Life is a strange path with unforeseen twists and turns. There are times when things turn out well and others when they become a nightmare. Altogether, these are the individual stories that define this journey.
Music often finds the right words and mood to define some of these moments in life. Here are the absolute best songs about growing up of all time:
1) “In my Room” by The Beach Boys
When children grow and pass through teenage years, it comes with profound changes in their lives. Sometimes, it is hard to cope, and they end up in seclusion. The song paints this picture of a teen who locks himself in his room to cope with teenage struggles.
2) “In My Life” by The Beatles
We harness relationships with more people and build connections with age. The Beatles sing about the affections on people and things that we create as we grow. We start to think about them that we know they have a lasting impression and have defined the courses in our lives.
3) “The Circle Game” by Joni Mitchell
Life can be a vicious journey, and this song epitomizes these intricacies about growing up. The analogy of a circle shows how growing up involves wandering like you are on a giant hamster wheel. In the end, we keep on going and moving with the entrapment.
4) “What a Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong
The tone of Louis Armstrong’s voice in this song goes along with the charming message about reminiscence and appreciation. It is one of the best songs about growing up from a baby and developing to love what’s around you, which is what makes life wonderful.
5) “The Coat of Many Colors” by Dolly Parton
The country classic brings a message from scripture and unites it with a poor childhood. There is a message about the joy of growing up, the pains of having little notwithstanding. Love and appreciation reign and define life and create memories about childhood.
6) “Growin’ up” by Bruce Springsteen
It is when people grow that they also learn and develop their mental faculties. Perhaps, this explains why growing up also metaphorically refers to becoming wiser. The song sprouts with this message about growing physically and mentally too.
7) “Time” by Pink Floyd
Time seems to pass faster when you are getting older. This is the message in the song ‘Time.’ The singer illustrates how you can look back one decade and see how much time has gone behind you in such a short time and encapsulates the realization of time moving faster with age.
8) “Forever Young” by Bob Dylan
There are those bits from young life that are better when we hold to them. Growing up is building memories and learning to cherish them. The song illustrates the essence of this message and how that makes life better with time.
9) “Landslide” by Fleetwood Mac
The most profound feature of life and growth is continuous change. Experiences, circumstances, and even thought processes all transition. The song shows how this is a reality and why it is important to go along and keep up.
10) “Isn’t She Lovely” by Stevie Wonder
Stevie praises his daughter in this song and credits God and the wife for such a wonderful gift. The song centers on life as a gift to beget more life through children and appreciate how they look and who they are as a gift from nature.
11) “A New England” by Billy Bragg and Jamie T
The relevance of growing up also comes from the country and the national heritage that you exist within. Billy Bragg writes this song from his twenty-one-year mentality and his patriotism for the country and a future he envisions in it. The piece shows how cumulative growth defines society and politics across eras.
12) “Breed” by Nirvana
In the song, growing up means learning the realities of life and coping with them. The singer also shows that it is about embracing the truths you may not accept and learning to stay with them. Today, you may say that it is what prompted the phrase ‘adulting.’
13) “Winter” by Tori Amos
Tori sings about growth and the removal of opportunities. Her song shows how it is somewhat hard to cover the challenging topics on sexuality and their lessons. However, she still shapes life as a dream to live out in its fullness. This is a great song about winter!
14) “Fade Away” by Oasis
Sometimes we do not live to meet the dreams of childhood. The track tells about growing up to life when these yearnings amount to nothing. It also tells about the reality of disappointment, precisely in adulthood.
15) “Blessed” by Elton John
The singer talks about the son that he has yet to have and the dreams that will come when they meet. The message is in anticipating parenting as part of growing up and taking up that mantle of fatherhood for the joys it brings and what it adds to life.
16) “I Don’t Want to Grow up” by Ramones
It dawns to all of us, maybe a bit too late, that we don’t want to age. The song is about the harsh realities that get complicated when age catches up with us. Nobody wants to grow old, especially when we think about the sad fate that lies ahead.
17) “Alright” by Superglass
The song is an anthem about the joys of youth. Its lyrics show how the life of being young has less thought and more fun. It also tells of a period that we all lie to reminisce and cherish because of its raw energy and encumbered innocence.
18) “1979” by Smashing Pumpkins
The band shows how life and growing up can lack direction. However, it also shows that even in such a state, things will move forward. The message comes with a heavy strumming of the guitar that follows up with passionate experiences that it recounts through the lyrics.
19) “Disco 2000” by Pulp
There are important stages like marriage and settling down that come with growing up. However, what happens when we do not always live up to these stages. The song shows how life and the future ahead sometimes are no longer the point.
20) “What’s My Age Again?” by Blink-182
You will find the central theme about aging into adulthood and deeper themes on sexuality and experiences within this song. The song presents a conflicting account about the other social realities that conflict with the preferred norms. It is the other side about life and perhaps, growing up wrong.
21) “Growing Pains” by Ludacris
Ludacris recounts his experience growing up in a home with a single parent. He writes and sings deeply about the lessons and recollections that now define him as a conscious singer and social activist. The hip-hop genre in the song also has profound and relatable lessons about the reality of life from such a heritage.
22) “December 4th” by Jay Z
Our lives leave a stretch of history behind, and there are stories and lessons all along. The rapper tells his life through the song and recounts some of the crucial decisions and lessons that have come along with them.
23) “There Goes My Life” by Kenny Chesney
The song is about a father who grows up to realize that his life is more about his young daughter when he probably thought differently. He now looks at the ‘ruin’ that is parenting and how it has defined his adulthood.
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24) “Changes” by David Bowie
Bowie writes with the glam of rock and sings with a passion that resonates with the passion of many about life. The song remains a lasting influence and popular piece even to date. The message is in the vocal effect and less in words within this song.
25) “Losing my Edge” by LCD Soundsystem
As we age, others come behind us, take our place, and create new experiences. The profound reality in this can be strange bittersweet, as the artist demonstrates through the lyrics of this song.
26) “When You Were Young” by The Killers
Home is the place where we think most when thinking about childhood and growing up. The song shows how this is a big impression on our memories. It shapes the memories and defines what we see when young and who we become when older.
27) “Alfie” by Lily Allen
Growing up, especially in a family, has rivalry and sibling dynamics. Allen reminisces on her memories and writes the song to apologize to her brother for being condescending to her as she grew up. There is relevance in the message to all who have had similar encounters and experiences with siblings.
28) “Ready, Set, Don’t Go” by Miley Cyrus and Billy Ray Cyrus
The father-daughter duo tells about parenting and how it defines life and growing up. A father is unsure if their role has prepared the child for the world before them. He hesitates about releasing them to this world because he fears the eventuality.
29) “Time to Pretend” by MGMT
Life can get overwhelming, especially with norms to follow and places to conform. The song tells of a choice to defy the norms and live against the rules. Freedom is rewarding, but judgment also comes, and this is all part of growing up.
30) “Failure” by Laura Marling
Sometimes, growing up can leave a sense of disillusionment and lack of purpose about what we cherished in our early years. The song is about such an eventuality and how things one revered at a young age can turn differently with age.
31) “Ghost!” by Kid Cudi
Growth goes with stages or phases. The song looks at what would happen when we take a wrong turn and lose it for half a decade. Sometimes, you would find yourself, but that is time lost and a portion of your life with it.
32) “Hold You Down” by Childish Gambino
Gambino explores the intersectionality and differences of race in growing up white or black. The song talks about the opportunities and judgments that come with one and less on the other. It is all about the hurdles that minorities have to face as they grow and live.
33) “17” by Youth Lagoon
The late teenage years mark a defining transition to adulthood. One would say that this is truly the beginning of growing up. The singer shows how aspects from childhood remain relevant, even as we grow to the adult stage.
34) “Montezuma” by Fleet Foxes
As we grow, we get to compare our lives with the past generations, especially our parents. Here, we look for progression and areas with change. The song shows how growing up comes with that progression and evolution.
35) “Grown Up” by Danny Brown
Brown looks back at the wishes he had growing up and epitomizes the ‘hunger’ that it brought. Now, the singer knows more than that and sings about the rest he has encountered as a grown-up. The song has life lessons on learning as we grow and know more than we thought as children.
36) “Grew up at Midnight” by The Maccabees
There are times when we look back and wonder how fast we grow and change. The song looks at this and shows how this can last a moment and a defining one. We all know and have that impulse in our lives.
37) “Tennis Court” by Lorde
The age of youth is a highlight of life at its peak. Lorde sings about savoring this moment and enjoying the period before things turn sideways. The song gives bare lessons on living freely and enjoying the good moments while at it.
38) “Bros” by Wolf Alice
Life is a celebration of the connections we make and the relationships that last. Bros look across and present an appreciation of such enduring friendships. The song demonstrates the beauty of growing up and living life by relishing the healthy relationships you have right from when you are young.
39) “Class of 2013” by Mitski
We have all shuddered at the thought of more responsibilities as we age. Now think about going back to your parents’ house and assuming no responsibility. The song shows how growing up redefines us in ways that cannot change once they prevail.
40) “Ivy” by Frank Ocean
The song is a personal narrative about encounters with love while growing up. Ocean is trying to make peace with the past but realizes that there is a hard memory with ‘Ivy,’ as is often the reality with life for many of us. Some anecdotes stay on and never leave.
41) “Same Drugs” by Chance the Rapper
The song combines growth, especially the period between youth and adulthood, with experiences. Distance lays bare the realities of this time and the profound memories and lessons, depending on how you choose to live the length.
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42) “Coming of Age” by Julia Jacklin
Age does not necessarily make things worse. When we grow, there is more grit and a muscle to take more responsibility. The song shows how growing up can also make things easier and leave us wondering why some are not so hard anymore.
43) “Proud Of Me” by Mahalia ft. Little Simz
Growth is a process that also comes with individuality and independence. It takes determination and the desire to live up to certain ideals and an envisioned destiny. The song shows this side of life and how life turns out based on individual paths and determination.
44) “Jack and Diane” by John Mellencamp
‘Jack and Diane’ is a childhood love story that brings the nostalgia of young romance. The song tells the teenage sweethearts and the life of good young age that is now behind them. There is a thrill in living and finding love while at it.
45) “Northampton’s Child” by Slowthai
Struggles of childhood define our experiences and have a lasting frame for reference about life. The singer recounts how growing up poor fills him with love and gratitude. The social and economic realities fill life with gratification and a thing to appreciate.
46) “Patience” by Tame Impala
Growing up in the contemporary age comes with social expectations and economic realities. The band captures this in the old mantra of parenting about growing up and getting a proper job. The song has at heart how various characters grapple with this challenge while living life and anticipating a breakthrough.
47) “Boys will be Boys” by Dua Lipa
The duality in gender and differences in development between boys and girls is a critical part of development. The song shows how nature works against girls forced to grow up and mature faster than boys. The piece highlights social nuances such as male violence that majorly affects females and propagates gender differences.
As the Head Editor and Writer at Music Grotto, Liam helps write and edit content produced from professional music/media journalists and other 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.
Liam’s lifelong love for music makes his role at Music Grotto such a rewarding one. He loves researching, writing and editing music content for Music Grotto.