19 is a really rough age. You feel like you finally have freedom and pretend to know everything because, of course, you’re an adult now and should be treated as such. Most people will look back and know that that honestly isn’t the case. You spend most of that age afraid of the future.
In this article, we’ll take a look at 25 of the best songs about being 19 and the feelings that go along with that age.
1. Perfect Places – Lorde
Lorde became a popular artist because of her relatable songs and Perfect Places is no different. When you’re 19, you still haven’t picked up adult responsibilities, but you’re old enough to get out there and have a real taste of freedom—the perfect place in life. At the same time, it’s an unsure period in your life, and it’s easier to follow along with the crowd, which gets talked about heavily in the song. Just know dealing with emotions and making choices for yourself does get easier as you get older.
2. Nineteen – Hayley Williams
When you’re young, romantic relationships can feel almost more real than a real one. In reality, a real relationship takes work, but the best ones do still have that effortless quality of you both loving each other. Nineteen by Hayley Williams deals with one of those early relationships where everything seems perfect, the feelings are strong, but they still don’t make it (like most young couples). It mostly discusses the philosophical musings that happened after the separation, asking if the love they had was ever even real.
3. Dear John – Taylor Swift
Have you heard of Taylor Swift? Of course, you have. She’s an incredible songwriter and a wonderful vocalist, with the only real knock on her being that she writes many songs about her exes. This is another one of those (which is absolutely fine, they make her relatable), with Dear John inspired by an unfortunate breakup T-Swizzle went through at 19. Apparently, there was a big age difference there, though, with her talking about how they probably should have known better than to get involved.
4. Hey Nineteen – Steely Dan
Leave it to Steely Dan to write a song involving an older man and a teenager trying to start a relationship. It shouldn’t surprise anyone that with a pretty big age gap comes a pretty big difference in mindset. While the two want to make it work, they have a hard time relating to each other in yet another funny and sardonic song from one of the best bands ever to try the style.
5. I Was Only 19 – Redgum
There isn’t a country involved that could say the Vietnam War was a pleasant experience, especially for the young people who were thrust into an entirely new, cruel world. I Was Only 19 by Redgum deals with the 19-year-olds from Australia who were sent to fight in Vietnam, from the enlistment process to training and combat to being a veteran. It shows a lot of empathy for veterans of the conflict, putting what they went through into words.
6. Nineteen in Naples – Jonathan Richman
Traveling is usually done best when you’re young because, assuming you have the money, you still have the energy to be on the go. You also learn a lot about yourself while traveling, which is something important for development as you transition into full adulthood. Nineteen in Naples by Jonathan Richman is about a 19-year-old traveling to Italy and getting a taste of the country in Naples. He deals with a lot, but the journey across the ocean is also a journey about finding himself.
7. Coxton Yard – Title Fight
It’s easy to get lonely at 19, even if you’re surrounded by people. The reality is that you’ll only be keeping some of those people around for the long haul, and it’s hard to tell who that will be. Overall, it’s a very emotional and anxious time, with those vibes permeating the song Coxton Yard by Title Fight.
8. Nineteen – Movements
While most 19-year-olds come off as incredibly confident (verging on stupid), there’s a lot of insecurity that people deal with around that time in their life. Sometimes you just need a song to help you gain self confidence, and if you’re 19, Nineteen by Movements is a great choice. Be your own person and deal with things head-on; that’s how to figure out who you are and what you want to be.
9. Not Nineteen Forever – The Courteeners
Sometimes songs can be viewed through both a romantic and platonic lens. Not Nineteen Forever by The Courteeners is an example of a song that can be taken both ways. A boy at 19 and an older lady interact throughout the song, with the woman seeming to give him advice about figuring things out and acting as an authority figure for him. It’s not his mom, but it’s not explicitly a romantic thing they have going on. Regardless, it has a good message, telling you to look to someone older you respect for life advice.
10. Anything You Want – Spoon
Sometimes those young relationships come back to haunt us. That’s where the whole thing about letting the right one slip through your fingers comes from most of the time. Anything You Want by Spoon mostly deals with that situation, where one party wants a second chance at the relationship even though a long time has passed since they were together. In this one, the couple dated at 19 and grew apart, but maybe there’s still hope for them now.
11. 19 & Crazy – Bomshel
You’re going to make dumb decisions at 19, and you won’t handle every situation in the best way possible. That doesn’t change the fact that it’s an important time in your life, and you’re probably going to look back on it fondly. And what better genre for nostalgia than country music? 19 & Crazy by Bomshel is one of those fun songs about your younger days, seeing the artist looking back fondly on that part of her life.
12. Fast – Juice WRLD
Life is different when you’re in the spotlight, especially when dealing with fame or high-profile problems at a young age. Juice Wrld uses his own personal experiences to explain the way it feels in Fast while also understanding that his history can make things even harder. No matter your environment, guidance is something you need in life, and this song nails that concept down.
13. Goblin – Tyler, the Creator
Tyler, the Creator deals with life in his own special way. Goblin sees him discussing his life with his therapist alter-ego and talking about how he’s just 19 despite being thrust into the spotlight after finding success. He isn’t supposed to be a role model; he’s just a kid.
14. Kids – Rich Brian
Kids is a different take on expectations of someone in the spotlight at 19. Rich Brian sees himself fitting into the role model side of things well and frankly enjoys that kids are looking up to him at that point. It’s a position with a lot of power, and we all know that with great power comes great responsibility.
15. Kilby Girl – The Backseat Lovers
Not every relationship is going to be healthy, but the fear of being alone is one of the biggest reasons people choose to stay in lackluster situations. Kilby Girl by The Backseat Lovers deals with one of those types, with a girl pretending to be older than she actually is. Around 19, it’s hard to tell a lot of people’s ages, so that checks out. But, the two stay involved despite their differences, mainly because the alternative would be to be alone.
16. Heights – The Mountain Goats
Summer loves are often fun things for teenagers, but most of the time, when summer ends, so does the relationship. That’s the backdrop narrative of this lo-fi song from 1996 by The Mountain Goats (great name, by the way). While they enjoy each other’s company, they both know they will inevitably split up. The couple in Heights never really gets over the relationship, years later still wishing they could be back together somehow.
17. She’s Nineteen Years Old – Muddy Waters
Some men find women hard to please. Some women are just hard to please. But the reality is that a lot of the time (in that scenario), she just doesn’t know what she wants. This can be because she’s young, immature at an older age, or just very unsure in life. Muddy Waters captures this dilemma perfectly, elegantly expressing his frustration at his lover’s fickle nature and explaining that it likely has something to do with the fact that she’s 19.
18. Once And Never Again – The Long Blondes
Most people will go through a rough relationship around the age of 19. I, for one, definitely did. Those situations will make you draw lines in the sand for future relationships, saying something along the lines of “I put up with it once, and I never will again.” The Long Blondes use this kind of relationship to help people find their self-worth and know what’s best for them in Once and Never Again, an ode to never dealing with the crap an ex puts you through.
Recommended: Songs about the future
19. I Don’t Like Who I Was Then – The Wonder Years
Punk music tends to resonate with teenagers. The whole genre is built on teenage angst, though some bands will use other sorts of tension to get the same result. I Don’t Like Who I Was Then by The Wonder Years deals with that kind of angsty hopelessness, where everything seems to be too much, and you wind up being pessimistic for a bit. This is one of the more uplifting emo songs, though, as the song’s narrator actually decides not to give up and do their best.
20. Twinkle Lights- The Sonder Bombs
When you’re a kid, you think the world automatically changes when you turn 18, 19, 21, etc. In reality, this doesn’t happen, which leaves many people feeling helpless because they thought by now they’d have made it farther or would know more. That’s the emotions that The Sonder Bombs tackle in Twinkle Lights, a nearly universal happening for people who turn 19.
21. Please Don’t Tell My Father That I Used His 1996 Honda Accord To Destroy The Town Of Willow… – Pet Symmetry
As we said, 19-year-olds make dumb decisions. Pet Symmetry killed that notion in this incredibly long-titled song. In it, a teen takes his father’s car for a joyride and gets into trouble with it, eventually pleading that nobody will tell his father about it.
22. 19 – Paul Hardcastle
19 by Paul Hardcastle is another anti-war song focusing on the Vietnam War. Instead of being about Australian youngsters, this one is about ones from the United States. It mainly focuses on the war’s effect on the people who fought, ending many lives and ruining others.
23. Trouble – Imagine Dragons
Trouble is one of the most underrated Imagine Dragons songs out there. It mainly deals with the narrator looking back at his life at 19 and pondering the way he felt. Remorseful and lost, he just wants to figure things out without dealing with any trouble.
24. Falling Down a Hole – Crywank
Falling Down A Hole is quintessential punk. Looking back on the band members’ lives, it seems like everything has slowly gone downhill since they grew up. A sentiment that many people can get behind, I’m sure.
25. Jonathan – Adrianne Lenker
You’re a very different person at 19 than you wind up being even a few short years later. Some traits will remain, sometimes even pushing away people that want to help you. That seems to be the essence of Jonathan by Adrianne Lenker, telling an old friend (flame) that they no longer know them the way they used to.
As a contributing writer for Music Grotto, Dakotah writes and produces professional music/media content. He works closely with editorial staff to meet editorial standards and create
quality content for the Music Grotto website. Dakotah is passionate about music in a wide variety of genres, from hip-hop to country and lo-fi to metal, and he enjoys creating music pieces for Music Grotto.