Justin Bieber’s ‘Baby’ and Other ‘Do Not Sing’ Graduation Anthems 


“Just shake me ’til you wake me from this bad dream.” Nothing encapsulates the feeling of graduation and moving to the next phase of one’s life quite like those profound words. (Except, probably, just about anything else.) 
According to the New York Post, the principal of public school in Brooklyn originally swapped out Lee Greenwood‘s “God Bless the USA” as a kindergarten graduation anthem, worrying that it might “offend other cultures,” and outsourced it to confirmed Canadian/rumored kindergartner Justin Bieber and his hit song “Baby” instead. Now, the principal has placed “Baby” on the Do Not Sing list as well after controversy arose from the decision. 
Setting aside the absurdity of the notion of a kindergarten graduation in the first place (though, they could be made slightly more interesting if this was their commencement speech) Justin Bieber’s “Baby” (which includes such inspirational and apropos lyrics as “When I was 13 I had my first love”… hang in there, 5-year-olds, just a few more years!) would hardly have been the first song to feel wildly out of place at a commencement ceremony. In fact, even Greenwood’s patriotic anthem has some sentiment-killing moments. (“I had to start again, with just my children and my wife.” Good luck, youths.)
In honor of Justin Bieber graduating to the elite and time-honored tradition of Wait, What?… Really?! we wanted to look back at some of the other most ridiculous songs used for graduation that should probably be placed on the Do Not Sing list as well. Trust us on this… and the sunscreen. 
Song: “Graduation (Friends Forever)” by Vitamin C
Year: Class of 2000
Most Ridiculous Song Lyric for a Graduation Ceremony: “Will little brainy Bobby be the stockbroker man?/Can Heather find a job that won’t interfere with her tan?”
You Heard This Song If: You bought this single on CD at The Wall after highlighting your hair with streaks of blonde and orange. 
Song: “Closing Time” by Semisonic
Year: Class of 1998 
Most Ridiculous Song Lyric for a Graduation Ceremony: “One last call for alcohol, so finish your whiskey or beer…..You don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here.” 
You Heard This Song If: You ever worked at The Gap and got a sweet discount on ribbed tank tops with horizontal stripes, or were at any bar, anywhere in the universe, at closing time. 
Song: “You Get What You Give” by the New Radicals 
Year: Class of 1998 
Most Ridiculous Song Lyric for a Graduation Ceremony: “Age 14 we got you down on your knees”
You Heard This Song If: You attended a fashion shoot with Beck and Hanson, Courtney Love, and/or Marilyn Manson. Or you wore out your copy of “Closing Time.” 
Song: “Glory Days” by the Bruce Springsteen
Year: Class of 1984
Most Ridiculous Song Lyric for a Graduation Ceremony: “Time slips away and leaves you with nothing, mister, with boring stories of glory days.” 
You Heard This Song If: You also totally misunderstood what “Born in the USA” was about when you heard it at a 4th of July fireworks display. 
Song: “I Gotta Feeling” by the Black Eyed Peas
Year: Class of 2009  
Most Ridiculous Song Lyric for a Graduation Ceremony: “Let’s burn the roof/And then we’ll do it again.”
You Heard This Song If: You existed and had the gift/curse of sound in 2009. 
Song: “I Will Remember You” by Sarah McLachlan
Year: Class of 1995
Most Ridiculous Song Lyric for a Graduation Ceremony: Actually, none. It’s a pretty fitting graduation song, but oh God, I can’t stop thinking about abused animals now! 
You Heard This Song If: You were trying to have a lovely Saturday afternoon TV marathon when all of a sudden Sarah McLachlan decided to show you some really, really sad stuff and make you feel generally awful. Good luck, seniors!
What do you think is the most absurd song used in graduation ceremonies? Share in the comment section. 
[Photo credit: WENN.com]

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Staff editor Aly Semigran is a New York City native who grew up in Philadelphia and spent the better part of her youth trying to figure out what the Philly Phanatic was (an anteater?), quoting 'The Simpsons,' and learning all about movies from her dad. After graduating from Temple University, where she studied journalism, she moved back to NYC and began her career as a freelance entertainment journalist. Her work has been published in Entertainment Weekly, Maxim, Philadelphia Weekly, Philadelphia City Paper, MTV.com, and iVillage.com. She is thrilled to be a part of the Hollywood.com team and she is still quoting 'The Simpsons.' ('I'm Idaho!')