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Here’s cause for celebration: It is possible to become smarter as you grow older!
Our brain’s ability to grow new neurons that increase our intelligence is called neurogenesis.
Activities that exercise the brain encourage new neurons to grow. We can help facilitate this with the type of mindset we possess.
If you’ve ever come across the concept of growth mindset vs. fixed mindset, you are probably aware of an important detail.
People who have a growth mindset are more successful in many areas of their lives compared with those who exhibit a fixed mindset, or the belief that people possess limited abilities.
Those with a growth mindset believe that the abilities they currently have—including their level of intelligence—can be improved upon by:
Interested in improving your brain? You can check out this post about the key habits you can develop to boost your intelligence.
To celebrate the possibility of becoming smarter at any age, we’ve put together a collection of songs about being smart to add to your playlist.
Check them out!
“I study nuclear science. I love my classes. I got a crazy teacher. He wears dark glasses. Things are going great, and they're only getting better. I'm doing alright, getting good grades. The future's so bright, I gotta wear shades. I gotta wear shades.”
This song describes how success comes easy for those who are smart.
It describes someone whose future is already secure thanks to his above-average intelligence.
This person loves studying. He receives good grades, so he’s guaranteed a good-paying job right after graduation.
“Cause I can't lose if I keep on learning. I'm learning, learning…”
This song is a great anthem for those who possess a growth mindset.
A couple of major indicators that a person has a growth mindset are a love of learning and the ability to look at setbacks as an opportunity to learn further. [Discover the seven styles for learning something new and retaining what you’ve learned.]
This song describes someone who has these traits.
Because they’re learning, each experience just leads them to more knowledge. There’s no way they can lose.
“One more time, what do you say? Without an education you might as well be dead.”
Schools provide numerous opportunities for learning.
In this song, James Brown encourages listeners to stay in school. He sings about how a school dropout missed out on opportunities for success because he lacks the solid foundation offered by education.
“I'm the dude that's intelligent, but still kinda hood. One foot in corporate America, one still in the hood. If you know me, then you know I keep it real with the hood. If I ever sign a deal, I sign my deal in the hood. Twenty eight on the ACT, but I grew up in the streets.”
This song proves that one’s socioeconomic background is not the major determining factor for success. Brilliant people come from all walks of life.
In fact, many influential and prominent people throughout history were failures before they became famous. Read about them here.
“Intelligence, say you'll lead the way. Intelligence, have a sip today. We owe it all to Joe. King of the cod, lord of the krill, the prince of the whale.”
What if there was a magic potion that could make anyone who drank it smarter? In this song, from the animated movie, Help, I’m a Fish, there is such a potion.
However, this potion isn’t magic. It was manufactured in a lab. The real question is, what happens when a fish drinks it?
“Six double A batteries and I'm good to go. Seven-hundred milliamps, I'm here to rock the show. Six double A batteries to hear the music play. Seven-hundred milliamps gonna come your way.”
A “geek” is commonly considered a highly intelligent individual who has a deep interest or expertise in certain “geeky” fields, such as technology and fantasy world building.
Geeks are often stereotyped as being deeply interested in video games. This song has references to numerous video games playable on a Gameboy.
“I'm a little intellectual, someone who knows it all.”
This song is about someone who considers himself to be superior in intelligence to everybody else. In the song, he has a conversation and addresses others condescendingly.
Interestingly, a phenomenon known as the Dunning-Kruger effect states that people with average or below average intelligence are more likely to overestimate their intellectual abilities.
On the other hand, intelligent people are aware that they still don’t know a lot of things and therefore tend to underestimate their abilities.
“They love to tell you, stay inside the lines. But something's better on the other side.”
Smart people tend to go against conventions. This often includes rule-breaking and unconventional behavior.
This song encourages listeners to explore what’s outside of society’s conventions instead of “staying inside the lines.”
“She tells stories like a painter, yeah. With colorful words that I don't always understand. But it always sounds like somewhere better than here. Yeah, everywhere is better with her. She's not like anyone.”
Have you ever met someone and had been blown away by their wit? Here is a song about someone who made such an impression on the songwriter.
When you meet someone like this, you’ll never forget them. It doesn’t matter how short your time together was—they have had an impact on you. They’ve added a spark to your life. That’s why they’re called fireflies.
“I'm questioning my education. Is my education who I am now? While you're deciding, I've been finding. Looking around in the here and now.”
This song inspires listeners to be seekers of knowledge beyond what school can offer.
In order to continue growing, we need to strive to learn beyond the four walls of a school.
One way to learn more about the world and about ourselves is by being mindful of every experience we have.
“You live, you learn. You love, you learn. You cry, you learn. You lose, you learn. You bleed, you learn. You scream, you learn.”
To echo the message of Pearl Jam’s song Education, here’s Alanis Morissette telling us that life is a wonderful teacher.
Through all of our varied experiences, we gain a bunch of life lessons. Nobody is exempt from this “course.”
“I'm a genius. I'm a prodigy, a demon at Maths and Science. I'm up for a prize.”
This song is a dark take on the topic of intelligence. In it, we are introduced to someone who is a genius and may even be a candidate for one of the highest honors celebrating the capacities of the human mind.
However, the song implies the person is a patient at a facility for those suffering from mental disorders.
“That girl's a genius, whoa oh oh oh. I think she's serious, whoa oh oh oh.”
When we love someone, we tend to see all their best traits, especially when the relationship is new. In this song, the singer is full of praise for his girlfriend, whom he considers a genius.
“Well, the years start coming and they don't stop coming. Fed to the rules and I hit the ground running. Didn't make sense not to live for fun. Your brain gets smart but your head gets dumb.”
Many people have experienced being underestimated. They may have been labeled as “slow” or “not so sharp” by those who failed to see their unique talents.
This song is a reminder that there is more to life than getting high grades or being considered “smart” by the rest of society.
“I wish I were you. I wish I could wear your shoes. I wish I could think from your brain. I wish I were you. Yes, I do.”
There are people who can’t help but be envious when they perceive someone as being more brilliant than they are.
This song describes that feeling.
Perhaps they think that the other person is more attractive, articulate, or intelligent than they are. If you ever feel this way about people you meet, perhaps it’s time to include habits that promote self-love into your daily routine.
“And not me but the people they say that the men are leading the women astray. But I say that the women of today, smarter than the man in every way. That's right, the woman is smarter…”
In this song, Harry Belafonte presents a comparison between the intellectual prowess of a man and a woman and declares one to be the winner. Do you agree with his choice?
“Went to college, studied art. To be an artist, make a start. Studied hard, gained my degree. But no one seemed to notice me.”
This song shows that being educated, talented, or intelligent is not a guarantee that people will like you. It also boils down to people skills and a genuine desire for connection.
“I was just guessing at numbers and figures. Pulling the puzzles apart. Questions of science, science and progress. Do not speak as loud as my heart.”
Science has helped us to understand how the world works.
Scientists have explored, experimented, and come up with results that they share with the rest of the world about life on this planet.
However, this song tells us that love is still one thing that cannot be fully explained by the scientific method.
“Science is real, from the Big Bang to DNA. Science is real, from evolution to the Milky Way.”
If you’re looking for a song that encourages kids to appreciate their intelligence and helps them develop a love for learning, you might want to share this animated music video with them.
It introduces kids to science as a wonderful way to understand everything around us, as well within us.
20. Killer Queen, Queen
“Caviar and cigarettes. Well-versed in etiquette. Extraordinarily nice. She's a killer queen. Gunpowder, gelatine. Dynamite with a laser beam. Guaranteed to blow your mind. Anytime.”
The main character in this song is described as a “killer queen.” She is a woman who has refined taste and is well-mannered. However, she can be lethal, as it’s implied that she is also very intelligent and knows what she wants and how to get it.
21. Common People, Pulp
“She came from Greece, she had a thirst for knowledge. She studied sculpture at Saint Martin's College. That's where I caught her eye.”
In this song, we are introduced to two kinds of people. One is a well-educated woman who also happens to come from a wealthy family. We can assume that this woman is book smart.
In the song, she wants to experience how “common people” live.
Meanwhile, the other person is who the woman is speaking with. He is street smart and acts somewhat like a guide for the woman, explaining the aspects of society that she wants to experience.
He tries to dissuade the woman from delving too deep into the lives of the “common people,” as she probably won’t like what she’ll discover.
“We were the ones you used to make fun of. We stayed home alone instead of falling in love. We never got the chance to be prom king. We didn't even dance but here's the thing. We got the cars. We got the money. We need some sun but I'm tellin' you, honey. That the geeks will, geeks will, we will inherit the earth.”
Despite their above-average intelligence, geeks and nerds are often maligned in popular culture. However, they are the ones who discover and create amazing tools that become indispensable in society, such as social media.
In this song, a geek recalls how he was isolated from the typical high school experience. However, once he graduated, he became successful, with a lot of influence in society. With his wealth and influence, he’s literally inherited the earth.
“I've got a Dungeon Master's guide. I've got a 12-sided die. I've got Kitty Pryde and Nightcrawler, too. Waiting there for me. Yes, I do, I do.”
Did you have a place where you could hang out and just be yourself when you were younger? This song is about having that kind of place, especially for those who feel like they’re an outcast in school because they read too much, they don’t play sports, or they get high scores on tests.
“We are intelligent people. We have our reason. We have our freedom. Free from religion. No, we don't believe in anything bigger than us.”
In this song, intelligence is equated with being practical about everything in life and believing in reason alone. Love, death, the divine, and other abstract things are viewed as unimportant because this type of people only trust what they can see.
What do you think—is this true intelligence?
“We're making a move. We're making it now. We're coming out of the sidelines. Just put your hands up. It's a raid, yeah. We want your homes. We want your lives. We want the things you won't allow us. We won't use guns. We won't use bombs. We'll use the one thing we've got more of. That's our minds.”
This song is about outcasts and misfits in society who decide to change the status quo. However, unlike other members of society who would opt for violence to achieve the change they want, this group of deviants uses their intelligence to get results.
“The geeks were right. When I saw the future – the geeks were right.”
In this song, we get a glimpse at what the future might look like. The song describes a future where women’s ideal romantic partners are those with “modified features.” It also describes an environment destroyed by man-made chemicals.
“First in my class here at M. I. T. Got skills, I'm a champion at DND. Mc Escher, that's my favorite MC. Keep your 40, I'll just have an Earl Grey tea. My rims never spin to the contrary. You'll find that they're quite stationary. All of my action figures are cherry. Stephen Hawking's in my library.”
This song by Weird Al Yankovic is a parody of Chamillionaire’s song Ridin’. In it, he describes American nerds in the stereotypical way.
“This isn't hard core, this is for the art dorks, theatre geeks, and comic book losers, and all the smart sorts. This is for the tabletop dice-rollers and poetry readers and every nerdy kid who's still reppin' the art form. Join the Nerd Corps, here's your application.”
This song is a tribute to independent art and the artists behind those creations. Adam WarRock describes the life of a nerd and social outcast who did his best and eventually succeeded in becoming a popular nerdcore rapper.
“We're the smartest monkeys. The smartest monkeys. The evolution's plain to see. We're the dominant of the species. The smartest monkeys.”
This song is a social commentary and a description of the paradox of human evolution. We take pride in having evolved to possess higher intelligence and stop living in caves, but we have failed to address the current social issues of homelessness, congestion, hunger, etc.
Final Thoughts on Songs About Intelligence
Our capacity for learning something new does not end when we leave school. There is so much to explore, discover, and learn out in the real world.
Let’s make it our duty to turn our experiences into opportunities for learning.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this collection of songs about being smart. Perhaps you’ve already added several of the tracks to your playlist.
If you’re looking for more song collections featuring specific topics, you might want to check out the following posts:
- 25 Motivating Songs About Success and Achievement
- 52 Inspirational & Motivational Songs to Kickstart Your Day
- 25 Songs About Loving Yourself for Who You Are
- 25 Inspirational Songs About Following Your Dreams
- 17 Songs About Exploring and Having Adventures
Finally, if you want to use these songs to make a lasting change to your life, then check out these 100 LIFE GOALS that can help you wake up each morning with a sense of enthusiasm about making progress toward what's important..