When you are 17, you are on the brink of adulthood, but you are not there yet. Some songs capture the anticipation and excitement of being 17. These songs talk about everything that comes with that age, including sadness, love, heartbreak, joy, and happiness. Here are the best songs about being 17 that you shouldn’t miss on your playlist.
1. 17 – Avril Lavigne
This was a lead single from Lavigne’s fifth studio album in 2013. The album is called Avril Lavigne, and this tune talks about the carefree life of a 17-year-old girl. It is about the story of how the singer met someone who taught her how to break the rules at such a young age. It shows how it can be hard being that young and figuring out life. She manages to depict the raw emotional love between two teenagers who don’t have a care in the world. The only thing they needed was love. She wishes she would go back in time to those wild and crazy moments.
2. Seventeen – Ladytron
When you want an all-time classic, this is one of the best songs about being 17. The minimalistic lyrics are what make it even more appealing. There is a touch of electronic music in it. This was the first single from the second studio album, Light & Magic.
Most interpretations agree that the song talks about how agencies only want you when you are 17. They are usually not interested when you are 21 or older. The song appears in many movies and documentaries over the years. It was a favorite for most people in 2002 and 2003. Since the lyrics are limited, you can quickly memorize and sing along every time.
3. Seventeen – Marina and The Diamonds
Marina is a talented songwriter and pop singer. This is one of the most famous songs from her. Her lyrics are direct and honest; and they make most people relate. She talks about turning seventeen, and the lyrics show a confrontation on her birthday. She talks about the complicated and emotional relationship with her father.
Despite being aggressive, it will be a great addition to your playlist. It’s a powerful song about growing up and some of the challenges that come with it. This is an anthem for most teens in 2010 and beyond. Whether you can relate to the song or not, it’s certainly a great tune.
4. Strawberry Wine – Deana Cater
This country song debuted in 1996. The lyrics show how a 17-year-old loses her innocence, and that is what the song compares to strawberry wine’s sweetness. The award-winning song is still very catchy today. It is a Grammy-nominated ballad, which is very detailed and shows the transition from a girl to a woman over a certain summer. That first romance always has major emotional milestones. The song does a great job of showcasing a teenager’s first romance. It’s a great song for when you want to remember your first love experience. The song has a popular video that explains the lyrics even better.
5. Seventeen – Sharon Van Etten
This is yet another song that perfectly describes the beauty and complexity of being a 17 year old. When you are young, there is a carefree attitude that can be hard to embrace when older. That is why most people who talk about being 17 in a song must speak about being free. This song is not an exception; it highlights different scenarios in the life of a free young girl. The characters in the lyrics keep growing as the song nears the end. It will help you remember the nostalgic teenage years, certainly.
6. Dancing Queen – ABBA
Dancing Queen is a timeless, all-time hit from the Swedish pop group ABBA. Even after many years, the tune is still rocking dance floors. Certainly, this is one of the greatest and most iconic songs of all time. The upbeat music embodies every teenage life. It clearly shows the youthful freedom a 17-year-old has, and it is an upbeat song you can dance to. The lyrics talk about how life is just beginning for a young girl, and there is still so much ahead. You will feel excited and optimistic listening to the song. It’s accompanied by a music video if you want to watch it as you enjoy the lyrics.
7. Seventeen – Alessia Cara
Alessia Cara is very relatable, especially with this 2015 tune. She was only 20 years when the song came out, so it has a fresh perspective of a young person. The song is about how people rush to grow up sometimes. It also talks about wanting to stay 17 forever. The memorable pop song will remain in your mind, especially when you watch the video.
This track was the first song on the artist’s album Know-It-All. It’s the realization that life goes too fast, and there are moments you wish you could freeze time. After growing up, Alessia now understands what her parents were trying to say when she was younger, and that is what the song depicts.
8. At Seventeen – Janis Ian
This may not be the most positive reflection of being 17, but it is still true for some people. The pop-rock song talks about a social outcast in high school. The biased and unfair things the narrator experience at 17 will make you a little sad. She says she learned the truth that love is for beauty queens at that young age. The song won a Grammy, and it was on top of many music charts.
9. Carmen – Lana Del Rey
Carmen is about a 17-year-old who is struggling with substance abuse. Fame at an early age can mess many things up, especially when there is no one giving out guidance. That is why the protagonist in this story lives a very dangerous and unhealthy life. Lana Del Rey also said that the song is about a woman who sells her body in the streets. The artist struggled with alcoholism as a teenager; that’s why most people feel she was talking about herself in the past. Despite being a sad song, it has captured a vast audience since 2012.
10. Seventeen – Winger
Any rock music lover will enjoy everything about this song. You have to mention it when talking about the best songs about being 17. It’s a classic coming-of-age song with a vivid love encounter. The singer says it was love at first sight, and despite advice from his father that they were too young, they still went ahead with the love story. Winger said they got inspiration from a Beatles song. Teenage love, in this case, is filled with so much passion, and it’s somehow rebellious.
11. Paradise By The Dashboard Light – Meatloaf
This song clocks in at 8.5 minutes; it’s a pretty long song because it tells the whole uncut story. Meatloaf revealed that initially, the song was over 20 minutes. It represents a young guy who wants to have sex for the first time in a car. The lyrics say that the two lovers were barely seventeen on this fateful day. The song will take you back to when you were dating in high school.
Love stories are usually very timeless, which is why such songs are still popular. The lyrics take a twist at the end by the narrator wishing their time would be over because he can’t take it anymore.
12. All Summer Long – Kid Rock
This is a big hit from Kid Rock that captures the true essence of being 17. He remembers being between a boy and a man. It doesn’t matter if you are old; this song will make you feel young and free again. It’s a great reminder of the simpler times when you were young and free. The song knows how to describe memories vividly.
Summer seems to be the time when most teenagers discover themselves and their passions. If you can relate to the summer Kid Rock is talking about in this song, ensure you add it to your playlist.
13. It Was A Very Good Year – Frank Sinatra
Frank Sinatra made this song famous with his iconic voice and song storytelling. It recounts the different types of girls the singer dated at different stages in his life. There are different versions of the song, but this is the one that received a lot of recognition. Even Robbie Williams has a cover of the song.
The singer is now older and looks back at his life back when he was in a small town before going to the city. The nostalgic music will help you remember your past romances. Find the other versions from different artists if you want to listen to a different tune. Everyone has a different take on the lyrics.
14. 17 – Youth Lagoon
This rock indie tune from 2011 is very relatable. The narrator gives so many scenarios and instances from the past. But one of the lines that stood out says that his mother told him to never stop imagining.
The untainted joy and innocence radiate from the lyrics, and you can’t help but feel optimistic. The whole song seems to be an imagination when you are keen on the lyrics. The best time to be ambitious and dream is when you are young. You can imagine anything and go out in the world and try to get it. At least, that is what the song encourages you to do.
15. Let’s Go – The Cars
The main character in the lyrics is trying to get a date from a 17-year-old girl, but she refuses. The songwriter claims to have gotten the inspiration for the characters by observing people around him. Trying to date at such a young age can be confusing and tricky. The singer describes the girl he likes as many things, including frozen fire. He says that she is the only thing he desires. It doesn’t matter if it’s a hopeful love interest or not; it’s still a great song to listen to at any time.
16. That Girl Has Love – Rooney
This is probably the saddest song about being 17 on this list. The girl in the lyrics will always be 17 because she took her own life. This memorial love song describes the girl when she was still alive. The narrator says the young girl kept a lot inside because her life was nearly perfect on the surface. It seems like the singer had a romantic relationship with the girl.
The lyrics are saddening, but the tune is still a must-have. It can be a beautiful piece to remember someone by if you have experienced a similar loss in your life.
17. Born In Chicago – The Paul Butterfield Blues Band
This song has been revived so many times by different artists like Joe Luis Walker. Gun violence seems to be the main theme in this 1965 blues song. The narrator says he lost his first friend at 17 years. It depicts a group of young friends trapped in gun violence, and they keep dying one at a time. The lyrics have some bitter truth about societal issues. Aside from entertaining, it also creates some awareness.
18. Seventeen – Jet
This is probably a familiar tune because many people have loved it since it came out. It is youthful & lively, with a nostalgic sound to it. It deserves a spot on the list for highlighting the confusing parts of being 17. Despite having some trouble and burning bridges at that age, he has no regrets. The singer says they would do it all over again if they could go back in time.
19. He’s Seventeen – The Supremes
This song will get you on your feet. The lyrics may not be as profound as other songs about being 17, but it’s great nonetheless. The narrator is boasting about finding a guy who is seventeen, and falling in love. You will also spot the carefree teenage romance. The narrator is only sixteen and doesn’t care if they are young or not. It can be nice easy music to enjoy from time to time.
20. 17 – Kings Of Leon
The lyrics of this alternative rock song are fascinating. It’s about a love encounter with a 17-year-old girl and all of the real-life issues this can present to the protagonist. The famous Kings Of Leon released the song in 2008. It didn’t top all the charts, but it is certainly a song that has garnered many discussions over the years.
21. 17 – Pink Sweat$
This track from 2020 was quite the hit, and it is undeniably catchy. It’s the ultimate love song with beautiful lyrics you can dedicate to a lover. The singer promises never to change. Their love will feel like they are 17 even when they are 92. The love song comes with a music video that helps tell the story. You should listen to it first and decide if it’s worth adding to your playlist or not. It describes the special kind of love that you only experience once or twice in a lifetime.
That concludes the list of amazing songs about being 17 that should be on your radar. Did we miss out on any of your favorite tracks? Let us know by contacting us today and we’ll review your suggestions.
As the Head Editor at Music Grotto, Liam edits content produced from over 30 professional music/media journalists and contributing writers. He works closely with journalists and other staff to format and publish music content for the Music Grotto website. Liam is also the founding member of Music Grotto and is passionate in disseminating editorial content to its readers.