History Lessons Through 80s Music

80s Music History Teachers

People like to throw around the adage that we should learn from history or be doomed to have history repeat itself. That’s all fine in theory, but what if–through no fault of your own–you were born into Generation X? If you came into being during the post-World War II baby boom and before the early 1980s, chances are you don’t think “the past” feels particularly connected to “your future.” So what’s a history teacher to do?

Answer: Teach history lessons through the lexicon of 1980s music videos. Talk about the Trojan War to the tune of “Tainted Love,” for instance.

Or teach The Renaissance through the words of Renaissance man, Gordon Gano of The Violent Femmes.

Or slow things down for The Crusades (aka Billy Idol’s “Eyes Without a Face”). I could go on, but you should just watch these excellent music videos made by actual history teacher Amy Burvall and partner, Herb Mahelona. Each track pairs pop songs with history lessons, and their YouTube Channel is filled with clever costumes and catchy rhymes. We might still be doomed to repeat the past, but at least these videos will help us remember it.

Happy New Year.