“You don’t know what you haven until it’s gone” may be a cliché phrase, but for many people the cliché rings true about their high school experiences. Sure, high school can serve as trying times. You struggle with your parents to become more independent. You become very self consciousness about if others find you attractive. You juggle part time work schedules with classes, athletics, and other commitments. Still, high school offers many positives to appreciate. For current high school students, country songs including “Boys of Fall” by Kenny Chesney, “In My High School” by Blaine Larsen, and “Letter to Me” by Brad Paisley help make high school an experience you’ll appreciate.
“Boys of Fall” by Kenny Chesney
Student athletes, especially football players, can relate to Kenny Chesney’s “Boys of Fall.” The song may only talk about football, but “Boys of Fall” contains common themes most high school athletes will relate to. For example, Chesney discusses the bonding between teammates with the lyrics “It’s I got your number, I got your back when your back’s against the wall/you mess with one man you got us all.” “Boys of Fall” also mentions the thrill you likely receive getting ready to compete on game day with the chorus line “It’s fighting back those butterflies.” The official “Boys of Fall” music video (click here), which features football coaches giving pep talks to their teams, further emphasizes this point by mentioning, as an adult, the thrill stops coming weekly. Instead, the thrill only shows up on special occasions, such as your wedding and birth of your children.
“In My High School” by Blaine Larsen
Blaine Larsen provides a song all high school students can relate to with “In My High School.” Larsen recognizes all the different cliques within high school, singing “An’ we’ve got jocks an’ we’ve got smokers, rednecks an’ jokers:/there’s a category for us all.” As the song goes on Larsen talks about all the struggles you face in high school, from teachers and homework to boyfriends and girlfriends. He acknowledges some students’ urges to graduate with the lyrics “An’ in my high school, the seniors just cannot wait for June/but they don’t realize that we grow up way too soon.” With that last lyric Larsen teaches to enjoy the present rather than focus so much on the future.
“Letter to Me” by Brad Paisley
“Letter to Me” offers a unique perspective, with a grownup Brad Paisley looking back on his teenage years. This unique perspective helps create the perfect empathy song for down-on-their-luck high school students. For instance, if you have been dumped, Paisley shares your pain with the lyrics “I know at 17/it’s hard to see past Friday night/She wasn’t right for you/and still you feel like there’s/a knife stickin’ out of your back/and you’re wonderin’ if you’ll survive.” In addition to empathy, Paisley provides hope with lyrics like “Oh you have so much goin’ for you/goin’ right” and “You got so much up ahead.” While the future may be bright, you shouldn’t forget the lessons taught by the other country songs on this list. Appreciate the present, and use Paisley’s “Letter to Me” for emotional support when life gets rough.