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School's Out

by

Alice Cooper



Songfacts®:  You can leave comments about the song at the bottom of the page.

The title (and song) were inspired by a warning often said in Bowery Boys movies in which one of the characters declares to another, "School is out," meaning "to wise up." The Bowery Boys were characters featured in 48 movies that ran from 1946-1958. They were young tough guys in New York City who were always finding trouble. The movies ran on American TV throughout the '60s and '70s, eating up a lot of air time on independent stations. It was one of these TV viewing that Cooper saw. In the film, the character Sach (Huntz Hall) did something dumb, which prompted one of the other guys to say, "Hey, Sach, School's Out!" Cooper like the way the phrase sounded, and used it as the basis for this song.
This is a fixture at Cooper's concerts. He says the difference between him and guys like Marilyn Manson is that he leaves the crowd in a good mood. His shows are meant to be fun, not depressing.
This was released in the summer of 1972, when school really was out. It's since become an anthem for summer vacation.
Cooper wrote this song with his guitarist Michael Bruce.
This was Cooper's biggest hit. It is usually the last song he plays at his shows.
The chorus of children who sing on this was put together by producer Bob Ezrin. In 1979, Ezrin used another kid's chorus when he produced "Another Brick In The Wall (part II)" for Pink Floyd. He liked the idea of hearing children's voices on songs about school. In this song, they sing the children's rhyme "No more pencils, no more books, no more teachers' dirty looks."
In a 2008 Esquire interview, Cooper said: "When we did 'School's Out,' I knew we had just done the national anthem. I've become the Francis Scott Key of the last day of school."
The album opened like a school desk and contained a pair of paper panties. This is the kind of "added value" you just don't get with CDs.
Soul Asylum covered this for the 1998 movie The Faculty.
Cooper recorded a new version of this with Swedish Pop group The A-Teens in 2002. It was an odd pairing, but the A-Teens claimed Cooper did not scare them. Cooper said that was because they had never seen his stage show. The lyrics of the new version were altered from "School's been blown to pieces" to "I'm bored to pieces."
Cooper starred in a TV commercial for Staples where a young girl is forced to shop for school supplies while a Muzak version of this song plays. She looks at Cooper and says, "I thought you said School's out forever." He replies, "No, the song goes, 'School's out for summer. Nice try, though." At this point, the real version of the song kicks in. (thanks, Bertrand - Paris, France)
On May 13, 2009, Cooper performed this song at the Arizona State University graduation ceremonies with his son Dash's band, Runaway Phoenix. Alice wore his varsity letter sweater from Cortez High (Class of '66) for the performance, which preceded a speech by US President Barack Obama. Cooper's son Dash was attending the ASU journalism school.
Alice Cooper
Alice Cooper Artistfacts
More Alice Cooper songs
More songs about school
More songs featuring choirs
More songs produced by Bob Ezrin
More songs used in commercials
More songs usually played last at concerts
More summer songs
More songs covered by the Glee cast

Comments (39):

Marilyn Manson is a Cooper poser! Does the same basic facial makeup, uses a girl's first name, PLAYS at counter-culture(unlike with Cooper, where it was a personal & original lifestyle!)

Love Alice Cooper -- got lots of his vinyl albums, with jacket art! Wonderful trips down memory lane (I wasn't there then, but I've caught up & traveled back to those beautiful daze of good music written & played for the love of the art & the joy of making happy adoring fans! (yeah, of course groupies, DUG!)
- Cyberpope, Richmond, Canada
Bob Ezrin also produced 'Destroyer' by KISS in 1976. He arranged the chorus for the song 'Great Expectations'.
- Randy, Colerain Twp., OH
he did this song on the muppets
- ciara, ses, Benin
just one of those clasic songs that everyone on earth can relate to...being glad to be done with school. little do we know at the time,but we will miss those carefree days. seems life deals the lessons and we have to learn from them,mostly never in time to appreciate or be helpful...it never changes. seems like when you think you got it figured out,another lesson hits you square in the mouth...on and on.
- lee, huntsville, AL
Alice Coopers stage persona is not how he lives his life! He currently holds a Bible study in a Baptist church in Arizona. Marilyn Manson onther hand is probably the same
- Chase, Miami, FL
The Metal band Krokus re did the clasic song I saw the video on VH1 clasic channel during there metal mania show all of metal music
- Michelle, maplewood, MN
Always enjoyed leaving school for summer vacation. School's out completely.................
- Rick, Salisbury, NC
A remake of this song by Echo and The Bunnymen can be found on the Scream soundtrack.
- Joel, Columbia, SC
The "Me and GB" line is on a different song from this same album.
- Mark, Grafton, United States
"me and GB ain't gonna confess" isn't even a line in the song
- Veronica, Sudbury, Canada
This whole album was based loosely on West Side Story. Listen to Gutter Cats vs. the Jets. Awesome.
- Danielle, Angleton, TX
The line "me and GB ain't gonna confess"...GB was refering to Glen Buxton.
- Vince, Rome , NY
This song's gonna be featured in Guitar Hero III: Legends Of Rock for PS3.
- Robert, Chicago, IL
love this song. on the last day of my 8th grade year, they played it over the intercom a few minutes before the bells rang.
- me., not telling you : ), KY
mad song.... it's such a classic. you know something's a classic when the simpsons rip it off. "school's BACK IN SESSION... let's' beGIN OUR LESSONS"
- Zac, Sydney, Australia
Alice was always about marketability. "Schools Out", "I wanna be elected", "I'm 18", "Aching to get me" . . . All these are anthems for milestones in life. This was the first song I ever requested at the end of my 6th grade career and it still gets requests annually around May and June.
- Lalah, Wasilla, AK
Alice is amazingin everything he does especially at his concerts!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
- Joshua, Celina, OH
This song is like an anthem to all kids. My brothers and sister listen to it every year on the last day of school. Alice Cooper rocks!!
- Chrissy, Long Island, NY
In his retrospective book, No More Mr. Nice Guy, Bruce says that fellow guitarist Glen Buxton came up with the distinctive opening guitar riff. Buxton is dead now.
- fyodor, Denver, CO
There is an alternate version on the Scream soundtrack.
- J.E., Anchorage, AK
On my last day of middle school, they played this and eye of the tiger on the loudspeaker. It was kind of weird because our principal doesn't seem like the type of person to do it. School's out fit the occasion but Eye of the Tiger didn't.
- Ray, Stockton, NJ
For that commercial that Ben from Beaverton mentioned, it was for Staples. He's in the store with a cartful of school supplies and a little girl goes up to him and says "I thought school was out forever." & he says "no no it's just a song." Good song for high school/college students. You can always hear it on the radio.
- Michelle, Anaheim, CA
All schools should have this blast out at the end of the year from the student body. If they don't, they can all drink the cool-aid o_0
- D, Lake Forest, IL
The song grew out of its famous guitar riff which was written by Glen Buxton, the lead guitarist.
- Bob, Toronto, Canada
Played this song and Another Brick In The Wall part 2 when i graduated 8th grade on the bus. great riff, great song
- Andy, Tualatin, OR
I like Chicken you fools! not liver!
- Katheren, Augusta, ME
In addition to the parody of it being sung by Principal Skinner as Will from Portland said, there's also an episode of The Simpsons which starts off with a dream sequence featuring the students of Springfield Elementary destroying the school, while this song plays in the background.
- Chad, Andover, MN
What a great teenage anthem! I recall that somebody spray-painted "School's Out" across one of the buildings in my high school the year I graduated, heightening the sense of freedom I felt. (Nowadays I'd tsk tsk at it.) "We can't even think of a word that rhymes": A great little throwaway line...
- Wes, Springfield, VA
This is #319 on Rolling Stone's list of 500 greatest songs.
- Ross, Independence, MO
One of the reasons I like ole Alice is he doesn't take himself seriously, and the commercial is a perfect example of this. He's always made it clear that Alice Cooper is a stage persona and not how he lives his life. I strongly suspect Marilyn Manson has absolutely no sense of humor whatsoever, the poor devil.
- Jude, Thomasville, GA
I am vouching for this is our class song even though it isn't a great song it really sums up how the idiots in the student body feel about school and god knows its better than Kenny Chesney the second leading candidate
- Zac, Gastonia, AL
Around graduation time, you always see lyrics from this song, all over cars! I love this song!
- Savannah, Dearborn, MI
Man i played this over and over again when i graduated high school. Boy i sure did get drunk that night!!!!
- Jonathan, Oklahoma City, OK
When I graduated from school, me and my friends went out to a club, they played this song- unreal
- Peter, Passage, Ireland
in that commercial with cooper and that little girl, he says something like "no no, i said schools out for summer," when in fact the last time he sings it, he sings it as "schools out for ever," remember...?
- Ben, Beaverton, OR
In a Simpsons episode, Principal Skinner sings his own version of this song, and it goes "Schools...back...in...session! Lets...begin...the...lesson!"
- Will, Portland, OR
I love the new commercial for the back to school supplies, where the little girls like I thought you said schools out forever, and they show alice and hes like no i said schools out for summer.
- the jorge, Hell, Other
I like how the kids sing in this song.
ive never been to an alice cooper concert, but its good he ends with a fun song like this.
- Will, Portland, OR
Also in the Dazed and Confused soundtrack
- Roddy, Southampton, England
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