, then, to enjoy some videos which celebrate adult freedom in an environment which we assume to be geared against it: school meets play. So give these rip-roaring videos a watch and dance all over your colour-coordinated revision notes. Learning is fun!
IGGY AZALEA ft. CHARLIE XCX: FANCY
This is the most recent song on our list. Iggy Azalea, perhaps most famous for fueding with the similarly-named Azealia Banks and miraculously shedding her Australian accent when she raps, serves up some serious Clueless realness in the video for “Fancy”. Just when we thought there was no more mileage in the 90s trend, Azalea proved that there’s horsepower in the decade yet.
BRITNEY SPEARS: BABY ONE MORE TIME
Need I say more? This is the undisputed ruler of all school-based music videos, the unparalleled paragon of preppy-pretty. Britney totally works it. It’s also a little disturbing, with shades of Lolita-style sexual fantasy – something which is not criticised enough.
GWEN STEFANI: HOLLABACK GIRL
Remember when Gwen Stefani broke away from No Doubt and enjoyed a brief (but illustrious) solo career? Ignoring her bizarre objectification of Japanese girls, she gave us a tonne of musical fun. “Hollaback Girl” appropriates cheerleaders’ chants and marching band beats, and was a response to Courtney Love’s assertion that Stefani was nothing but a cheerleader. They played the censored version of “Hollaback Girl” at my school discos, and screaming the ommitted ‘SH*T’ at the top of our lungs was, like, seriously Punk. Nine years on, has anyone worked out what a hollaback girl is?
NIRVANA: SMELLS LIKE TEEN SPIRIT
Speaking of Courtney Love, her late husband Kurt Cobain gave us one of the quintessential high school music videos. It’s kind of an alt-rock post-apocalyptic prom. Unfortunately, Teen Spirit actually smells like Lynx, Impulse body spray, lip gloss, sweat, and synthetic fabric.
BEYONCE: MOVE YOUR BODY
This happened every day at my school.